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This recipe has become a traditional holiday gift for many of my friends, who tell me they look forward to it! Even though I grow my own hot peppers, I still look forward to more from the CSA. Our CSA peppers are more substantial and meatier than the ones I grow myself. I use peppers to season just about everything: I throw one into a pot of soup, add it to the gumbo I am making, etc.
While this recipe has much more sugar than I usually care to eat, remember that jelly is a condiment, to be used sparingly. It is commonly mixed with cream cheese or other soft cheeses and served as a spread. The jelly makes a great holiday gift and is excellent for cooking to use as a glaze for poultry or fish for something really different and Southwestern.
- ¼ cup ground Jalapeño chiles, seeds removed
- 1-1/2 cup ground sweet peppers
- 6-1/2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 bottle liquid fruit pectin
Combine all ingredients except fruit pectin, bring to a boil, and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and strain off liquid. Return liquid to kettle and bring to a boil. Stir in fruit pectin and continue boiling and stirring for 1 minute or until jelly stage is reached. Remove from heat and pour into hot sterilized jars (see note below). This jelly is lovely as it is, but feel welcome to add one or two drops of food coloring to each jar to achieve a deeper red or green color.
Variation: After straining the liquid, put a half-cup of pepper bits back into the jelly.
Note: If you’ve never preserved any foods by canning, don’t be intimidated! The large amounts of sugar and vinegar ensure that it won’t spoil, if you want to store jars in the fridge for up to a few months. If you are comfortable with canning, use a boiling water bath to process the filled jars.
- * Sterilized jars can come directly from the dishwasher, or you can put a dish towel in a soup pot and set the jars on that, covered in water, to sterilize. Do use canning jars with a two-part lid, local hardware and grocery stores carry them in various sizes.
Submitted by Lorraine Glazar, Tucson CSA