Did you say Hot Pepper Jelly? Huh? Hot jam? What’s wrong with these people? What next? Seriously: Hot Pepper Jelly is fabulous! This jam lover experiments with absolutely all jam and preserves possibilities. This recipe is the result of endless tinkering, and the proof that the hard work was worth it. A real snap to make. Hot pepper jelly is a wonderful partner to goat cheese, peanut butter, smoked turkey, roasted poultry, sliced steak, smoked salmon, and is a great condiment in marinades, dips and dressings. So get ready to mix and match, and watch it disappear! Next Friday night I’m serving them with sweet potato latkas. Thinking of bringing a gift to friends? Boy they’ll be happy to get my (OK: your) hot pepper jelly! Surprise: Kids love it too!
Look at my berry variation at the end of the recipe: It’s fantastic!
Fruit (most often apple, sometimes grapefruit) pectin is easy to find in health food stores and better supermarkets, and is the gelling agent for the jelly. Sizes and measurements for pectin vary wildly, which can get frustrating, so I am simplifying this for you. I used envelopes that measured 11/2 tablespoons. If you buy your pectin loose in jars, as opposed to envelopes, just measure it by tablespoons.
- 2 cups unfiltered apple cider vinegar (health foods stores)
- 3 packets apple pectin (each packet is about 1 1/2 tablespoons: 4 1/2 tablespoons total
- 2 dozen medium size jalapenos (do not remove the seeds: when I say hot, I mean hot!)
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
Whisk the vinegar and the pectin in a wide bottom stainless steel pot until smooth. turn on the flame. In a food processor, grind the peppers very fine, and add to the pot, with all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the flame to medium. Let the mixture cook twenty minutes. Pour the mixture into perfectly clean and dry wide mouth glass jars while still hot. It will yield about 3 pints. The mixture will firm up as it cools. Store in the refrigerator.
Variation: Raspberry (or other berry) Hot Pepper Jelly: Proceed as above, using 4 packets of pectin. Add 1/4 cup Creme de Cassis, and a 12 ounce bag (about 2 cups) frozen raspberries, strawberries, cranberries or cherries, even rhubarb. Grind the berries or rhubarb along with the peppers before putting in the pot.