Grace & Favor – A Life Worth Living

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Pepper Jelly

I remember the first time I offered my mama a cracker with cream cheese and a dab of pepper jelly on it.  I told her what it was, she smiled, said thank you and popped it into her mouth having a sour look on her face as she did so thinking she was not going to enjoy this little morsel at all. A minute later she was asking for more.  I have found this little scenario happening over and over as I've taken pepper jelly to more functions than I can count.

Pepper jelly is so easy to make, with just a few ingredients required.  Small jars of pepper jelly are great gifts to use as take home gifts for a party, selling at a church sale, giving for those little needed gifts at the holiday time.  The colors of the peppers in the amber jelly make it a festive gift all year.

What you need in preparation of making a batch of pepper jelly:

Jelly jars, lids and rings.  Canning jars can be picked up this time of year at nearly any grocery store, and many many other venues.  I've even seen them at Big Lots.

1 cup Jalapeño peppers, chopped fine (be careful not to get your hands near your eyes, OUCH)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar (do not use white)
6 1/2 cups white sugar
1 bottle liquid pectin

Combine the peppers, vinegar, and sugar in a medium heavy duty saucepan, bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes.  Return to heat and bring back to a boil, boiling for 2 minutes. This can easily boil over so watch it carefully because the mess you will need to clean up if you don't it's a nightmare.
Remove from heat and stir in pectin.  Skim off any film or little bubbles, pour into sterilized canning jars being very careful as the jelly is extremely hot and can burn your hands quickly.

OK, now don't' freak out at this part if you have never done canning before.  This is a very simple process, must less involved than canning tomatoes and other acid canning.  Calm down, its gonna be OK and your product will be well worth this extra little step.  To be able to "preserve" your jelly in the jars you are going to need to seal them.

After you have poured the hot jelly mixture into your jelly jars (leaving about a 1/4" at the top clearance) make sure that the rims of the jar are clean and free from any spillage, if you don't your jars won't seal.  Place the canning lid on the jar and then the ring.  Snug up the ring but not so tight that you'd need pliers to get it open. 

Place the jars in a heavy pan of boiling water (this does not need to be a canner) set the jars carefully into the pan with tongs making sure there is no way for them to tip over. The water needs to cover the top of the jars.  Cover the pan and bring the water back to a boil, boil (process) for ten minutes and remove from heat.  Place the jars carefully onto a thick towel to cool using the tongs to remove them from the water very carefully.  Do not touch the top of the jars, within seconds (sometimes a minute or so) you will hear a little ping or pop which means your jars have sealed.  Let the jars sit for 24 hours to cool.  Touch the top of each of the jars the next day to make sure that the lid is sealed and you now have a batch of tasty pepper jelly.

This jelly can be used as a topping over a brick of cream cheese, served with crackers.  It is also great as a glaze for chicken and pork adding a little zip to your meats.

If your still skeeeeerd of canning there are a million "how to" instructions on the internet.

This little paperback book is filled with beautiful pictures and great ideas for canning if you're interested.
Ball Jar Blue Canning Book


southerninspiration said...

Looks easy enough...maybe I'll my hand at it sometime! So pretty and I know it's tasty!!!


sheila from life @ #17 said...

Very nice...I still haven't opened my jar because it is just too pretty :)

Rettabug said...

Hello Ms. very nice to see your lovely gifts of pepper jelly, glowing in the sun! I remember it as one of my mother's favorites & I have never bothered to try making it. I think I will, since I have several red peppers still on the vine.
Thank you for the recipe & the reminder.

You asked me about my sewing machine. I'm blessed to have several but the newest & the one I use most often for machine embroidery like the penguin on the sweatshirt is a Brother Innovis 4000D (the "D" just means it comes with Disney characters built in for embroidering)

I can download digital embroidery designs from the internet directly via a USB port. I store & load most of my designs via a flash drive. Very user friendly. Getting items centered & hooped correctly is the most challenging part of the whole process. The machine does the rest of the work!

I'm going to take a moment & poke around your pretty blog a bit & get to know you better.

Thank you for visiting mine today.


Designs on 47th Street said...

Char, I have always wanted to make this. We still have some peppers on the vines too. IF I can fit it in this fall, I'm going to try your recipe. Thanks!


Cathy said...

Looks yummy and pretty. J