Sunday, 14 October 2007

Jalapeño Pepper Jelly

This recipe originally came to me as a recipe for pepper jelly made with red bell peppers. However, I don't eat bell peppers; they give me indigestion. Could it, I wondered, be made with Jalapeños? Ha! It could! I was obviously not the only one wondering, because within a few years Jalapeño pepper jelly or recipes for it were all over the place. Although most of them seem to call for a combination of peppers.

I made 2 batches of Jalapeño jelly this week; one with the red ones and one with the green ones. I don't suggest mixing the colours of peppers, or you will get a muddy brown. The red Jalapeños made a hotter, and I thought more interesting jelly, but both are very good. This is customarily served over cheese and crackers as an hors d'oevre, but it makes a good sauce for broiled chicken or fish as well. I'm sure you can find lots of uses for it. I bet it would team up with baked squash and apples very nicely. It's a bit like a particularly spicy English-style chutney, but a little smoother and simpler in flavour.

Originally this recipe also called for pectin, which I ditched, as I have no luck using commercial pectin. That's because I also cut the sugar way, way back. Still, I've no trouble getting this to set.

7 or 8 125-ml jars
1 hour 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours

Jalapeno Jelly5 cups Jalapeño pepper halves
2 sour green apples (or 2 small quinces)
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups sugar
3 dried red chiles (optional)

Put the jars in a canner and cover with water to 1 inch above the tops. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. This will likely take about 45 minutes, all-told.

WEARING GLOVES, and I mean it*, cut the stem end from each chile. Cut them in half and remove and discard the seeds and inner membranes. Measure 5 cups (or a little more is okay).

Cut the apples in quarter and core them. They should ideally be rather green and underripe.

Grind the chiles and apples finely in a food processor. Put them, with any liquid they exude, into a canning kettle, with the vinegar and sugar. Add three small dried red peppers if you would like a hotter jelly.

Bring to a boil, and boil for 15 to 20 minutes (20 minutes more likely) until the jelly is thickened, and tests finished for gelling. (Use the wrinkle test - put a little on a cold dish and slide it to see if it wrinkles up; or the sheet test - jelly poured from a spoon back into the pot should slide off of it more or less in a sheet, or at least in three or more streams.)

Have the lids and rings in a pot of water standing by. Turn them on when the jelly tests done. Remove your jars from the canner, and fill them with the jelly. Wipe the rims. When the lids and rings have boiled for 5 minutes, seal the jars. Put the sealed jars back in the canner for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Check for seals and label the jars. Keep in a cool, dark place until opened, at which point they should be refrigerated.

For more information about jam-making - for that is what we are basically doing - see here.

*Jalapeños may not be the hottest peppers in the family, but they are hot enough to make you very, very sorry if you don't.


Kevin said...

Jalapeño pepper jelly sounds really interesting. With the sugar and the apples I am curious to see what this tastes like. I will have to see if I can find some local jalapeno peppers.

Marie said...

I have had this before, and I am happy to have found a great recipe. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am going to try this over the weekend. I learned the hard way about jalapenos!

I was cutting them up, then went to take my contacts out - yikes!!

And then later that night I had to sleep with bags of frozen peas on my hands the pain was so bad!

Ferdzy said...

Mybizzy, ouch!

What I have taken to doing lately is as soon as I finish working with hot peppers, whether I was wearing gloves or not, I go and wash my hands thoroughly with TOOTHPASTE.

It sounds odd, but I do think it helps get any oils off your hands. Once it soaks in I don't know that there is much to do but wait it out, but if you get it soon enough I think the toothpaste makes a real difference.

I hope your jelly is successful and that you enjoy it!

Zom G. said...

Made this on Sunday and I can't stop eating it! Really the perfect thing for my Jalapeno overload. Thank you for sharing! Was that your recipe on Chowhound too?

Ferdzy said...

Zom G., I have a vague recollection of having posted it to Chowhound, so yeah, probably... glad to hear you are enjoying it!