Roasted Pepper Jelly

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Canning seems to be a southern staple that I was not formally taught but have always wanted to learn. I have indulged in my granny’s pear honey and nana’s scuppernong grape jelly but regrettably have never had the opportunity to learn how to can from them.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This past spring when my husband said he wanted to build our family a raised garden I did not know what exactly to expect. One thing was for certain I wanted to be able to put things up and needed to learn how. Nothing Google can’t fix! I researched the canning process and felt like I was ready to test it out.

Our garden is taking off (thank the Lord) so well that all four of our jalapeno plants are producing peppers at a super fast rate. I needed to come up with something that would help me use a large amount of the peppers in a way that would not spoil as quickly. That is when I thought of putting the peppers up in the form of a pepper jelly.

Pepper jelly is a jelly that can be sweet with a little heat or barely sweet with a lot of heat. The taste all depends on who is putting up the jelly which is awesome because you get to be the one to decide. There are many different ways to enjoy pepper jelly but I normally like to use it as an appetizer of sorts. Sometimes it makes a nice glaze on pork chops or chicken. Talk about delicious! So let’s get started.

Gather your supplies:

  • 2 large stock pot
  • sheet pan
  • mason jars with rings and lids
  • 6oz of liquid pectin
  • olive oil
  • 10 -15 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar *divided*
  • 6 cups of granulated sugar
  • tongs
  • gloves
  • Zip-lock bag
  • funnel
  • ladle
  • Food processor/blender

Preheat your oven to broil so your peppers can get a good char. You need to then grab a large stock pot and fill with water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling carefully submerge your jars, lids, and rings. This helps sanitize your jars which helps lengthen the shelf life of your canned goods. Allow to boil for 10 minutes. If you have have a canning kit you may want to use the basket it comes with to safely lift the jars in and out of the boiling water. I did not have one and used some tongs and a oven mitten to get the job done. Just be careful whatever you decide because the water is scalding. After the sanitizing process is finished lay the clean jars, lids, and rings on a clean dish towel.

This was taken actually after the pepper jelly was made… that is how m any peppers we have y’all.

Next, I gathered my rinsed peppers and began slicing and scrapping out the seeds and veins of the peppers. Depending on how spicy you like your jelly you may want to leave more of the seeds and veins. I always find that a nice metal spoon helps scrap out the majority of it all in one fail scoop. Whatever you do make sure you do not touch your eyes! The oils from the peppers can make you feel like your face is melting off if you are not careful. You may want to even go as far as wearing gloves to prevent spreading the oils to other areas; like your eyeballs. OUCH!

Seeing that no pepper is created equal you may have to adjust your recipe to how you see fit. I had some peppers that were bigger than others and did around 15 peppers in total. If they are all fairly large I would probably just stick with 10. Speaking of peppers being different, did you know that the red jalapeno and green ones are the same? Red jalapenos are evidently a more ripened pepper but they literally taste the same. At the time I mostly had red ones but in the future look forward to incorporating green ones to help give the jelly more pops of color. Make sure you slice your bell pepper as well. Long thicker strips help when you go to peal off the char. Be sure to take the seeds and vein out of the bell pepper as well.

Once the peppers are prepared, place them on the baking sheet and coat with olive oil. Place the pan under the broiler for 10 minutes. Be prepared for the smaller peppers to char at a faster rate. I think next time I will pull those prior to 10 minutes. Some of them came out a little too charred causing me to throw those out and roast more. As soon as the peppers are removed from the oven carefully place them in a zip-lock bag and seal it. This creates steam and helps you pull the char off of the peppers for the next step. Leave the peppers to steam for 5 minutes. Get those gloves back on and have your food processor or blender close and ready. Carefully pull off as much of the char and discard in the trash. Some of the char will stick which is fine and helps bring out some of the roasted flavor.

