August 20, 2009

Jalapeño Jelly.

With all of my previous batches, I have avoided adding pectin to gel the preserves. While I like to think it is in an effort to keep my ingredients lists as short as possible, the honest truth is, recipes that call for citrus rind instead seem more natural. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with pectin. After all, it is most often extracted from dried citrus peels or apple pomace left over from juice production. Using what would otherwise be considered waste is never a bad thing. This has been my rule for choosing recipes. Until now.


I was drawn to this recipe because it calls for jalapeños - and only jalapeños. Seeds and all. The other "jalapeño" jelly recipes that I came across called for just as much, if not more, bell pepper. I went on adventure to the farmer's market on Airline the other day with my friend Erika, waiting for something to call out to me to be transformed into a tasty jelly. I wandered around mostly in awe of everything going on around me when, finally, I found the most beautiful jalapeños in whole world. Jalapeño jelly came to mind instantly. They are certainly too beautiful and scarred up to be cut down with bell pepper. There was no way I can pass this recipe up - it is going to be fiery.

Jalapeño Jelly:

12- 14 jalapeños.
6 cups sugar.
2 cups cider vinegar, divided.
2 pouches liquid pectin.

Chop up all of the jalapeños and place them in a blender with one cup vinegar and liquify. CAUTION: The oils in peppers can cause burns. Do not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas after handling. Combine the purée with the remaining vinegar and sugar in a dutch oven.


Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Boil for ten minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
Stir in two pouches of liquid pectin. Return to heat and bring to a hard boil for one minutes more. Remove from heat.
Ladle directly into hot, sterilized jars. Leave a quarter inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and be sure to wipe the rims clean. Lid directly and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Makes about 4 pints.


I was right - I did not try very much, just touching my tongue to the spoon, and my mouth was on fire - I thought for sure I was going to have heartburn instantly. It was so hot and good I had to try more. Later, I tried more with some cream cheese on a fresh jalapeño bagel from Hot Bagel Shop. Pure bliss.
I love making new favorite things.


  1. You can make your own pectin by using apple or crabapples. I often just throw a few tart apples or crabapples in my jelly instead of pectin.

  2. Just made a batch, although mine's not bright green since I use evaporated cane juice in my jelly. I also added a few finely diced jalapenos right at the end along with 2 diced red peppers for color. I enjoyed some on an apple pancake this evening for dinner - delightful!

  3. When you add the apples, what form do you add them? Chopped, skin and all? Or just skins? I would love to learn more about this practice...

    I have not tried a jar yet, but I did give a sample to my friend Erika - here is what she had to say:

    "I tried this last night and you were right....H.O.T.T. HOT!!!!! Eating it with cheese helped. Delicious but deadly!"

    Based on her assessment I cannot imagine eating it with out some sort of dairy product.

    I am glad you tried the recipe and liked it.

  4. I added chopped apple to the blender with the peppers. It came out slightly jelled but not too stiff, perfect for spreading thinly.

    I think it would be perfect on corn bread. It is pretty spicy but delicious! I also think some of this mixed with chutney or peach preserves would make a perfect BBQ sauce for chicken or salmon.

    I'll be blogging about it tomorrow.

  5. Want to thank you for this awesome (easy) recipe!

    We have made this multiple times and it is wonderful.

    I have started to add 1 habanero to the recipe to give it a little extra!

    Last batch we made we purchased 10 lbs of peppers and made 40 pints.

    You can make a nice vinegrette for a salad starting with this jelly. I have also thinned the jelly with a little vinegar to use as a basting sauce on chix on the BBQ!

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  8. I just made two batches(12 8oz jars total) tonight and they look amazing! I used about 60% red jalapeños and 40% green so mine is a pretty orange color. My fingers were burning after all that slicing and seeding, I will wear gloves next time! I am serving with Ritz crackers and cream cheese at my next teachers meeting. Thanks for the recipe!