Where there is a will there is a way

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to make hot chilli pepper jelly (and preserving info)

This is the best thing I ever made from my garden produce.

So simple to make, but the finest.  You simply blender hot chillis, capsicums (peppers in North American) and vinegar.  I found the recipe here at this great publication about chilli peppers and capsicums, "Peppers: Safe Methods to Store, Preserve, and Enjoy"    (Content reviewed and revised by LINDA J. HARRIS, Food Safety and Applied Microbiology, Specialist, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis.)  Their recipes were adapted from “So Easy to Preserve,” 2nd Edition, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Georgia.

This is because I couldn't just try a recipe blindly.  I was learning to live off the land, and preserve my garden produce - possibly for a long time, so I had to learn how to do it safely (and yummily!).

My favourite recipes in this publication was the "Pepper Jelly" (p.11), followed by "Hot Chilli Salsa" (p.8).  But one of the reasons it tasted so amazing was the produce - fresh from my own garden, and using a variety of amazing heirloom and interesting tomatoes ranging from jam tomatoes, various coloured tomatoes, to different shapes of varieties.

Here is the recipe for Hot Chilli Pepper Jelly (sometimes called Red Pepper Jelly) but omitting a few drops of food colouring as I like completely natural foods.  For the info I needed on preserving in general, go to the full scientific paper on preserving peppers, here.  It is so easy!  Just blender, and bottle.  An amazing food with cheese, or on meats.

Hot Chilli Pepper Jelly

Makes 5 half-pint (250-ml) jars.

4 or 5 jalapeño or other hot peppers cored and chopped
4 medium green or red bell peppers cored and chopped
1 cup white vinegar (5%) or 250 ml
5 cups sugar or 1.25 L
1 pouch liquid pectin

1. Put half the peppers and half the vinegar into a blender; cover and process until
peppers are liquefied. Repeat with remaining peppers and vinegar. 

2. Combine the pepper and vinegar mixture with the sugar in a large saucepan and
boil slowly for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Add liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 minute. 

4. Skim foam off the top of the jelly and pour jelly immediately into canning jars, leaving 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm) of headspace.

5. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth and secure lids and ring bands.

6. Process the jars of jelly in a boiling water bath as prescribed in Table 7.

Table 7. Recommended Processing Time for Pepper Jelly in a Water Bath Canner
Processing Time at Various Altitudes
For jar size of half-pint or pint: 
Altitude 0–1,000 ft  is 5 min processing time
Altitude 1,001–6,000 ft is 10 min processing time
Altitude above 6,000 ft is 15 min processing time

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