Hot Pepper Jelly

Hot Pepper Jelly


6 hot peppers, sliced lengthwise with the seeds and ribs removed from 3 of them for medium hot jelly.  If you prefer your jelly to be hotter, leave in more seeds and ribs (jalapenos are great, but if you want to use a mixture of hot peppers, use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup peppers)

3 hot peppers, chopped; with or without seeds

3 cups vinegar (I like to use Apple Cider Vinegar)

3 cups of water

4 lbs Granny Smith Apples, unpeeled, chopped in large pieces, including  THE CORES

1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped

3 1/2 cups sugar (this works out to a 7/8th cup of sugar for each cup of strained juice)

1 cups cranberries (totally optional, but they do add a nice red color and are also high in natural pectin)



making hot pepper jellyBoil the vinegar, water, 6 hot peppers, chopped bell pepper, apples (including the cores), and cranberries (if using) until the apples are soft and easy to mash with a potato masher or slotted spoon. Mash the mixture until it becomes the consistency of slightly runny apple sauce. If the mash is too thick, add more water.

Pour all of the pepper/apple mixture into a colander lined with a piece of cheesecloth and place it over a deep bowl.  Add water (if necessary).  Let it stand until the dripping stops.  You’re going to want to end up with 4 cups of juice.  

If you want a clear jelly, do not squeeze the cheesecloth or press the liquid out with a spoon.  Don’t force it.  Just let it drip.

If you prefer that your jelly have a fuller flavor and you don’t mind that it’s not completely clear (or if you don’t want to wait), you can force some of the pulp through the mesh. 

Discard the pulp.

Pour the 4 cups of strained liquid into a large pot and add the sugar.  Heat gently, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Cook for 10 – 15 minutes, using a spoon to skim the foam off the top.

Continue boiling until a digital thermometer reaches 220º- 222º  or you can use the frozen plate method!  Before starting your jelly, place a few small plates in your freezer.  As your jelly begins to thicken, remove a plate and place a half teaspoon of jelly on the plate.  Wait a few seconds and then push the jelly with your fingertip.  If the jelly wrinkles as you push it, the jelly is ready!

Have 4 half-pint sterilized jars hot and ready and use a ladle to add enough jelly to reach to within 1/4” from the top.  I have my jars go through a wash cycle in the dishwasher right before making my jelly so the jars will be really hot.  If they’re not as hot as I’d like, I remove the jars and put them in my oven (without their lids) at it’s lowest setting or its keep warm setting for 10 minutes.  

If you pour boiling hot jelly into a cold jar, the jar will crack and you’ll lose all of your amazing jelly.  So be sure your jars are hot.

Canning the jelly is also easy!  After you fill the jars, screw on the lid (not too tightly) and place the hot jars filled with hot jelly immediately into a hot water bath and process for 10 minutes.  You can find the exact directions on how to can jellies and jams in the Ball Blue Book which is available anywhere canning supplies are sold or on Amazon.

You can read the blog post and read or leave comments about this recipe here

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