What do you do when your various hot pepper plants produce 100 times more peppers that you can consume during the season? Freeze them (and pickle and turn into hot pepper sauce). What do you do when you realize spring is getting close and you still have 3 gallon sized freezer bags full of hot peppers? Go on a pepper jelly spree!
The hubs and I have been talking about making pepper jelly since the beginning of winter. But it just isn’t something we had gotten around to. So, with spring approaching (and making us realize we need to get our freezer cleaned out for a new round of produce) we decided now was a good time to tackle this particular idea. It was definitely a bit of a process, and it was our first time actually canning anything (in the past we’ve just screwed on the mason jar lids and popped things into the fridge). But the finished result proved worth it!
A note about the recipe, every recipe I referenced used just a few hot peppers and a bell pepper. The hubs decided this was not how we would be making ours and so we went with all hot peppers, to make a better dent in our freezer stock. The finished product isn’t overly spicy to us (we do love our hot peppers) but we think this may be due to the relativity mild nature of the jalapenos we grew and (this is our theory) freezing them seems to have made them a bit milder as well. We made two varieties: all jalapeno – which came out pretty mild, and a jalapeno/ habanero mix – which came out with a lovely little bite.
1 1/3 c hot peppers, seeded
1 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
6 c sugar
6 ounces liquid fruit pectin (2 packets)
Pulse peppers and vinegar in a blender/food processor until well blended. Pour mixture into large pot, add sugar and mix well. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the fruit pectin, stirring in well.
Put into jars and seal. (We used the hot water bath method and it worked well for us: heat water to boiling in a large pot with a deep steaming/pasta basket. Place lidded jars into the pasta basket and lower into the boiling water. Jars must be covered with 1-2 inches of water. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes, remove from water bath and allow to sit undisturbed for 12 hours.)