Hot Pepper Jelly

Since I discovered a passion for preserving about two years ago, pepper jelly jars have been occupying a big space in my pantry. I don’t remember where I took my basic recipe from, but it’s very easy and no matter how much I modify it, it always works and preserves very well. The pepper jelly originates from the Southern United States. It can be prepared as well with sweet peppers as with hot chilies, but a combination of both is what I make most often. Pepper  jellies spice up every dish, cold or warm, I use them as a spread for toast, in sandwiches, on grilled meat and fish, with rice, noodles, mixed them into sauces… In short, if you like a mixture of sweet and hot, make a small batch and see the difference with all the industrially made chili sauces, spreads and pastes you have been buying.

Pepper jelly can be made with any pepper or chili variety, however the more aromatic the pepper, the better the jelly will be. The jelly you see here is the most recent one I made with a mixture of excellent hot and sweet peppers my friend A. very kindly brought me from Hungary (the green one is hot). They were extremely aromatic and flavoursome and made these jelly jars very special, not only tastewise. Thank you so much A.!

The below amounts can be modified according to your preference, but bear in mind the cold jelly is less hot,  the vinegar’s taste is less strong too and the consistency thickens while the jelly cools.

The jelly can be frozen, refrigerated or preserved (see below) and kept for at least a year in the pantry.

Preparation: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

200g sweet peppers

200g moderately hot peppers

200g caster sugar

250 ml cider vinegar (4,5%)

40 g powdered pectin

1 flat tablespoon salt

Core the peppers, discard the stems and wash thoroughly removing the seeds (apart from the hot pepper seeds, if you want your jelly to be hotter; I removed only half of those).

Mix the peppers in a food processor.

Combine them with the remaining ingredients in a big pan.

Bring to boil on high heat and, stirring, keep boiling for about 15 minutes.

Taste it and adjust the taste adding the vinegar, the sugar or the chili if needed.

Add the pectin and, still stirring, keep on the heat for 10 more minutes.

/At this point you can (after the jelly has cooled down) either freeze it, or keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or process it in the jars, as described below, and store it in your pantry for at least a year./

Spoon the jelly, still hot, into sterilised jars. Cover with lids. Leave the jars to cool.

Place the cool jars into a big pan, bottom lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking), cover up with hot – but not boiling- water to the level just below the lid. Bring to boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 20 minutes.
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the jelly and don’t forget to mark the date.

In a dry place, with a moderate temperature, the jars should keep for at least a year.

Pepper Jelly on Punk Domestics

32 thoughts on “Hot Pepper Jelly

    1. sissi Post author

      Robert-Gilles, I am addicted to sweet and hot flavours’ combination, so I’m sure if your wife likes it too, she would love it!

    1. sissi Post author

      Yes, you are right, they are both on the same pantry shelf! The main difference with the strawberry sauce is the lack of pectin (and of course aji panca, which is very special). Here, even if I wanted to have a sauce consistency, some pectin is necessary to bind the ingredients together. Actually the basic pepper jelly can be a starter to develop other jelly/sauce recipes (I don’t remember what I have already posted, but I also make pineapple & chili jelly for example, I must post it one day too).

        1. sissi Post author

          It sounds like my kind of preserve! If you have a recipe, I would be interested :-)

          1. Mr. Three-Cookies

            Unfortunately no. My grandmother passed away and I don’t think my mum knows. I used to help my grandmother make it but that was long time ago. I will find a comparable recipe, sooner or later.

            1. sissi Post author

              I’m sorry. My grandmother, who died, also had some precious recipes (especially one cake I loved). I regret I haven’t asked her, since no one knows her recipes now… I will look for some pepper chutney recipes. Thank you for the idea.

    1. sissi Post author

      Thank you Shaheen. The strawberry hot sauce is also my favourite. Unfortunately it is not as versatile and neutral. If the strawberry sauce doesn’t go well with something I eat (I find it difficult with some varieties of fried/grilled fish), I know the pepper jelly will do!

  1. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals

    Sissi, you have such fresh take on the everyday food we all use on a regular basis. Hot Pepper Jelly sounds a lot more sophisticated than Grape Jelly. Wish I have it on the toast I am eating right now!

    1. sissi Post author

      Jeno, thank you for this kind comment. The only thing I am sure of is that my pepper jelly would make your mouth burn a bit 😉
      By the way, when will I read your new posts? I have been missing your weeknite meals!

  2. Cooking gallery

    Wow, hot pepper jelly, this is new to me, but I can imagine it tastes wonderful and a great addition to savoury dishes…! I always rely on my MIL making her homemade plum mousse or orange jam ;). I like using these for roasted duck/chicken. I am sure this hot pepper jelly would taste gorgeous together with roasted duck too :D)!!!

    1. sissi Post author

      Thank you CG, I also like plum jam for different roasted meats (pork too!). The pepper jelly goes well with almost everything.

  3. Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    Sissi, there’s always a surprise coming to your blog. Hot pepper jelly is totally unheard of. Toast with hot pepper jelly… Oh sandwich is the good one. Very, very interesting! It’ll be very interesting to see what’s in your fridge/pantry and then see what you create. You create something unexpected from the pantry!

