I do love a good hot pepper jelly. I love it over a brick of cream cheese served with crackers. It really is one of the easiest appetizers.
I always just buy my pepper jelly from the store but this year I decided to try and make it myself instead. Can I just tell you that it was easier than I thought to make and so worth the effort.
The flavor of homemade pepper jelly way surpasses the flavor of the stuff from the store. Plus, you can adjust the heat according to your likeness. My family is pretty whimpy when it comes to spice, so I only included the seeds from 1/2 of a jalapeno when I made mine. I think it was the perfect amount for us, enough of a kick for me, but whimpy enough on the heat for my family.
This would make a great gift to give by itself or include it with a box of crackers and a brick of cream cheese. You can use it to make a festive appetizer like the cream cheese pepper jelly tree I shared last year!
- Wash the jalapenos and trim the stem end off. I recommend using gloves when doing this and be sure to not touch you face with doing this. The juice will cause your face to burn if you touch it. Using gloves will also prevent any burning with you hands and also prevent your hands from smelling like jalapeno all day.
- Remove the seeds from the jalapenos if you want a milder jelly. I only used the seeds from ½ of a jalapeno and it was mild, so adjust according to how hot you want it.
- Give the jalapenos a rough chop and then place them in the food processor. Pulse until they are finely minced. Be careful, the fumes will be strong. Stand back to keep the fumes from getting in your eyes.
- Pour the peppers into a heavy bottomed stock pot.
- Wash and trim the bell peppers, then remove the inner ribs and seeds. Give them a rough chop and add them to the food processor. Pulse until finely minced. You may want to do this in a couple batches, because you can chop more evenly if you don't crowd the bowl.
- Add the bell peppers to the pot with the jalapenos. Then add in the vinegar and sugar; stir to combine.
- Bring it up to a boil, and then sprinkle in the pectin while stirring. You don't want to get lumps of pectin. Then boil while stirring for one minute. Remove from heat.
- Ladle the hot liquid into clean jars. Set aside and allow to cool before capping and refrigerating.
- If your pepper bits float to the top, give the jelly an occasional stir as it cools to distribute them more evenly.
- When the jelly is cool, cap and refrigerate the jars. They will thicken as they cool, and even more as they chill. This will keep well in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. Makes about 4 cups.
- Serve with goat cheese on baguette slices or with cream cheese and crackers.
Recipe adapted from The View From Great Island.