Easy Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly

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We have officially entered my favorite time of the year…fall! But I live in the south, which means temps are still in the 80s most days, and my summer garden is still throwing peppers at me faster than we can possibly eat them. I’m not a fan of super spicy food anyway, but I do love hot pepper jelly. It reminds me of Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings as a kid when someone would stick a whole block of cream cheese on a platter, smother it with hot pepper jelly, and spread a fan of ritz crackers around it. I know that doesn’t sound the least bit fancy, but boy it’s tasty.

This hot pepper jelly is also the perfect addition to any charcuterie board, and makes a delicious glaze for pork loins.

hot pepper jelly

I have done some canning and preserving over the years, but I am by no means an expert. I’ll admit that I have let myself get intimidated in the past. I mean, I feel like pretty much everyone’s grandmother has horror stories of pressure canners exploding and killing entire villages. But canning does NOT have to be scary!

Don’t hesitate to seek help!

When I first started canning, I turned to my Mama, who has always preserved shelves full of food. She gifted me the trusty Ball Book of Home Preserving. It’s full of recipes for canning everything from jams to pickles. The book had some great recipes for sweet and hot peppers, but I’m the worst at sticking to a recipe. After finding several versions from the internet, the book, and asking family members, I’ve created my version of hot pepper jelly.

I happen to have an overabundance of jalapeños at the moment. I’ve made salsa, jalapeño poppers, fire cider, and pickled peppers, so it’s jelly’s turn to shine. Pepper jelly has a spicy, tangy, sour flavor, like a kicked up version of my cucumber jelly.

Easy Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Canning Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 6 jars

Equipment

  • jelly jars, lids, rings
  • water bath canner or large pot

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp calcium powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers (I removed the stems and used a food processor to chop) *Remove seeds in half of the peppers if you don't want the jelly to be as hot.
  • 1/3 cup bell (or in my case banana) peppers
  • 1 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp pectin I use Pamona's
  • 2 1/2 cup raw cane sugar Or 2 cups honey

Instructions

Prepare the Jars

  • Wash jars, lids, and bands in hot water.
  • Place jars, lids, and bands in 175° degree oven while you cook the jelly (at least 10 minutes). This is the way my great-grandma does it to ensure a good seal, and I think I'll just stick with her methods.

Calcium Water

  • Combine 1/2 tsp calcium powder (included in Pamona's pectin box) with 1/2 c water
  • Place in jar with lid & shake until dissolved
  • *keeps in refridgerator for several weeks, or can be frozen for long-term storage.*

Cook the Jelly

  • Combine the peppers, vinegar, and 2 tsp of calcium water in a large pot, and bring to a boil.
  • Add 1/2 tsp butter to the pepper mixture to stop foaming
  • Combine 1 1/2 tsp pectin with 2 1/2 cups of sugar (or 2 cups honey).
  • Add the sugar/pectin mixture to the peppers and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve. Bring to a full boil, then remove from heat.

Water Bath Canning

  • Remove the jars from the oven and fill to 1/4" from the top.
    (Using a funnel makes this part much easier)
  • Screw on 2-piece lids
  • Place filled jars in boiling water to cover and boil for 10 minutes.
  • Remove jars from water and allow to cool. You'll know you have a good seal when the lids are sucked down and don't pop when you push on them.

Video

I love to give homemade items for birthdays and Christmas, and this hot pepper jelly is the perfect, colorful addition to any gift basket!

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