Place the steamed peppers into the food processor along with 1 cup of the apple cider vinegar and puree. Pour the puree, sugar, and remaining vinegar into a large pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Be mindful of this because you do not want a sticky hot mess all over your kitchen should your pot over boil. Quickly squeeze the two packets of liquid pectin into the mixture and bring to a boil for exactly 1 minute. Certo makes a liquid pectin which is what I used. In the mean time, turn your burner back on under your pot used with your sanitized water and bring back to a boil. You will need it to help with the sealing process. Be sure to have your sanitized jars ready to ladle the jelly into the jars. I tried to have an assembly line of sorts to help me with the process. Personally, I put the funnel in the mason jar and ladled the jelly into the jar over the warm pot. Obviously make sure you are wearing an oven mitt to protect yourself from the liquid jelly that is almost as hot as molten lava.

After I ladled all of the mixture, I placed the excess in a glass pyrex bowl for my husband and I to have. Place the lids and rings on each glass jar and carefully submerge back into the boiling water.

I probably needed more water but it got the job done!

Boil for 10 minutes to create a vacuum seal on the jars. You should hear the lids pop down almost as if the jars are yelling “I am finished”. After 10 minutes carefully remove from the water and allow to cool.

This yielded a little over 6 (8 ounce) jars of delicious pepper jelly. Mine came out sweeter than I would have hoped but still so divine nonetheless. In the future I know to add a little more of my jalapenos to bring a little more heat. This Texas family likes a little heat in our pepper jelly. I am so proud of myself for not only making a pepper jelly out of my homegrown peppers but for canning them as well. I cannot wait to share this with my loved ones. Like I mentioned before there are several ways to enjoy a pepper jelly.

One of my favorite finger foods to have at any get together is a block of cream cheese smothered in pepper jelly. This is so easy to make and generally always a big hit with the crowd. You have the creaminess of the cream cheese and the sweet heat of the pepper jelly all coming together, with the crunch of the cracker topping it off. It is literally a go to for our family at any function we are hosting.

Even if we are not hosting a party my husband and I enjoy this appetizer a lot of times on a charcuterie board. After a long work week sometimes the last thing we want to do is deal with cooking dinner or having to go out to eat. A nice inexpensive bottle of wine along with the charcuterie board and you have a nice little dinner of sorts for the two of you. Even our kids like to eat off of them!

I love doing these boards because you can have so many different options. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, different cheeses, an assortment of meats, an a ray crackers, pickles, and nuts. The options are endless! You can pair different ingredients together to find what your pallet likes. There is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy on one of these!

Supplies:

  • 2 large stock pot
  • sheet pan
  • mason jars with rings and lids
  • 6 oz of liquid pectin
  • olive oil
  • 10 -15 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar *divided*
  • 6 cups of granulated sugar
  • tongs
  • gloves
  • Zip-lock bag
  • funnel
  • ladle
  • Food processor/blender

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler and bring large pot of water to a boil on stove top.
  2. Place lids, rings, and jars carefully in boiling water – let them sanitize for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove items from boiling water and allow to cool on a clean dish towel.
  4. Slice peppers with a knife and remove seeds and vein of peppers using a metal spoon. Lay on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Spread out peppers on pan and place under broiler for 10 minutes. Watch them!
  5. Remove from pan and place in plastic bag and seal it for roughly 5 minutes.
  6. Open liquid pectin and set in a jar off to the side near the stove so it is readily available.
  7. *gloves on* – remove charred bits and place peppers in the food processor and puree.
  8. Place second large pot on the stove and add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, puree, and 6 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil making sure to stir occasionally. DO NOT ALLOW IT TO OVER BOIL. Skim some of the foam off the top and discard in a bowl if need be.
  9. Quickly add 6 oz of liquid pectin to the boiling concoction. Hard boil for ONLY ONE MINUTE.
  10. Remove from the heat *keep oven mitts on*
  11. Grab a jar and ladle the jelly into the funnel which is down in the jar. Repeat.
  12. Close jars with lids.
  13. Bring the previously used sanitized water back to a rolling boil.
  14. Carefully submerge jars. Boil for 10 minutes.
  15. Remove from heat. Store in pantry for up to two years. Once open store in the refrigerator.
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