Monday, August 31, 2015

Jalapeno Jelly

 A few years back we planted about 6 jalapeno plants at a little farmhouse we were renting.  The problem was the place we were renting, the landlord did not have sprinklers set up, therefore no drip lines, and all the watering was on us.  Sometimes we'd forget, or go out of town, or our automatic timer for our small sprinkler would not work.  The plants did OK, and we got a decent amount of peppers, but no like when regular watering takes place.  

Fast forward 2 years and we now have our own new home with sprinklers, drip lines, the whole bit!  So this time I only bought one plant and put it in a pot since we don't have a dedicated garden yet.  This one plant EXPLODED!  I can only guess that over a few months time we have gotten over 100 peppers from this one plant.  
Needless to say, I needed to find a way to use our awesome harvest of peppers.  I had pinned a recipe for jalapeno jelly, and remembering the one time I had tried this stuff in the past I knew it was something I had to try :)  

So plucking 20 jalapenos off my plant, I set off on my jelly adventure.  It was super easy to make and canned up nicely.  When I was done, I busted out some Wheat Thins, some cream cheese, and lunch was served!  

Some ideas for this stuff is just like I said... crackers, cream cheese with a little jelly on top.  Or for a party, soften a whole block of this stuff and throw a whole jar on top and serve with crackers.  Use it as a sauce for chicken or steak.  Some people mentioned how great this is with coconut shrimp and even chicken nuggets.  The blogger that I got this recipe from loves it on her paninis as an alternate spread to the normal mustard.  I am willing to venture out and find some some uses for this delectable stuff!

I doubled up the recipe and got about 13-14 half pint jars.

Jalapeno Jelly

1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
10 jalapenos (I leave about 1/2 the seeds in)
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5-6 cups granulated sugar (yep, you really need this much to combat the spice!)
1 3-ounce pouch liquid fruit pectin (like Certo)

Finely chop the bell peppers and jalapenos in a food processor fitted with a fine shredding blade (if you don't have a food processor, no worries, grab a knife and get started chopping up those peppers into little tiny pieces).

Add the peppers to a large pot (the jelly will foam when it first comes to a boil so use a pot at least 5-6 quarts for a single batch and larger if doubling the batch).

Stir in the vinegar, salt and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the liquid pectin and boil for 1 more minute.

Remove the pot from the heat. Pour the jelly to within 1/4-inch of the top of clean, warm canning jars. 

Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp rag. Place a lid and ring on each jar and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (you may need to add additional time if you live above sea level; the pectin box/info should give details).

Once removed from the water bath canner, let the jelly rest for 1-2 days to let it fully set up.

Recipe Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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