Viewing post #1078772 by Mistirose
|Sweet or Hot pepper Jelly Recipe
Uses a simple Water bath canner
Yield: 5 jars (8 oz each)
3/4 lb to 1 pound of Peppers (see step 1)
6 cups sugar (or other sweeteners - see step 6)
2 cups of 5% apple cider vinegar (if you don't have any, use plain white 5% vinegar). OR, you may use an equivalent amount of lemon juice, instead.
3 packets of dry pectin (or 3 pouches of liquid pectin) See this page for types of pectin and where to get it.
Select filled but tender, firm, crisp peppers. Remove and discard any soft, diseased, spotted and rusty pods. Select small peppers, preferably 1 inch to 1 and Â¼-inch in diameter. Larger peppers are often too fibrous and tough.
You can use jalapeno, chili or any peppers you like!
An average of 1 pound is needed per batch of 5 jars (8 oz each). For reference, a bushel of peppers weighs 25 pounds.
Wash the jars and lids
This is a good time to get the jars ready! The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Otherwise put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I just put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" (available from target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) to pull them out.
Get the water bath canner heating up
Rinse out your canner, fill it with hot tap water and put it on the stove on low heat (for now) so it will be ready (but not boiled away) by the time you are ready for it later.
Rinse peppers, remove seeds and stems
Pop the peppers into a blender or food processor and puree them. You may need to add 1 cup of the vinegar now to get the blender to work properly with them!
Measure out the sweetener
Depending upon which type of jelly you're making (sugar, no-sugar, Stevia (but you will have to experiment with amount, each brand of Stevia is a different concentration), or Splenda, or a mix of sugar and Stevia (or Splenda) or fruit juice) you will need to use a different amount of sugar and type of pectin. The precise measurements are found in each and every box of pectin sold. It is easiest to use a no-sugar needed pectin, because you can always use as much sugar or sweetener as you want then.
NOTE: To get best results (a firm jelly) - I highly recommend using a no-sugar pectin AND sugar. Pomona pectin is particularly good for this
Nutrasweet (aspartame) will NOT work - it breaks down during heating).
Stevia sustitutes 1 to 3 with sugar and if you prefer, Splenda (sucralose) substitutes exactly with sugar. BUT even the manufacturers of Splenda will tell you that you get best results if you just use a 50-50 mix; half regular sugar and half Stevia or Splenda.
Sugar not only affects the sweetness, but also the color and flavor. It does not affect the preserving or spoilage properties - that has to do with acid and the processing method.
you can use "no sugar" pectin in place of "low sugar" pectin - you can still add sugar or other sweeteners.
Honey or agave may be used - 75% of the sugar amount (use 3/4 cup for each 1 cup of sugar)
Mix the 2.5 (two and a half) packets of dry pectin with about 1/2 cup of sugar or other sweetener and set aside.
Cook the peppers, vinegar and sugar / sweetener
Combine the pepper puree, the remaining apple cider vinegar and the remaining sweetener in a pot and heat to a boil over medium heat, while stirring periodically, to prevent burning. Boil for 10 minutes, continuing to stir as needed to prevent burning.
Note: The recipes that were first developed and tested (in labs) used vinegar. The commonly used acids in home canning are vinegar, lemon and lime juice. Lemon and lime juices are more acidic than vinegar, but have less effect on flavor. Consequently, you may safely substitute an equal amount of lemon juice for vinegar in recipes using vinegar.
After boiling for 10 minutes, add the pectin from step 7, return the mix to a boil and then boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Skim any excessive foam
Testing for "jell" (thickness)
I keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency I like, then I know the jam is ready. If not, I mix in a little more pectin (about 1/3 to 1/2 of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute. Get a few jars out of the dishwasher (still hot) and get your funnel, lid lifter and ladle ready. I put an old towel down - it makes clean up easier.
Fill the jars and put the lid and rings on
Fill them to within Â¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.
Put the lids on each jar and seal them by putting a ring on and screwing it down snugly (but not with all your might, just "snug").
Process the jars in the boiling water bath
Keep the jars covered with at least 2 inches of water. Keep the water boiling. In general, boil them for 10 minutes. I say "in general" because you have to process (boil) them longer at higher altitudes than sea level, or if you use larger jars, or if you did not sanitize the jars and lids right before using them. The directions inside every box of pectin will tell you exactly. The directions on the pectin tend to be pretty conservative. Clemson University says you only need to process them for 10 minutes. I usually hedge my bets and start pulling them out after 10 minutes, and the last jars were probably in for 12. I rarely have a jar spoil, so it must work.
Note: Some people don't even boil the jars; they just ladle it hot into hot jars, but putting the jars in the boiling water bath REALLY helps to reduce spoilage! To me, it makes little sense to put all the working into making the jam and then not to process the jars to be sure they don't spoil!
Remove and cool the jars - Done!
The contents should "set" or gel within 24hours.
Once cooled, they're ready to store. I find they last about 18 months. After that, the get darker in color and start to get runny. They still seem safe to eat, but the flavor is bland. So eat them in the first 12 to 18 months after you prepare them!
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