I have been see piles of these bright Red Peppers (capsicums) in the farmer’s market .We love these sweet and crunchy peppers in salads, in pizza, pasta , or just grilled. Pepper jelly is lovely with cream cheese on crackers, bagels or toast . I make it a little sweet , a bit tart and with a hint of spice. This flavorful jelly is perfect for glazing that oven roasted chicken or in a sandwich. Properly canned jelly jars stay fresh for months and are perfect to open up when the fall rolls into winter.
Bell Peppers come in such a wide variety of colors , red , green orange , yellow , purple and black to name a few . These are perfect to add a instant burst of color to any dish without changing the character of the dish . If that isn’t all, the peppers are loaded with vitamins A & C and folic acid as well as fiber . As luck would have it red Bell Peppers pack the most punch. With its vibrant red color and sweet crunchy texture this is indeed the star of the lot. Isn’t that wonderful ?
A word on preparing the jars
If using specialized canning supplies follow the canning instructions to sterilize the jars . If not follow these instructions . Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water . Boil enough water in a large deep pot to immerse the bottles in with about 1 to 2 ” water on top . Keep a rack in the pot so that the glass jars won’t be touching the bottom of the pot . Bring it to a rolling boil and, immerse the clean bottles in the water and boil for 10 minutes . Dip the tips of washed and cleaned tongs in the boiling water for a minute for added insurance . Dip the lids in water and leave it for a minute or so . Take the lids out with the tongs and dry with a clean towel and set aside . Turn off the heat and keep the bottles submerged in water .
Cut the peppers and discard the core . Chop into 1″ size pieces . Place the pieces in a blender and pulse into a coarse mixture. There is no need to add water as peppers contain over 90% water by weight .In another bowl mix 3 tablespoons of pectin with 1/4 C sugar and set aside . Pectin is a bit controversial among home canning purists. The jelly can be made without using pectin but that would increase cooking time greatly and a great portion of the nutrients get cooked out . I would recommend using pectin , especially if you can find a non GMO brand . It helps the jelly set faster thus reducing the cook time . Reduced cook time means less nutrient loss while cooking . Pectin is commercially available , but can be made at home too ..More on that later .
In a large pot , preferably a deep one to reduce splatter , mix the pepper puree , 2 cups of sugar, vinegar, salt, and the pepper flakes .
Bring the mixture to a vigorous boil over high heat . Let it boil for 5 minutes stirring occasionally . Reduce the heat if you have a high output burner to prevent the mixture from burning .
Reduce the heat , add the pectin while stirring the jelly . Increase the heat and bring the jelly back to vigorous boil stirring constantly . Keep boiling for one minute and turn off the heat .By this time the mixture would have thickened slightly .
Take the waiting jars out of the water drain and quickly dry them by inverting on clean kitchen towels . Pour the jelly into prepared jars , leaving about 1/4″ space on top . Give a gentle shake or run a clean sharp knife along the sides to remove any trapped air bubbles . Screw the lids on tightly and process .
Processing the jars
As previously follow the manufacturer’s instructions if using specialized canning supplies . Put the jars upright in the hot water with at least 1″ water covering the top of the jars . Boil for about 10 to 15 minutes . Turn off the heat , using tongs remove the jars and set aside to cool on a kitchen towel . As the jars cool hot the thermal changes creates a vacuum on top and the tops seal tight . A word of caution though, process only the filled jars. If a jar is only partially full do not process it. Instead let it cool and refrigerate.
The jars can be cooled and kept in the fridge for up to a month, while properly processed jars will stay fresh for months. This recipe makes enough jelly for three 8 oz jars .
I like these on one of my favorite breads – Berne Brot
Red Pepper Jelly
- 3 Large Red Pepper 500 gms
- 1 Tsp Red Chili Flakes To Taste
- 3 Tbsp Pectin See Notes
- 2 1/4 C Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
- Sterilize the jars an have them waiting .
- Clean , core and chop the red pepper into 1" pieces . Coarsely blend the peppers . Mix pectin with 1/4 C sugar and set aside.
- Mix 2 c sugar pepper , chili flakes , salt and vinegar in a large pot . Bring the mix to a rolling boil . Keep the pepper mix boiling for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat and add pectin mixture while constantly stirring the mix . Bring back to rolling boil and boil for 2 minutes . Keep stirring to prevent the mixture from adhering to the bottom , The mix should thicken a bit .
- Turn off heat and pour into waiting jars . Cover and process the jars . If not processing set aside to cool and refrigerate once cooled . Once opened store in the fridge.
- Try the recipe with green chilies and green peppers . you will have to increase the sugar a little .
- The jelly is sweet, reduce the sugar to 1 1/2 Cups if desired.
- If not using pectin take 1 to 2 green apples. Clean , core and slice them and add about 1 1/2 cups of sliced apples to the blender along with the bell peppers. Increase the vinegar by 2 Tbsp and the cooking time will be a little longer.