Years ago I worked at a shop that carried the Stonewall Kitchen line of jams, jellies, mustards and sauces. That’s when I had my first taste of Red Pepper Jelly and I just fell in love with the savory sweetness of it – especially when combined with cream cheese and smeared on a cracker.
A few years ago I had a bumper crop of jalapenos and I wondered what jalapeno jelly would taste like. Surely it had to be good – especially if I could get the right heat to sweet ratio figured out. I did my usual Google search and found the Jalapeno Jelly recipe that I swear by on Chowhound.
The original Chowhound recipe is here.
- 5 cups green or red Jalapeño pepper halves
- 2 medium sour green apples - quartered & cored (I leave the skins on!)
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 4 cups sugar
- Prepare jars and lids by boiling for 10 minutes. While the jars are boiling, cut the stems off the ends of the jalapenos, cut them in half and remove the seeds. WEAR GLOVES. THESE PEPPERS ARE NO JOKE. YOU CAN GET A SERIOUS CHEMICAL BURN FROM THEM IF YOU DON'T!!!
- Once you've got 5 cups of jalapenos cut and seeded, process them - along with the apples - in a food processor.
- In a saucepan with a heavy bottom, add the processed peppers, sugar and vinegar.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to gel. This will take 20 - 30 minutes.
- Once the mixture has jelled, ladle into hot jars, put lids on top. As the jelly cools in the jars, it will seal. You'll know when you hear the little 'pop' and the center of the lid will be depressed.
- Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
Once you’ve got 5 cups of jalapenos cut and seeded, process them – along with the apples – in a food processor. Add to a heavy bottomed pan along with the sugar and vinegar.
You are on your way to making jelly now. What you want to do is bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to gel. This will take about 20 – 30 minutes.
How will you know when it’s jelly? There are a couple of ways to tell. I like the drip test. Basically I take a cold metal spoon and dip it into the jelly. Holding it horizontally, I’m looking to see how quickly it drips off the edge of the spoon. I also check to see if it’s jelling on the spoon.
Once the mixture is jelled, add it to the hot jars, put on the lids and make sure they seal. The jelly will keep in a cool, dark place for up to a year. I promise you, though, that this won’t last long.
You can use the jelly in so many ways:
- Combine with cream cheese for a savory spread or dip
- Use it, instead of mustard, on a sandwich. It’s especially good when smeared on a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
- Add it to a cheese board.
- Serve with cornbread or fried chicken.
- Liquefy in the microwave and use as a glaze for pork tenderloin.
There. I’ve given you enough ideas. Now go make some jelly and let me know how it turned out!
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