Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Jalapeno Jelly After a Long Absence

After a longer than expected absence from blogging, I'm finally back.  I really didn't intend over two weeks to pass between posts, but I ran into some issues (some wonderful, others not so much) which kept me away.  One was a trip to Utah which I got back from on Friday.

Utah was full of beauty.

Beautiful landscapes...

Beautiful farmer's markets filled with produce including these tomatoes...

and beautiful mile high biscuits served at a great little diner for breakfast.

And as if Utah didn't offer enough beauty, I stepped off the plane and drove straight to the NC mountains for the first apples of the season.  Here is the apple pie I made when I got them home.  

The other not so beautiful thing that kept me away from the computer was a storm which blew some obviously important part of the computer out of whack causing us to go without internet all weekend and week up to today.  Oh well, you can't have everything. 

So, I'm back, and posting about a recipe I have been meaning to write about for a while now.  Jalapeno jelly is the perfect jelly for those of you who may be like me and want something that goes beyond toast.  This jelly is sweet but it also has enough heat from the chiles to make it interesting in a savory kind of way.  It is perfect served with snacks and is very popular as hor d'oeuvres in the South where it almost always appears atop a huge mound of cream cheese.  It goes beyond these common uses though and pairs well with meats, and a spoonful goes a long way to adding unexpected flavor to a vinaigrette. 

The recipe is made without the common need of removing juice from fruit to make jelly which makes it relatively quick and painless.  The heat can be adjusted by altering some of the chiles used.  The recipe comes from Ball and I am posting it below for my own records.  The original recipe stated that it made five (8 oz) jars but mine made six and still had a very good set. 

Jalapeno Jelly-  makes 5-6 half-pint jars

12 oz jalapeño peppers 
2 cups cider vinegar, divided
6 cups sugar
2 3-oz pouches of liquid pectin
Green food coloring, optional
Prepare your canner and sterilize jars, lids, and rings. 

Puree the peppers and 1 cup cider vinegar in a blender until smooth.  Combine the puree with the remaining vinegar and the sugar and bring to a boil in a large non-reactive saucepan.  Continue to boil for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Quickly squeeze all of the pectin into the mixture and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and add the food coloring, if using, until the desired shade of green is achieved.  Skim the foam from the top of the jelly using a clean spoon. 

Ladle the jelly into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe the rims and place lids and rings on each jar.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove to a towel to cool for 24 hours before checking seals and storing. 



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