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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Our First Jelly- Red Jalapeno

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our First Jelly- Red Jalapeno

We are not very big jelly eaters. Maybe every once in a while we will eat it, but not enough to get all crazy about canning jelly. We ended up with a whole lot of jalapeno peppers from our garden and our amazingly awesome neighbor, Bree, brought over more. I didn't know what to do with all of these peppers, we are not big pepper eaters either! Good grief, so many peppers, so little eating going on! My sister and brother in law are huge spicy food lovers. In the past, I have bought Jalapeno Jelly for them from a friend of mine. So, why not make something jalapeno for them? 
     My first idea was actually more like a jalapeno syrup you pour over a cream cheese bar and eat on crackers. For the life of me, I couldn't find a recipe for it, and no one I talked to in my canning groups really even knew what I was talking about... But I know I have eaten it somewhere before. After about a week of asking and researching, I finally gave up. Jalapeno Jelly it is! 
     I found a recipe on Taste Of Home that I thought looked pretty easy. Zoey and I got to work! I sliced up all the jalapenos (with gloves on) but we could not get our hand crank chopped to dice them up in small pieces. We went ahead and boiled them sliced. Zoey added all the ingredients, including some red food coloring. She did not think it looked very yummy in it's normal light yellowish color. I poured the extremely hot liquid into the jars. We did not strain the jalapenos from the liquid, like the recipe calls for. We strained the jalapeno slices into 2 of our jelly jars and then added the jelly liquid over them. After all of our jars were filled, we water bathed them for 5 minutes.
     The jelly set perfectly, except for the 2 we left the jalapeno slices in. They were more syrupy. Yea! Maybe we figured out how to make the yummy syrup to pour over cream cheese? We ended up with 8 jelly jars. (I don't even know what size they are. They were given to us from a friend on Facebook.) There was a tiny bit left over that would not fit into the jars. We poured it into a small bowl and placed in the refrigerator. After it had set, we tried a little on toast with butter. I was really surprised; it was good! Not too spicy, but sweet with a kick to it on the end! 

     I gave my sister her jar, they have yet to open it. They are saving it for a special occasion to eat over cream cheese. I'm a bit disappointed. I really wanted them to try it and tell me how it was. I thought at least with Thanksgiving in full swing, they would have eaten it sometime or another... Nope. 
    On Thanksgiving with my in-laws, Zoey decided to pull out all of our food stuffs we have been preserving and show EVERYONE! She wanted to open a jar of the jalapeno jelly for everyone but I didn't really want a jar open that would sit in our fridge and spoil. When she showed my father in law the jelly, he asked to try it. HE LOVED IT! He snuck the remainder of the jar into his jacket pocket to take home. Zoey was so proud and beamed her radiant smile. Feels pretty good to finally have someone like our jelly. He might be getting some more for Christmas (his suggestion!) 

Hot Pepper Jelly from Taste Of Home

1/2 cups white vinegar
1 medium sweet red pepper cut into wedges (we used neighbors mixed peppers)
2/3 cup of chopped habanero peppers (we used regular)
6 cups of sugar, divided
2 pouches (3 ounces each) of liquid fruit pectin
1 teaspoon of red food coloring (optional, try green too)

1. Place vinegar and peppers in a blender; cover and puree. Add 2 cups of sugar; blend well. Pour into saucepan. Stir in remaining sugar; bring to a boil. 
2. Strain Mixture and return to pan. Stir in pectin and food coloring if desired. Return to a rolling boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 
3. Remove from heat; skim off foam. Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot sterilized half pint jars, leaving 1/4 in headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water canner. 
4. Serve with cream cheese on crackers

Yield: 5 half Pints

Editor's Note: When cutting hot peppers, disposable gloves are recommended. Avoid touching your face. The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each additional 1,000 feet of additional altitude. 

Now this recipe is taken verbatim from Taste Of Home. I have tried this recipe and had great results. If you have a problem with this recipe or any recipe from them, please contact them directly. They are serious about wearing gloves and not touching any part of your body when handling any hot peppers. Peppers contain oils that are hard to get off of skin and will burn you like wild fire! Use extreme caution! If you happen to get some on yourself, soak the affected body part in milk. Raw milk is best, but my milk in the fridge helped as well.   

Also, I am in no way affiliated with Taste Of Home. I am just passing on a recipe we happen to enjoy. :)