Monday, August 24, 2009

Jalapeno Gold Jelly

I wrote last week about some easy canning recipes. I made this jelly using my abundant jalapeno peppers. Several friends have tasted this jelly and requested the recipe, so here it is. I based this on a similar recipe from Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving. The jelly is excellent with cheese, and I've used it already as a spicy glaze for grilled chicken.


1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno pepper

3 cups granulated sugar

1 pouch liquid pectin


Finely chop apricots by first slicing into 1/8 inch slices, then cutting the slices into 1/4 inch pieces. Place the apricots in a glass bowl and add the vinegar. Cover and let sit at least 4 hours or overnight. Chop the remaining vegetables in the same manner. Do wear rubber gloves when chopping the jalapeno pepper. If you don't, see the tip below. For a tamer version, remove the white membranes and seeds from the jalapenos. If you like more heat, keep the membranes and seeds, or use a hotter pepper like habanero or Scotch bonnet.

Meanwhile, prepare canning equipment. Prepare canning jars by washing with hot, soapy water. Prepare new two-part canning lids and screw tops by washing and covering the lids with hot water. Prepare canner by filling a large, deep saucepan with water, and bringing the water to a boil. The saucepan should be deep enough so that it is 3 " deeper than the tallest jar you will be using. Once all jars and lids are clean, and canner water is boiling, begin to make the jelly.

Put apricots and vinegar into a deep stainless steel saucepan. Add onion, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and sugar. Stir constantly, over high heat, until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil, a boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in the pectin. Boil hard, continuing to stir constantly, for 1 full minute. Remove from heat and stir off the foam. Ladle hot jelly into jars, leaving 1/8" headspace. Wipe rims with a clean, wet cloth. Center a clean lid on the jar, screwing the band down until it is fingertip tight. Place jars in the canner, making sure there is a minimum of 1 inch of water above the top of the jars. Cover, bring water to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove lid, letting jars sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let sit for 15 minutes. Tilt and rotate jars, but don't shake them, to suspend vegetables and apricots through the jelly.

Makes three 8-oz jars of jelly.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Jalapenos, like all hot peppers, get their heat from capsaicin. It burns skin, like your hands, and can be especially painful if you then rub your mouth or eyes before the capsaicsin wears off. If, like me, you don't follow directions well, you might have forgotten the need to wear rubber gloves. Your hands will feel like they're on fire, but there's no visible burn. What I found works best to take away the burning feeling is to soak your hands in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes intervals, alternating with washing hands with shampoo or other oil reducing liquid soap to remove some of the oils from the hands. Repeat for about 4 hours, when the burn will begin to fade. Hopefully, once you burn your hands working with hot peppers, you'll always wear gloves again!

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