Best Pepper Jelly EVER

Okay y’all, just the other night Andy discovered Hot Pepper Jelly dumped over a block of cream cheese and I think I saw his life change…  I had no idea he had never tested this southern staple at parties before.  I mean ~ a block of cream cheese and a jar of jelly!  It is the easiest bliss you will ever create.  So…  he loved it!  I mean, hanging over the plate and scooping up the concoction on his crackers, his fingers, his fork… he just couldn’t get enough.

So, I did what any good woman would do…  I came home and tried to replicate this for my man in my own kitchen. Now, this was gonna be challenging…  It wasn’t just Hot Pepper Jelly.  It was Marilyn’s Hot Pepper Jelly, with ingredients picked from her garden!  Now Marilyn is one of those fine Southern ladies that can just pull short ribs and bacon grease out of her back pocket all the while she is tossing together a slaw put together from the garden.  I will just say that it is good to know her.  She can cook.  And throughout the year I’m lucky enough to get to taste her delicious southern creations.  So, the bar had been set and I was really hoping for good results.  Guess what?  I did it!  

SO super delicious and super easy!  A great first if you are wanting to try your hand in canning.  I am a sucker for small batch canning…  Only because I get an itching and want to do it right then and usually have to use whatever is on hand, resulting in small batches!  My precious mother-n-law had sweet red peppers perfect for harvesting and using in this recipe.  I picked up some jalapeño peppers from a local farmers stand. And with a few other items needed, I was ready to get started.  

Hot Pepper Jelly

2 red peppers, seeded and chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)

4 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)

1 cup cider vinegar

1 package of fruit pectin 

5 cups sugar (or 5 cups coconut sugar)

After chopping your red pepper and jalapeño place then in blender along with half of your vinegar and chop until you get the consistency you are after.  I like mine (cause I’ve done this sooo many times before and I am an expert…) pureed with bits of red and green peppers still clearly visible.  

Place your sugar and remaining vinegar on stove and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Add your blended pepper mixture to the sugar and vinegar and return to a boil for five minutes. Stirring often.  Add your package of fruit pectin and continue with a rolling boil continuing to stir as your jelly begins to thicken.  

Remove from heat and ladle into sterilized jars.  I boil my jars, lids and bands before hand and place them on a kitchen towel.  I use the wide mouth funnel that you can purchase in the canning section at most of your local grocery stores. Leave an inch of space in each jar and place lid on top securing with band finger tight. I processed my filled jars in a water bath for five minutes. Removed them and with all my canning, I place jars wrapped in a towel in an old cooler over night or for 24 hours. The next day the are beautifully sealed.  And, that is it, pretty simple and so delicious! 

Now, I have only been canning for a few years and still figuring out the whole preserving and processing part.  I have a sweet lady who lives down the street and she has taught me TONS; a good bit of old school canning that seems to work perfect for me.  She’s been a wealth of knowledge and I think she gets a ton of joy from ALL my questions!  (or either she thinks I am crazy…)  Mrs. Hazel! Eighty-something and still gardening for her family and community.

I’ll be honest, I hate pressure cookers and scared to death to use a pressure canner… but I know the day is coming I will have to figure it out!  I know there is a real science to preserving food and I wish I needed to be more precise…  but, I am a nobody’s-died-yet-I-and-heard-it-pop-so-it’s-gotta-be-sealed kinda girl.  So, good luck with the recipe!  

Something so pure and simple about growing and canning your own food.

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♥Originally published on October 9, 2013.  Revamped with a little love for you today!

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