Monday, November 29, 2010

Feelin Hot Hot Hot - Red Pepper Jelly

I've been debating whether or not to tell you up front that I didn't actually cut the peppers, boil the concoction, sterilize jars, pour the jelly into jars - basically, I didn't make the jelly.  I DID however advise, help stir, ensure the pregnant one didn't forget to add the hot peppers (which happened in the first batch) as well as be guinea pig, all of which entitles me to say I helped to create this doesn't it?

I was making bread today and my future SIL wanted to do some canning for Christmas.  I like company, and I like anything to do with creating food so was quite happy to help her out.
While I have made jam before - which I really should post here for you because I have to say my plum vanilla jam is to DIE for, I have never made jelly - let alone red pepper jelly.  The premise is the same, sugar, pectin and acidity boiled, canned, eaten...

If you've never had the opportunity to have this, it is great for dinner parties.  Simply pour the jelly over some cream cheese and serve with crackers/pitas etc.  Some even eat this much like regular jams or jellies, on English muffins or toast!
Here's what you will need for each batch:

6-7 250ml jars with lids - sterilized
a large pot
spoon and knife
canning funnel
patience ;)

3 1/2 cups red peppers - tiny dice is best
1 small can chopped jalapeno peppers
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 c. white vinegar
6 1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 oz. liquid pectin
6 drops red food colouring (if you wish)

Add all peppers, flakes, vinegar and sugar to the pot, stir to combine.  Bring to a rolling boil for 6 minutes stirring constantly.  Please note that with making jams or jellies it is important to time exactly - too much boiling produces a thick substance and not enough, well, the opposite.
Stir in the pectin and continue to boil another 3 minutes still stirring.
Skim off the foam with a spoon and remove from the heat.

See, you need to skim this off, it doesn't look pretty in jars

Pour into jars leaving about 1/2 inch space.  If you have the tools, remove any air bubbles by running a spatula around the jelly and the jar - you don't have to though, its not the end all and be all...

Finally, place the lids on the jars, place in a pot and boil for 5-8 minutes to seal and preserve.
Your jelly can last 6 months to 1 year in your cupboard if you make sure to boil once filled.

Great job Tamara!!

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