If you have read my previous posts, specifically my first recipe, you know that I am learning to like peppers. I can cook with them every once and a while and I’m learning to tolerate, truthfully, more than like them. Things take time, and me and peppers need to spend a bit more time together.
Needless to say, my still-blossoming friendship with peppers poses a problem when I receive an abundance of them from my CSA delivery. When last week’s delivery arrived with a bag of peppers, I was tempted to throw them out since I had no appetite for them whatsoever. I’m glad I didn’t, and don’t worry, I never seriously considered it, because I decided to try something new: pepper jelly!
I love to can. To me, it’s a lost art. I’ve made pickles before, put up fresh berries, canned pasta sauce, and made a few different types of jam. I’ve never made pepper jelly. It has always seemed like something that I would hate. But oddly enough, if you pour pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese, as many of you know, something magical happens. I’m looking forward to taking my canned pepper jelly to potlucks as a tasty appetizer. As mentioned above, the peppers for this recipe came from my CSA delivery. I also happened to have three ripe yellow bell peppers from my garden. Throw in a three more gypsy peppers from the farmers market, and I had enough for a batch!
Makes 48 oz (six 8 oz. jars or twelve 4 oz. jars)
2 1/2 c. sweet peppers (bell or gypsy peppers – about 2 lbs.)
1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
6 1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp. butter
1 pack liquid pectin
Prepare all of your jars, rings and lids by sanitizing them in boiling water. Remove carefully using canning tongs and magnet. Set the canning pot on to boil with enough water to cover the tops of the jars you are using with an extra inch to spare. Make sure that you completely seed and de-rib the peppers before chopping them. You can chop them by hand, aiming for a very, very small dice, or place sliced peppers into a food processor. I did mine by hand and they looked like this:
In a large pot (6 quart, minimum), combine all of the ingredients except for the pectin. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the pectin, stirring completely, and return to a boil for 2 minutes.
Fill your sanitized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space before the rim. Top with lids and rings, making sure to secure the rings tightly. Place in your canning pot on the rack, making sure the water is boiling. Place the lid on securely and process for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove from canner and place on a dish towel. Allow to cool. As the jars cool, the lids will pop and seal. After 2-3 hours, check to make sure that every lid is sealed by pushing down on its center. If the lid pops back up, it was not processed correctly. Place any un-processed jars into the fridge and consume as soon as possible.