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 cups3 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?