Thursday, October 7, 2010

Janan's Jalapeno Jelly

I didn't get many jalapeno peppers this year. Summer was late, and then it never did get really hot this year (plus, our visiting Bambi reached his nose down inside the plant cages and ate the tops of the plants, spitting out deer-slobbered chewed peppers, until we finally got a tall enough fence up). But I did get a small bowlful, so started thinking about what to do with them.

Last year, I planted extra jalapenos, and then smoke-dried them into chipotles (tutorial here), enough to last for 3-4 years. I still have a couple jars of nacho slices, and besides, there weren't enough this year to bother getting out the pressure canner. I've run out of jalapeno hot sauce, but like my cayenne and habanero/orange hot sauces better anyway.

And then, my friend Janan in Tennessee posted a beautifully staged photo of a cracker with a smear of cream cheese, topped with a dollop of jalapeno jelly, on her FaceBook page. Bingo! It looked sooo good, I asked for her recipe. She was kind enough to send it to me. And when it turned out as good as it looked, I asked if I could put it on my blog. "Go ahead," she said, "make me famous."

Janan's Jalapeno Jelly

2½ cups roughly chopped peppers (I use approx. 20 smaller jalapenos = 1½ c. jalapenos, + 1 c. bell peppers)
2 cups apple cider vinegar (divided)
7 cups sugar
2 packets liquid pectin
optional - a couple of drops green food coloring

WEARING GLOVES! (I've been working my way through a box of latex surgical gloves for the past six years, and probably still have enough to last me a couple more years - definitely a worthwhile investment), remove stems, seeds, and inside ribs from jalapenos. In a blender, liquefy peppers with one cup vinegar. Combine with sugar and remaining cup of vinegar. Heat to boiling, then continue to boil for 10 minutes. Add pectin and, stirring constantly, continue to boil one minute more. Remove from heat, and stir in food coloring if using. Fill hot, sterilized jars to 1/4" headspace, seal, and process in a hot water bath 10 minutes (I did mine 15 minutes, since I'm at 5,000 feet altitude).

Janan says this recipe makes 10 half-pints, but I average six to seven. Even so, mine does have the perfect balance of heat and sweet, and the jelly, while firm enough to hold its shape in the jar, is still "spreadable" too. My jalapenos averaged a little over 2", which I figured were on the small side - Janan said hers were more like 4 inches. I've since edited the recipe include my notes over the years.

In the photo above, the jelly is on the right (I did add the food coloring), and then a few jars of tomatillos on the left. There's more information about growing and canning tomatillos here, in my post on the Simple Green Frugal Co-op blog.


Gardenatrix said...

This looks great!

And yes on the gloves. Double, triple and quadruple yes. It's the Anaheims that get me. They look so innocent, and then for two days my hands are burning, no matter how much I wash them. And then I suddenly know exactly how many times I thoughtlessly brush a lash from my eyes and whatnot through the day. Ow!

Do as I say, and not as I do: gloves, people! Gloves!

Annodear said...

Very pretty! And sounds very yummy, too :-)

stacey said...

Oh jalapeno husband would love this, thanks for sharing x