Friday, October 2, 2009

How to Make Pepper Jelly

It's really quite easy! See...

First take your peppers and clean them off so they are nice and pretty.

Then chop the peppers into small chunks.

Mix in a blender with some cider vinegar and apple juice. (The Boyo loves this part) Then store the puree in the fridge overnight. We actually have a separate fridge for this, as the soaking peppers will flavor everything in your fridge. Two years ago we had pepper flavored string cheese - and the package was still closed when we soaked the peppers!

The next day (today) we take the puree and strain it to get all of the yummy pepper juice. Toss the pulp away, or make it into a jam if you please.

Add pectin, sugar and a pinch of salt and bring it to a roiling boil.

Put the finished soupy liquid in jars and boiling water can them.

Ta Da! From the bottom up we have Purple Pepper Jelly, then a Red Pepper Mix Jelly (King of the North and Buran with a Hot Portugal for spice), then Chervena Chushka Pepper Jelly, and on top Sweet Orange Pepper Jelly! I've got 8 jars of each. The Sweet Orange and Chervena Chushka are gelling up quite nicely and are ready for eating any time (like an after dinner snack tomorrow night!)

The Purple didn't gel up very well. See, I made that batch first and couldn't find my recipe book, so I did it from memory. Turns out my memory gets a little hazy from year to year, and I added the sugar before the pectin... a big no-no in the canning world. So it's more of a syrup. I think if it doesn't gel up by next week I'll open them all up and re-work it to get it to gel. It's too pretty to use as a syrup. Although the Boyo used some of the leftover of it for dipping sauce for his chicken at dinner tonight. Turns out to be a VERY tasty idea!
So, you see. Easy Peasy! Come Thanksgiving, we'll put out a jar with cream cheese and enjoy!

I'm also running a grand experiment this year. I didn't have time to turn all of my peppers into jelly (I've got a Hazardous Materials course to do this weekend) So I only did these four batches. I cut up the other peppers into the big chunks and put them in the freezer. There's enough pepper parts in there to make two more batches of red, four batches of green, and maybe even another batch of purple!
In a week or two I'll try a batch with the frozen peppers and see how that works. I also had leftover juice from the two red batches and the orange batch. I combined those with about a 1/4 cup of apple juice (to get the right proportion) and have frozen that mixture as well. If these methods work, it will mean that next year I won't have to spend three or four solid days making pepper jelly! I'll be able to spread it out a bit and do it when I actually have time!
And freshly made pepper jelly in the middle of winter!?! Imagine the possibilities!
More Later
PS. I've got about six dozen extra Jalapenos if anybody needs some! Let me know...please!
Maybe I can freeze those too... Hmmm.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Sure... you make it look easy! The purple is really beautiful! Of course, they all are...can't wait to taste them.