Hot, sweet and spicy jelly made with my Summer garden crop of ‘firey’ Texan chilis. Slather over a block of cream cheese (or goat cheese log) serve with crackers and celery and you have an easy, popular and delicious appetizer that you and your guests will love. Spread it over chicken or turkey sandwiches or grilled panini, reheat with meatballs, serve it anyway you like during Summer but be sure to hold back a couple of jars for Christmas where it makes a welcome return with it’s natural festive colors of red and green. Oh – it makes a great gift too.
Some people like add a few drops of food coloring to their jellies, especially the green, to enhance the color but I prefer not to – who wants to eat nitro colored food, not me! It’s natural color is pretty enough as it is, but go ahead if you’d want to! I like to add garlic in a little bundle that can be removed at the end of cooking so as not to upset the acidity of the recipe and risk any spoilage happening. This subtle hit of garlic gives just enough aromatic essence without overpowering the jelly.
Makes 4 x 8oz jars plus 1 x 4oz jar
1/2 pound hot chili peppers, (individual variety or mixture of jalapenos, serrano, habanero) deseeded, deveined and roughly chopped
4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice (must be bottled kind)
1 teaspoon salt
3 ounces liquid fruit pectin (I used Certo Sure Jell)
4 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1. Add the hot peppers to a food processor and pulse them until they are finely chopped. Pulse in short bursts so you get fine chop and NOT a puree, it’s good to see the little flecks in the Jelly. Remove the peppers and add to a large pan.
2. Using a small piece of muslin and kitchen string, make a bundle containing the chopped garlic and tie top tightly with string. Leave a few inches of string for easy removal.
3. Add garlic bundle, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt to the peppers in the pan.
4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Remove the bundle of garlic and discard.
6. Return heat to high and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in pectin and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
7. Ladle jam into sterilized jars and cover.
8. Process jars in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes.
9. Remove and let cool overnight.