I make red pepper jelly every year to use as an easy and quick appetizer. This recipe is very easy to make even for beginners to the kitchen. This recipe makes twelve 500 ml jars of jelly or twenty-four 250 ml jars. You may cut the recipe in half, however adjusting any of the ingredients ie: cutting the sugar back will result in jelly that will not set up. You can adjust the amount of hot sauce however you should try it using the recommended amount, test before adding to jars and then add more if more heat is desired. I have made this recipe without fail. On the small chance your jelly doesn’t set you will need to bring the jelly to a rolling boil for 3-4 minutes. Possible reasons for this happening is that you may not have boiled it long enough (full rolling boiling not a simmering boil is needed) or there was a high amount of natural juice in your peppers.
- 6-7 medium/large sweet red peppers (850 grams) chopped fine in food processor
- 10 cups (2010 grams) sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml)water
- 1 cup (250 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 cup (250 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup (83 ml) lemon juice (fresh or store-bought)
- 1-2 tsp hot sauce (I used my own Habanero Hot Sauce)
- 2 pouches/170 ml of liquid pectin (I use Certo brand)
- stock pot
- cutting board
- food processor for finely chopping
- Pot for boiling jars with rack on the inside bottom of the pot (canning pot)
- Bowl to set lids in and pour boiling water over.
- Canning lifter
- Wide neck funnel
- 12- 500ml jars and lids or 24- 250 ml jars and lids
1. Wash the canning jars in hot soapy water and place in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes or place in a 200° oven for 15 minutes to sterilize. Place the lids in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use. Remove the jars from the water or oven and place on a tea towel on the counter until the finished jelly is ready to be added. Place the funnel and the ladle in the boiling water until ready to use.
16. Stir the jelly a couple of times during the 15 minute cooling period. This is allowing the fruit to cook while preventing overcooking the sugar in the jelly. This step also minimizes floating peppers in the jelly.
23. Repeat until all jars are finished being careful not to get jelly on the jar rim. If you do use a clean paper towel dipped in the hot water that was used for sterilizing to wipe the excess jelly off of the rim. Place lid on the jar.
26. Remove the jars and let cool for 24 hours. Check the seal on the jar. The center should have popped inward. It is recommended to remove screw bands before storage. Label and store in a cool dark place.
Add a label and give as a hostess gift. These little jars are the perfect size to use as a condiment over cream cheese and served with crackers or baguette slices. An easy appetizer using this jelly is to whip cream cheese and spread in a small oven proof dish, top with the pepper jelly and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until hot and bubbly. Being careful not to scorch. Serve on a platter with crackers, baguette slices. apple slices, and prosciutto.
For gift giving I like to put labels on my jars. You can make your own or order personalized labels from Evermine online as I did here. I prefer using the waterproof labels for my homemade condiments.