Apricot and Chili Jelly

I think I have always enjoyed the mixture of sweet and hot. Hot fruit chutneys, jellies and sauces often accompany my meals and constitute a big part of my seasonal preserves. Since apricot is often paired with savoury dishes and since my favourite pork roast is stuffed with apricots (see the recipe here), combining apricot and chili wasn’t a big risk to take when I first made it last Summer. Apricot resists even the hottest chili addition and doesn’t lose its recognisable tanginess, so this year I labelled one batch as “medium hot “and another as “very hot”. Apart from the pork dishes, the jelly is very good with roast chicken and I often use it as a toast or sandwich spread.

Since every pepper variety is different and everyone has different preferences (or chili resistance level), it is difficult to say exactly how many chilies should be used. Adjusting is not easy since the jelly tastes stronger when it’s still hot (and it should be put still hot into the jars). The best idea is to stick to the same chili variety, make a small first batch, put aside a couple of tablespoons and taste the mixture when it has cooled down. It will be too late for this batch, but it will give and idea of how the following ones should be modified. Needless to say, the below amounts should be treated rather as approximate.

Preparation: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 kg apricots

300 – 400 g caster sugar

200 ml cider vinegar (4,5%)

2 flat tablespoons salt

6 medium hot long Turkish “aci sivri” peppers (about 10 cm long, mine were green this time)

1 1/2 package pectin in powder (about 65-70 g)

Wash the apricots and remove the kernels.

Core the peppers, discard the stems and wash thoroughly removing the seeds (or not, if you want a very hot jelly).

Mix the peppers in a food processor. Add the apricots and mix thoroughly.

Combine the mixed fruit with the remaining ingredients in a big pan.

Bring to boil on high heat and, stirring, keep boiling for about 20 minutes.

Taste it and adjust the taste adding the vinegar, the sugar or the chili if needed (bearing in mind the chili and the vinegar taste is stronger when the jelly is hot). The most important is that the mixture doesn’t have a very sour taste (the apricot is a tangy fruit).

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.

Apricot and Chili Jelly on Punk Domestics

19 thoughts on “Apricot and Chili Jelly

  1. Mr. Three-Cookies

    Definitely making hot jelly or jam this week. I really want to have it instead of just reading about it and imagining:) BTW apologies for the article I wrote, hope the thought gets out of your head soon!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Wonderful idea! If you need any help or tips, I will be very happy to answer all of your questions! Hot jams, sauces and jellies are very versatile, I hope you will like them. Please let me know how it turns out!
      Don’t worry, I was exaggerating, as usually… I have already seen similar horrors on tv!

  2. Charles

    Your jellies look lovely, and really well set. I never tried making jelly before (only jam) but a lot of people I know who’ve tried have real problems making them set. Do you still get that chilli “kick” from the jelly, or is it a more relaxed warmth? I can imagine it’s delicious – I would think it would go really well with Antillean Habanero chillies (they’re what I always use for my harissa), if you can get these. They’re very strong but have a delicious fragrant taste and smell!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Charles! People who told you about the setting problems probably made sweet jellies with fruit which is very high in pectin (e.g. red currants) and who haven’t added any pectin. With the powdered pectin the setting problem never occurs, unless you don’t add enough pectin (but the instructions on the package are very useful).
      I use pectin even with jams. I want to be sure my jams are well set. Pectin is also very useful as a sauce thickener. Now that I think of it, I should buy pectin in bulk 😉
      The “kick” is still there, I make sure I add enough chilies (I prefer more chilies than not enough). Thank you for the tip, I will try to look for this variety here. Until now I have used the bird’s eye chili from Thailand, the Turkish aci sivri and a Hungarian chili very similar to the Turkish one; the Hungarian one was particularly aromatic…

  3. Greg

    I love this combo of sweet and hot too. I still haven’t done a jam I needed to buy pectin for. This looks great.

  4. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals

    I always admire people who take the time to make jelly and chutney, it seems like such a labor intensive process, though I am sure the end result is totally worth it in your case! Hot and sweet can be such a wonderful combination!

  5. Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    I was wondering if I eat something that is spicy and sweet combination. And I realized I can’t think of any because I don’t eat something spicy as much as others. I can imagine me eating this jelly on top of something and feeling it’s spicy but it’s hard to stop eating because it’s sweet. Spicy or sweet food can be quite addicting, and this has both!! Looks delicious!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Nami! Exactly! I also think the combination of sweet and hot is addictive. It depends of course on how hot you like your dishes (and I think you don’t like very hot ones). From my experience adding something sweet is also a good way to get some people used to hot dishes.

  6. Shilpa

    Wow! Apricot and chilli…love the sound of this combination…as always, you have exotic combinations…I am going to make this this weekend. There is something just right about making your own jellies, jams and chutneys…transforms me into the ‘domestic goddess’ avatar…I find it quite tricky and you seem to do it so often…Well done to you!

    -Shilpa

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Shilpa! It is much easier than you think… Apricots are particularly simple to handle, since no peeling is necessary and kernels removal is easy. I have been making preserves for many years, but only a couple of jam jars a year, since I never was a big jam eater. Two years ago I discovered the infinite world of pickles, sauces, hot jellies and other savoury preserves and I have been hooked on it since then. Although I have never managed to copy some industrial jars (for example the Patak’s hot mango chutney… my favourite!).

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