    1. sissi Post author

      Thank you Nami for the compliments! Believe me, when I first made the pepper jelly I was sure it was famous and sold all around the USA! (Almost like mayonnaise 😉 ) Then I was surprised to learn from an American friend that it was really a very typical Southern recipe.
      You would be scared looking at my pantry and even more scared looking at my fridge! Hot pepper jelly goes perfectly well with many Asian recipes (tempura for example, dumplings, deep-fried chicken or even American deep fried chicken).

  4. Shilpa

    I have tasted chilli jam, never of jelly and have never made one before…I can imagine myself having it on toast with a cuppa…or maybe drizzled over steam veg….I have to give this a go…Is pectin easily available in stores? I have never made anything like this before….but really fancy making this. You are very clever Sissi…I look forward to reading your posts…

    -Shilpa

    1. sissi Post author

      Thank you Shilpa for all the compliments! I always look forward to reading your posts and your comments too :-)
      If you don’t find pectin (but I think you should, it’s something quite basic for making jams… I always use it if I want thick jams), you can always use the special sugar for jam making (it already contains pectin).
      Do you live in the UK? I found this: http://www.silverspoon.co.uk/home/products/sugar-and-syrups-for-cooking/pectin
      I hope it helps!

  5. Bea

    Piekny ma kolor! Dostalam jakies 2-3 lata temu od kolezanki podobna, ale z czerwonej papryki, tyle tylko ze baaaardzo slodka byla :/ Niestety z powyzszego powodu nie udalo mi sie jej skonsumowac 😉
    Sissi, a Ty pektyny uzywasz tej z ostatniego linka ktory podajesz? Czy tej ‘tutejszej’?

    1. sissi Post author

      Dzieki Bea! Moje sa troche slodkie, ale probuje zawsze osiagnac rownowage miedzy cukrem a octem. Sa zawsze troche albo bardzo ostre, wiec bardzo lubie!
      Nie, nie, ja tylko dalam linka, bo znalazlam na stronie brytyjskiej. Kupuje pektyne albo w Migros albo w Coopie.

  6. Bea

    Aaa, czyli taka jak moja w takim razie (albo kupuje te ‘bio’ w sklepie ze zdrowa zywnoscia; wiesz, ta moja kolezanka uzyla tyle cukru co papryki, wiec zareczam Ci, ze bylo bardzo slodkie 😉

  7. Giulietta @ Alterkitchen

    I love sweet-savory jams or jellies… especially to eat with cheeses or with meat.
    Last year I made green tomatoes jam (from my garden), pumpkin jam and some quince jam with mustard seeds in it (perfect with boiled meat, or Bollito)! Next week I’ll make cucumbers jam… I don’t eat cucumber and I have a ton of them in my garden (and no one who eats them.. my parents will be away).
    I’d like your hot pepper jelly, too! :)

    1. sissi Post author

      Hi Giulia! I also make every year preserves with green tomatoes, but rather savoury and/or hot (I’ll post them soon). I have already seen the green tomatoes jam recipes though, but never tried. How lucky you are to have your own cucumbers. Cucumber is one of my favourite vegetables… I eat tons of it. I am happy you make lots of preserves too! We might exchange recipes :-)

  8. Greg

    I’m loving your blog obviously. This is so popular here in the South, you’re right. And I still haven’t made it. I need to do so when my peppers start coming in.

    1. Sissi Post author

      What a surprise! You are the first person I know who knows the pepper jelly! So you live in the Southern part of the US? From what I have heard it looks like the perfect place to have great food :-) I have different pepper jellies several times a week, they taste great with everything and I still wonder why this preserve is not more popular…

      1. Nyxchik

        I’m in the southern US too and love pepper jelly! Here it is popular as a spread with crackers and cream cheese. Just the right blend of spicy, sweet and creamy.
        I have never made it either but your post has inspired me~ there are lots of baby hot and sweet peppers in my garden that will be ready soon… Thanks for the post!
        ~nyx

        1. Sissi Post author

          Thank you and welcome to my blog! I am very happy to meet another pepper jelly fan :-)

  9. Zsuzsa

    Sissi, I simply LOVE red pepper jelly. With crackers and creamcheese. YUM! Unfortunately I can’t eat the hot ones anymore. I have been thinking about making a few jars from our Hungarian peppers, fall is in the air and the peppers are turning red. Your recipe inspired me and I think I will try it. :)

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Zsuzsa! Hot pepper jelly is excellent also because it can be made of any peppers. I admit the most precious jars I have are those made with peppers brought by my dear friend from Hungary… I use the red (kapia), the white pepper and also the light green which is slightly spicy. And of course I use different Turkish peppers too. Good luck and if you have any questions, write to me!

  10. Jamie

    I adore this but I found when I made it it had a stronger vinegar taste than ones ive had before did I do something wrong I followed the recipe exactly

    1. Sissi Post author

      Hi, Jamie. Maybe your vinegar was stronger? I always use 4,5% vinegar. On the other hand, everyone has different taste preferences, so maybe you simply prefer sweeter jellies?

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