Jalapeno Pepper Jelly recipe is fantastic served with cream cheese and Triscuit crackers or crackers of your choice! It looks so pretty in red and green (for Christmas presents in pretty jelly jars). The key to this jelly is in the cooking times and the amount of fruit/meat used.
This wonderful Jalapeno Pepper Jelly recipe, with comments and photos, are from Brad Bolton of San Diego, CA.
13 Jalapeno chile peppers, 4 whole and 9 seeded chile peppers (see Comment #1 and #2 below) 2 medium or 1 large bell pepper (either red, yellow, or orange pepper) (see Comment #3 below) 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice 1 1/2 cups of vinegar (white or cider - didn’t seem to matter - white is cheaper) 6 cups granulated sugar 4 ounces liquid pectin (Certo Liquid Pectin ONLY) - Other brands do not work well. (see Comment #4 below) Food coloring (green or red), optional
Equipment Needed: Large boiling water canning pot with rack Canning jars Lids with rings - Rings are metal bands that secure the lids to the jars. The rings may be reused many times, but the lids only once. Jar Grabber Jar Funnel Large spoon and ladle
#1 - The jalapenos chiles I used for these batches were fairly large - none were small. Note: Jalapeno jelly can be pretty "hot" if you have included a lot of the seeds in your cooking. The fat molecules in the cream cheese absorb the hot capsaicin of the jalapenos, reducing the heat, but leaving the flavor of the chiles.
#2 - IMPORTANT: Wear rubber disposable gloves when you clean the jalapeno chiles! It's amazing how HOT the oil from the jalapenos are. The first batch I made, I felt that I did not need to wear gloves. After all, it is just jalapenos! After doing the first batch, my finger and hands burned for nearly 4 hours (plus you can not touch ANY parts of your body or you will burn there too), and I could not wash the stuff off (and even the next day, my fingers were sensitive to hot water). I now always use gloves!
#3 - Bell peppers were medium to large. If you use TWO bell peppers, make sure they are medium sized. If you use TWO large bells, they will make the jelly not set up because of the amount of liquid produced. Unless you cook it longer… (I have no idea how much longer). Green bell peppers seem to make the jelly taste to much like bell pepper and it drowns out the jalapeno taste almost completely. Yellow, red or orange bell peppers are ideal for this jelly because their flavor does not take away from the jalapenos. They add very nice color to the final product.
#4- WE tired another brand of pectin - (BALL), and it did not work well at all. I had to open all the jars, as they did not set up, and REBOIL the liquid for an additional 12 minutes before it would set up. USE ONLY Certo Liquid Pectin. You can't substitute the powdered pectin for the liquid pectin, as the jelly will not work right). THEY ARE NOT ALL THE SAME!
Use only 1/2-pint jars to avoid a weak gel that may result with larger jars due to residual heat during cooling.
Only use sterilize jars for jams and jellies. Wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse. Sterilize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, then keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when filled with the hot product.
Wash and rinse all canning lids and bands. Treat the lids as directed by the manufacturers. Lids can be used only once.
Prepare only one recipe at a time because double batches may not gel properly.
Remove stems from all 13 jalapenos chile peppers; discard stems. Leave 4 jalapenos whole and remove seeds from the other 9 jalapenos. Chop the 4 WHOLE jalapenos very fine or puree in blender, then add remainder of the seeded jalapenos; chop medium to fine.
Remove stems and seeds from bell peppers; add to blender.
Add vinegar to blender to help chop and mix together. Puree until coarsely ground and small chunks remain.
In a large non-reactive pot over medium-high heat, add blended pepper mixture; bring to a hard boil. Boil for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, using a spoon to skim off the surface scum. Continue to boil until a cooking thermometer registers a temperature of 220 to 222 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and granulated sugar.
Place back on medium-high heat and bring back to a hard boil. Add liquid pectin (Certo Liquid Pectin ONLY) and food coloring; again bring back to a HARD BOIL for ONE FULL MINUTE.
Skim off any foam (scum) that develops with a spoon. Remove from heat.
We would generally add some of the strained peppers to the jelly after straining. This worked well because the jelly was nice and clean looking (clear red or clear green). The strained pepper added makes it have great color and appeal. Ten (10) drops of food coloring did not seem to be all that much, so we have added more at times, and just added it according to what it looked like.
Have hot sterile 1/2-pint jars and lids ready.
Carefully and quickly strain hot jelly into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Add some of the chopped peppers if desired for more color; mix in jars with spoon or fork. Wipe any spilled jelly from jar rims. Center lids on top of jars and tighten screw bands securely, but not as tightly as possible.
Test seal, after cooling, with finger. If middle pops up when pressed, jar is not sealed.
We usually strained the jelly after coming off the stove as we were putting it in the jars. There were times when we did not have a chance to strain it because it was setting up so quickly. This was probably due to the fact that there was less liquid in the pot.
Medium to hot jalapeno jelly – Use 5 1/2 peppers and do add any extra cooked chopped peppers to final mixture.
Mild to medium jalapeno jelly – Use only 3 whole jalapeno peppers.
Storing canned jellies:
It is essential that jellied products, especially jelly, be allowed to sit undisturbed for at least 12 hours after they are made. Moving the jars could break the gel.
After the jellied products have cooled for 12 hours, check the seal, remove the screw band, label and store in a cool, dry, dark place (50 degrees F. to 70 degrees F. is ideal). The shorter the storage time, the better the product. Though most jellied products should keep for a least a year, their flavor and quality begin to decrease within a few months.
Serving suggestion Ideas:
Include a block of cream cheese on a pretty plate (probably white), and then you pour the jelly over the top of it and use it like a dip. It is a little bit hotter if you leave it sit out for a while (like before a party) over the cream cheese it builds a little heat.
Or use like any other jelly; it’s great for a spicy peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Makes it great basting sauce for grilling meat and poultry.
Delicious over ice cream. Try mixing some of the jalapeno jelly with cream cheese until smooth – pour over top of ice cream.