This red pepper jelly is made from peppers harvested from the garden. My niece’s garden, but none the less, it is a beautiful and simple recipe. Pretty enough to give as a gift; however, there are many uses for this jelly that has just the right amount of kick.
I’m always looking for new condiments to jazz up my meals, and I recently discovered red pepper jelly. It’s the perfect way to add a bit of sweetness and heat to any dish.
Making your own jams and jellies is a fun way to get into canning. It’s not as hard as it seems, and the end product is always delicious. This red pepper jelly is an easy recipe and it is perfect for spreading on crackers or toast, or using in recipes.
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Homemade Food Gift Idea
This makes a great gift idea too. You should probably make a big batch of this jelly.
Just add a square of fabric to the top of the jar with a ribbon. When you need a gift for a teacher, or a gift for a co-worker, or even a gift for a hostess, grab a jar of your homemade red pepper jelly that has the right balance of heat and dress it up.
Fall is that time of year when the peppers are ripe in the garden where we live. It is the perfect time to make jalapeño pepper jelly.
What is Pepper Jelly?
This is a jelly made from sweet green, yellow, or red peppers, and a few hot peppers. However, the heat can be adjusted up or down to your liking. While this is a wonderful recipe to use those garden fresh peppers for; make this anytime of the year with fresh produce from your local farmers market or grocery store.
While the main ingredients in pepper jelly are peppers, sugar, and vinegar, which combine with pectin to form the preserve. This can be changed up to use some other sweet additions such as honey, blueberry, peach, cranberry, or even mango. While red and green pepper jellies are the tried-and-true classics; this jelly really has no limits.
Red Pepper Jelly Serving Ideas
Some people just make this to give as gifts during the Holidays. However, there are just so many ways to use this delicious red pepper jelly. Be creative and find even more ways to use this pepper jelly. Here are a few ways to get you started.
Serve as a quick and easy appetizer
Of course, one of the top ways this seems to be enjoyed is over cream cheese. Just spoon some over the top of a block of cream cheese and enjoy with your favorite cracker. You may have been served this scrumptious combination at some time.
I still remember the first time I tried this appetizer with crackers, cream cheese and the pepper jelly. It was a delightful taste surprise. Sometimes, it is amazing how simple ingredients can make such a delicious combination.
People just seem to love this combination of a bit of spice, mixed with the creamy cheese, and the saltiness of the crackers.
What Else Can You Do with This Delicious Preserve?
The ideas are plentiful for this jelly.
Swap out the mustard in a sandwich for this jelly. Great with a ham sandwich.
Use as a glaze for your favorite meat. More recently, we used it as a glaze for a bacon wrapped venison tenderloin.
Use as a dipping sauce condiment for egg rolls, wontons, meat, or vegetables.
Use this atop Brie cheese and serve with your favorite cracker.
Mix a bit into your favorite barbeque sauce to add a bit more kick.
Jalapeno Pepper Jelly is a Perfect Condiment for Sliders
Ham, chicken, turkey, or beef sliders. Use a bun, spread with the jelly and a bit of butter. Add the meat and a slice of good melting cheese.
Brush the tops of the buns with a mixture of melted butter and fresh minced parsley. Bake in the oven until the cheese is hot and melted and the tops of the bun are a bit crispy.
Hamburger topping can be made from mixing a bit of jelly with thousand island salad dressing.
Just imaging a big juicy hamburger, melted cheese, toasted bun, a fresh slice of tomato, a thin-sliced piece of onion, and a good amount of the sauce. Yum!
Add a bit to make your next batch of chili with a bit of sweetness, while still retaining the kick. It just adds a bit of depth to the flavor
Party Appetizer Dip and Sauce
A party appetizer can be made using this as a glaze your favorite little smokies or meatballs. Pour in jar of jelly with the smokies or meatballs in a slow cooker, let heat through and you have an instant appetizer.
When making sloppy Joe’s add a bit of this if you like to kick it up just a notch.
If you have your own pepper jelly on hand, it will help you find things to add this to. I hope you give these recipes a try and make your own red pepper jelly to enjoy.
Red Pepper Jelly Recipe Success
Begin by preparing six 8-ounce jars. They can be sterilized by boiling in water. However, it is extremely easy to run them through the dishwasher on the hot setting. When the cycle is complete, just remove them.
