I have never even tried jalapeno pepper jelly before, but this was on my list of things to attempt to make. I have no idea how the store bought stuff tastes, but I know that this homemade version that I did, which gets it’s pectin and colour from natural sources, is one that I will be using again & again. It was easy to make, didn’t take very long, and the end result is fantastic! The perfect addition to cheese & crackers. We really enjoy this, and I’m sure we’ll think up some more ways to eat this (anyone have any suggestions??).
- 4 lbs tart apples (like Granny Smith), unpeeled, chopped into big pieces, including the cores
- 6 jalapeno chili peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, the seeds and ribs removed from 3 of them
- 1 bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
- 1 cup cranberries (can be frozen)
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 3 1/2 cups sugar (7/8 cup for each cup of juice)
1. Combine the apple pieces, apple cores (needed for their pectin content), jalapenos, bell pepper, cranberries, water and vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for about 20 minutes, or until the apples, cranberries, and peppers are soft. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan where it might burn. Use a potato masher to mash up the apple pieces to the consistency of slightly runny apple sauce. If the mash is too thick, add more water.
2. Spoon the mash into a fine mesh sieve, muslin cloth, or a couple layers of cheesecloth, suspended over a large bowl. Leave to strain for several hours (even overnight). If you want a clear jelly, do not squeeze or force through the mesh. Just let it drip. If you want a fuller flavor jelly and don’t mind that the result won’t be clear, you can force some of the pulp through the mesh. If your pulp is too thick, and nothing is coming out, you can add an extra 1/2 cup or cup of water to it. You want to end up with about 4 cups of juice.
3. Measure the juice, then pour into a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot. Add the sugar (7/8 a cup for each cup of juice). Heat gently, stirring to make sure the sugar gets dissolved and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
4. Bring to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, using a spoon to skim off the surface scum. Continue to boil until a candy thermometer shows that the temperature has reached 220-222°F (8-10°F above the boiling point at your altitude). Additional time needed for cooking can be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or longer, depending on the amount of water, sugar, and pectin in the mix.
Candy thermometers aren’t always the most reliable indicators of whether or not a jelly is done. Another way to test is put a half teaspoonful of the jelly on a chilled (in the freezer) plate. Allow the jelly to cool a few seconds, then push it with your fingertip. If it wrinkles up, it’s ready.
5. Pour jelly into sterilized jars to within 1/4″ from the top and seal.
Makes approx. 4 half-pint jars.
Serve with cream cheese on crackers.
Source: Simply Recipes