It's the time of year when one feels like hunkering down sheltered from the elements' unpredictable fits of rage. Here in the Kootenays we've had a few days where I wanted to do nothing more but curl up with a good book in front of the fire. After a bit, I decided that I better make myself useful and do something with the bag of hot peppers I purchased at Cottenwood market last week. I had hot pepper jelly in mind. I was first exposed to the stuff a few years ago when my aunt gave me a jar that she had made. This nippy stuff is great on a cracker with a bit of cream cheese...or any kind of cheese for that matter. It's also a great marinade for chicken or other meats and I am sure that there are a myriad other uses that I have not yet discovered. In any case, this is very simple to make and a bit goes a long way.
Hot Pepper Jelly
1 C seeded green bell peppers, finely chopped or ground
1/4 C jalapeno peppers, finely chopped or ground,seeded if desired (or more to taste)
(I personally put all the peppers through the food processor. I used all red pepper to get the lovely colour you see in the picture and did not need to add any food colouring. I also used all hot peppers with varying degrees of heat. I imagine if one used all green coloured peppers the jelly would probably come out a nice green colour.)
4 C sugar
1 C cider vinegar
1 (6 ounce) packet liquid fruit pectin
3-5 food colouring (optional)
1. Mix peppers, sugar, and vinegar in a large saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes.
3. Take off heat, add pectin and stir.
4. Return to heat, and bring to a full rolling. Boil for 1 minute.
5. Pour into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars to within 1/2" of top.
6. Wipe tops of jars and seal the way you normally do (either with wax or metal lids).
7. Store in a cool, dark place.
Makes about 5-6 half-pint jars. To serve, stir to soften, pour over an 8 oz block of cream cheese, and spread on assorted crackers.