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
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.