Cooking With Metachat!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hot Pepper Jelly

Okay, I made hot pepper jelly today. I documented every step photographically, because that's just the kind of bored, nerdy, obsessed chick I am. Now, with the magic of technology, I am going to teach you to make hot pepper jelly. Be thrilled. Be excited. Go buy some canning jars. You will also need: 6 cups of sugar, 2 pouches of Certo (liquid fruit pectin), a teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 cups of cider vinegar. And peppers.

First, you will need the raw materials. This is today's haul of peppers from my garden. There were more in the fridge from last week. You're going to need a total of 2 1/2 cups of chopped up peppers, which is quite a lot of peppers. Some people and the real recipe will tell you to use 2 cups of bell peppers and 1/2 cup of hot peppers. Those people are wimps. Use almost all hot peppers.

Now, you have to sterilize the jars. Read the package descriptions. It will confuse you. Basically, you have to wash the jars and lids and then boil them, except don't boil the lids, just almost boil them. I boil the hell out of the jars - handy hint: put a dishtowel in the pot you're boiling them in so they don't crack - and then keep them hot until they're ready to use.

Start by seeding - a vegetable peeler works well for this - and coarsely chopping (that means, big ole chunks) the peppers.

Put the pepper chunks in the food processor. You can use a little of the vinegar if you need it for liquid, like in a blender that freaks out if it doesn't have enough liquid. If you use a food processor like a normal person, you won't need it. I didn't. Dump the pureed peppers, the salt and the vinegar into a saucepan.

This is the part that would be very amusing if I had remembered the camera. This is the part where I realized that I didn't have enough vinegar or sugar, or, for that matter, dry cat food, so I got into my car and went to Ingles and bought those things and returned. Since I didn't photograph this adventure, it's not very interesting. Ah well.

Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat, lower the heat and simmer it, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Take it off the heat and - this is a big PITA - measure it. You need to have 3 cups. If you have less than 3 cups, add a little water. If you have more, throw some out. 3 cups, exactly - this is your gold standard, your goal, your destination. Put it back in the pan and add the sugar.

Bring the sugared mixture to a full rolling boil where you can't stir it down (boil it over a little, too. I always do) and boil it for one minute, stirring constantly. Take it off the heat and add the pectin, mixing well. Let it cool for 3 minutes.

Ladle it into the hot jars and seal them. If you have more jelly than you have jars, put some in a regular jar and refrigerate it. Plan on eating it soon. Meanwhile, put the jars back into the pots you boiled them in before - what, you poured the water out already? Sucks to be you. Refill the pots so that the sealed jars are fully submerged and then bring to a boil and let them boil for 10 minutes.

Take them out of the boiling water with tongs and put them on a nice pink towel. Voila! You have hot pepper jelly to give away for Christmas and eat with cream cheese and crackers or on bagels or however. Wahoooo!!!

Note: This year it wasn't hot enough. Next year I'm leaving those seeds in, baby, and I recommend that you do so as well. The heat of the peppers is in the membranes and seeds, and you want this shit to be hot, not wimpy.

Crossposted from my blog because I just impressed myself so much with the illustrations and all.


At 3:04 PM, Blogger Cindy said...

This is actually a legitimate response and not just spam like the other guy here.

I just came upon your blog by hitting next blog several times, and I like your recipes. I think I will have to try them - especially the crock pot bbq. Just wanted to give a quick compliment to you. :)


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