In the midst of my food preservation / preparation flurry, I’ve made some large batches of mini (quarter-pint) jars of certain things for our yearly holiday gifts. Come wintertime, all I’ll have to do is make pretty labels, and give them to the Man to hand out Yay for reducing holiday stress!
Following is this year’s version of pepper jelly. I just opened a jar the other night and spooned some on crescent roll dough, wrapped half a slice of pepper jack cheese around a tiny smoked sausage, and rolled the dough up around it all into a little purse. After baking, I had crispy buttery melty cheesy sweet smokey pockets of deliciousness! It’s also great over cream cheese to eat with crackers. When I next make it, I’ll probably make it a BIT hotter (says the spice wimp), so be sure to taste it before canning or putting it away to make sure you’re happy with the heat level.
Mixed Pepper Jelly
Prep time: 20 minutes, Total time: 50 minutes, Yield: 6 cups (3 pints or 6 half-pints)
- 1 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped and seeded
- 1 1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped and seeded
- 1 1/4 cup orange or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped (more, more!)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 package of pectin (1.75 oz.)
- 5 cups sugar
- Chop all of your peppers. Tempting though it may be, don’t use the food processor. You’ll end up with tiny tiny shards of peppers and a bunch of juice while you’re trying to get them chopped finely enough.
- Stir together the peppers, sugar, vinegar and pectin in a pot or saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, making sure that you stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from the heat. Add in your sugar and stir well. Put it back on high heat, stirring continually. Let it reach a rolling boil again and boil for a minute.
- Remove from the heat. Skim off all foam and safe to mix with whipped cream, ricotta or cottage cheese, or yogurt, if you like.
- Ladle into heated (and sterilized) jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. If you’re not going to can for preservation, lid it and stick it straight into your refrigerator and eat within three months.
- If you’re going to preserve it in a water bath canner, place your lidded jars into your canner with hot water covering the tops of the jars by at least 1/2-inch. Bring water to boil and let it sit at a rolling boil for five minutes. Pull the jars out and cool.
- Wait for 12-24 hours without moving the jars. Make sure they all sealed properly. If not, place the unsealed jar(s) in the fridge and consume.