Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

I took a jar of sweet pickles over to my friend Matthew as a thank you for all the veggies, and when I arrived I found him in the kitchen making pepper jelly.  After a bad run with his pepper plants last year, he decided to plant 8 jalapenos this year.  Now he’s pulling in more than he knows what to do with, so he gladly shared some with me, and gave me some tips for making jalapeno jelly.

The recipe is the one straight off the Ball Liquid Pectin box.  It can be found on the Ball website, as well.
Prepped peppers ready to go.

Matt’s tips-
1. Don’t bother chopping, deveining, or deseeding the peppers.  The boiling takes a lot of heat out of the peppers, so the seeds don’t matter.  Just cut the tops off.
2. If you’re using a blender, use the second cup of cider to rinse out the blender and dump it all in the pot.  ( I found a rubber spatula to be the way to go with a food processor)
3. The recipe says it will yield 5 half pints, but he got 7.  I got 6 ½, and a giant mess! More on that later.

Foamy vinegar and jalapenos with a sugar island in the middle

This is a really simple recipe.  I had some problems with it, but they were entirely my fault.  We are currently a little pot deficient.  We have one large stock pot, and one 4 quart saucepan.  Since I was sanitizing my lids and jars in the stock pot, I thought I could boil my jelly in the saucepan.  Not so!  Let’s just say I scored low on foresight on the Johnson O’Conner exam.  Of course the jelly doubled in size once it started boiling, spilling all over the stove, burning under the stockpot, and making a monster of a sticky mess.  I ended up pulling the jars out and putting them with the water into a large metal bowl, pouring the jelly into the stockpot, heating water in the kettle, and having my very patient husband wash the sticky pot after I filled the jars so I could process the filled jars in the stockpot with the water from the kettle.  Disaster, but all’s well that ends well.  The jars sealed up nicely, and my half jar went straight into the fridge so we could eat it tonight.  Mmmm, I love pepper jelly!  Because of the spill and loss of liquid, my jelly turned out a little on the firm side, but I really don’t mind, it’s just as tasty!
Setting processed jars.
 You will need
12 oz jalapeƱo peppers, about 12 med (Free, check your farmers market for a good price if you don’t know someone with a bountiful garden)

2 cups cider vinegar, divided ($1.47 for 4 cups, $1.47/2 = $.74)

6 cups sugar ($3.67 for 5 lb, $3.67/5lb = $.73 per lb, $.73 x 2.81 lb = $2.05)

2 3-oz pouches of Ball® RealFruit™ Liquid Pectin ($3.99)

7 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands ($12.35 per doz., $12.35/12 = $1.03 each, $1.03 x 7 = $7.21)

One of my favorite treats.
Try It:
A batch cost $13.99, or $1.99 per reusable jar, or $.25/oz.

Buy It:
Braswell’s Hot Jalapeno Jelly is $2.99 for a 10.5 oz jar, or $.28/oz.

I say Try It!  As long as you have two large pots this recipe is a cinch, and the results are delicious! 

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