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Monday, November 9, 2009

Jalapeno Jelly

It's taken me a few months to decide when to post this recipe (and I ultimately decided more by default than by logic). I make this jelly in September or so when jalapenos and red bell peppers are abundantly available. It's good any time, and I actually discovered it at a party at my sister's house during harvest season. But the lovely colors make it a perfect holiday treat, and even a nice holiday gift. Since the jars are sealed, it will keep for at least a year after you make it. It's a wonderful combination of hot and sweet. Our favorite way to eat it is with a little bit of cream cheese on a Wheat Thin (for some reason they are the perfect complement for this particular spread).

The jars almost always seal on their own if you pour the jelly in when it's very hot. If they happen not to seal, you can process them in a steam bath for about 10 minutes and they should seal with no problem.

Jalapeno Jelly
1 cup red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/3 cup fresh quartered jalapeno peppers, seeds removed (or you can leave the seeds in if you like it a little hotter)
5 cups sugar
1 pouch (3 ounce) Certo liquid fruit pectin (the powdered kind doesn't work with this recipe)

Combine peppers and vinegar in a food processor. Process to desired size; I like the pieces a little smaller than 1/4 inch. Combine peppers and vinegar with sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes. Remove from heat. Cool for two minutes, then mix in pectin. Pour into sterilized half-pint jars and fasten lids. If the pepper pieces aren't evenly distributed, invert jars a few times after 30 minutes to distribute evenly before jelly sets.

This recipe makes about six cups.

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