Hot Pepper Jam

November 12, 2012 · 6 comments

I made hot pepper jelly for the first time last year. The problem was that I didn’t put up nearly enough, and it was gone way too fast.

This year, I (sort of) used the hot pepper jelly recipe from the Pomona’s Universal Pectin* directions, and I subbed our own honey for sugar. The resulting jam is spicy but not crazy hot. It did separate out a bit when set, so that the seeds and pulp floated up to the top, but that hasn’t bothered me, and this method was way easier than straining the mixture.

Hot pepper jam goes extraordinarily well with fresh chévre (or cream cheese) on crackers. I hoping eat a lot of this stuff at home, share some with friends and family, and also bring a few jars to the next meeting of the Portland Preservation Society canned food swap (if I can swing it schedule-wise).

*I profess my love for Pomona’s here.

 Hot Pepper Jam**

yeild: about 8 cups

3 cups finely chopped hot peppers for a spicy jam or hot peppers/sweet peppers for a milder jam (I used a combination of cayennes, jalapeños, and big bombs. I chopped them up with a big knife, but a food processor would work just as well, and you’d avoid the unpleasantly tingly, burned fingers that I had for several hours afterward.)
3 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups honey
3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
4 teaspoons calcium water (the packet comes with the Pomona’s pectin)

Sterilize canning jars, lids, and rings.

In a large pot, bring chopped peppers and apple cider vinegar to a boil. Simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add calcium water and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix the pectin powder with 1/2 cup honey.

Bring the pepper mixture back to a boil. Add the honey-pectin mixture and stir well until dissolved. Add the rest of the honey and stir well. Return to a boil, and then remove the pot from the heat.

Fill jars with jam, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars, top with lids, and screw on rings until “finger-tight”. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. When cooled, check to make sure the lids have sealed.

**I’m calling it jam even though the Pomona’s directions call it jelly. I was under the impression that jelly doesn’t have seeds/pulp. Is that the correct distinction?


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

abhaya November 15, 2012 at 5:36 am

Lovely jam! I make something similar called Habenero Gold it has a few a few tiny dried apricot chunks as well as some red onion in addition to the peppers. I have found that if you flip those little jars a few times during the setting process the pretty confetti gets suspended throughout the jam rather than settling at the top.

Really have been enjoying your site, great photos and inspiration. Thank you!


PAMELA BOYER July 8, 2015 at 11:48 am



beth October 4, 2013 at 7:30 pm

just had a friday evening hankering to do some canning, so I made this recipe with a mix of cayennes, jalapenos, and habaneros picked out of the garden by flashlight. delicious! thanks for sharing.


Raelynn August 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Has anyone had trouble with your jelly not jelling? I followed this recipe, using Pomona’s pectin, but mine is still super runny (still warm from the canner… does it thicken on cooling more??). Thanks!


Raelynn August 23, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Oh — one thing I did differently…. I strained the seeds and bits of pepper out to make it more “jelly” style. Would this have affected the jelling??? Still really runny and it’s not hot anymore…! :(


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