2011 has been a great hot pepper year. Currently I'm growing cayenne peppers, jalapeño peppers and fish peppers. Last year I had a lot of success with drying peppers, but I really wanted to try to make pepper jelly this year. It pairs well with a variety of soft cheeses, and is dynamite on english muffins. Since this was my first attempt, I followed a recipe, though I doubled it.
Tools for the job: Canning Pot Canning Rack Food processor or Blender Spatula Wooden Spoon Ladle 8 oz canning jars (5-10) and new lids Large non-reactive pot Small stock pot Candy Thermometer Funnel sheet pan Jar holder
Method: (adapted from the Ball green jalapeño jelly recipe)
1. Fill the canning pot with water and sterilize the jars while it comes up to a boil, place lids in a small sauce pan, cover with water and bring up to a simmer to sterilize.
2. After removing stems from jalapenos, puree in food processor with 2 cups cider vinegar.
3. Combine puree, additional 2 cups cider vinegar, and sugar in large saucepot. Bring to a boil; boil 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Stir in liquid pectin. Return to a rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
5. Skim foam, if necessary, and stir in a few drops of food coloring, if desired.
6. Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust 2 piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.
I ended up with 8 jars of pepper jelly, some will turn into gifts come holiday time, while others will be a treat for me come winter time. This season I've made a big effort to space out my canning projects throughout the summer. Instead of canning everything in September and October, I've already got a head-start and it's only August!