Parfait! Pepper Jelly

06bPepperJellybfLOThe season of noshing is well and truly upon us, people, so we may as well stock our pantries with tons of good stuff to see us through.

Good stuff like pepper jelly.

Yeh, you could buy a jar, but why, when for 80¢ worth of jalapeños, a bag of baby peppers, some pectin and vinegar you can make your own pepper jelly, as sweet and spicy as you like it – and I like mine sweet and spicy!

•4 or 5 cups seeded, sliced red, yellow, and/or green peppers
•8 jalapeño peppers with seeds
•6 cups sugar
•2 cups Apple cider vinegar
•6 oz (2 bags) liquid pectin

02bPeppersPotbfLONote: yes, there is a lot of sugar in this recipe, but I’ve still cut it back from the amount called for in some pepper jelly recipes, so give it a rest and make the darned jelly, already.

Add the peppers to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until nicely chopped, but not puréed, and transfer to a large pot.

03bPectinbfLONote: when handling jalapeños (or any hot pepper), always wear gloves. Also, this jelly is sweet and spicy; if you’d like a bit less bite, remove the seeds and ribs from some or all of the jalapeños before running them through the processor.

Stir the sugar and cider vinegar into the peppers, bring to a boil over medium high heat, and simmer for five minutes, stirring often.

Add the liquid pectin and return to a boil for one minute.

06aPepperJellyFlipbfLOSkim off any foam on top of the jelly, remove from the heat, and prepare to can.

Fill prepared jars to within 1/4 inch of the top, then add lids and bands screwed “fingertip tight.”

Process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes, then transfer the jars to a rack to cool a bit – just until you hear the lids “pop” which means the jars are sealed.

07bPepperJellyJarsbfLOFlip the jars upside down – this’ll help to keep the pepper chunks and seeds from settling at the bottom of the jar – and let rest for 30 minutes, then turn over and set aside for a day or so before sampling.

I ended up with five pints of very nice pepper jelly in ten half-pint jars; perfect for parties and holiday gift-giving.

Now that we have all this pepper jelly, what to do with it? Drizzle over a wheel of brie in puff pastry then bake and serve, or just spoon a bit over a cracker with cheese. You might could also try using pepper jelly with ribs, or add a spoonful or two to a spicy sausage tomato sauce to serve over polenta cakes. You want those details? Check back, Monday…

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