Make sure to sterilize the jar lids and rings as well. Generally, I do boil them in a small pan just before using. I find that the hot water softens the rubber seal, and it tends to seal better.
Sweet Peppers and Hot Peppers for Recipe
Use a few different colors of sweet peppers for beautiful color, as the color of bell peppers will determine the final color of your jelly. However, if you are going for a green shade to the final color of the jelly, stick with the green bell peppers. Alternatively, if you prefer the red bell peppers or yellow hue, use those.
Add a bit of hot pepper. Often jalapeño peppers are used; however, if you enjoy a hotter pepper, use that. (If you prefer, you can stick with all sweet peppers for a mild jelly).
Pro Tip: Wear rubber gloves when working with hot peppers.
Remove the seeds prior to dicing the peppers. Removing the seeds is a great way to reduce the spice a bit. You will be left with a bit milder spicy jelly.
Dice the peppers to a fine mince. If you have a food processor, this is a great task for that kitchen gadget.
When dicing the hot peppers, you may want to use gloves to protect your skin from being burned.
It takes a bit less than 15 minutes to cook up a batch of this homemade pepper jelly.
Once cooked, let the jelly sit and cool for a few minutes skim off any foam film that may form on top; then ladle jam into the jars. Wipe rim before adding a new lid that will be used to seal them.
The Canning Process for Jelly
Fill the sterilized jars to 1/4 inch from the top of the jars with the hot jelly. Wipe rim.
Use new lids and place the flat seals on the jars. Add the bands tightening the bands to just fingertip tight.
In a large pot, process in the hot water bath. Therefore, submerge the jars in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the hot jars. I like to place jars on a hand towel to let cool; usually overnight.
You might notice that some of the bands have loosened up a bit, that is okay. DON’T be tempted to tighten the bands while the jars are hot. (If you do try and tighten the band, it could break the seal that has been formed between the container top and the rubber sea). Just let them cool down.
How to Check to Make Sure the Lids are Sealed
Let the jars cool at room temperature for at least 12 hours (and up to 24 hours) before you test the seals. Check to make sure that the jars have a good seal.
A properly sealed jar lid will not spring up when you press down in the center. Just use a finger to press down on the middle of the lid. When a lid is sealed, it will not give when you press down in the center. This jar will be safe to store.
However, if the lid springs back when touched, and sometimes makes a snap noise, the jar is not sealed. While you can reprocess this, if any jars have not sealed, just refrigerate those, and use them within the next few months.
Store the sealed jars in a cool dark place. Use within a year.
Red Pepper Jelly
- 4 Cups Sweet Pepper Can be yellow, red, or green. Remove the seeds and finely dice
- 1/4 Cup Jalapeno Pepper Adjust the heat to your taste buds. Remove the seeds and finely dice.
- 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2.62 Ounces Sure Jell Powder Pectin Each box is 1.75 ounces. So use 1 and 1/2 boxes.
- 5 Cups Granulated Sugar
- Sterilize six 8-ounce canning jars. They can be sterilized by boiling in water. However, it is extremely easy to run them through the dishwasher on the hot setting. When the cycle is complete, just remove them. Make sure to sterilize the jar lids and rings as well. Generally, I do boil them in a small pan just before using. I find that the hot water softens the rubber seal, and it tends to seal better.
- Remove the seeds prior to dicing the peppers.Dice the peppers to a fine mince. If you have a food processor, this is a great task for that kitchen gadget.
- Place the finely diced peppers into a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and Sure-Jell pectin. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add the granulated sugar and return to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil another 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Once cooked, let the jelly sit and cool for a few minutes skim off any foam film that may form on top before pouring into the jars to seal them.
- Fill the sterilized jars to 1/4 inch from the top.Place the flat seals on the jars. Add the bands tightening the bands to just fingertip tight. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water.
- Carefully remove the jars. I like to place on a hand towel to let cool overnight. Once completely cool, check to make sure that the jars are sealed.
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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.
You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. She learned to crochet when she was just 11 years old and has been crocheting ever since; over 50 years now. Over 40 years ago, she loved her first class in sewing and continues to hone her skills in quilting. Many have enjoyed the handmade gifts over the years. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.