Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Hot Peppa Jelly, Baby!
My neighbor gave me a huge pile of very hot banana peppers. I have never made pepper jelly or any jelly before, so I got busy on the internet and found a bunch of recipes. Had to buy some pectin and had no idea where to look for it in the store, because I'm not even sure what it is. It's magic jelly juice, I think.
First, I cut the tops of the peppers, de-seeded them and scraped out the membranes. I did the same with one sweet bell pepper. I did not wear rubber gloves when I did this, because I was like, "Rubber gloves are for pansy-asses!" A little while later, I absentmindedly rubbed an itch on my nose. My left nostril is still burning as if I rubbed some sort of flesh eating acid on it. So trust me here--wear the gloves.
Put the rough chopped peppers in the food processor with a cup and a half of cider vinegar and processed until the peppers were quite finely minced. Then I dumped that mess into a big sauce pan with 6 1/2 cups of sugar. I thought that seemed like a LOT of sugar, but apparently it's not. Especially since these peppers are not at all sweet, and something had to go in there to counteract the fire.
Then I just let it go to a boil, like a big cauldron, for about 4 minutes. I then added a pouch of Certa brand pectin. I had no idea if this was enough, because all the different recipes and directions I read had conflicting information. But it looked different when I added the stuff. It suddenly began to look like jam, which excited me to no end.
One more minute of boiling, then I ladled into sterile jars. Then I put the sealed jars in a big pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Now I'm waiting to see if it actually sets up and gets thick. Again, not sure how long it's supposed to take. I have a good feeling about it, though. And I had a little taste of it before I put it in the jars and it was yummy!
P.S. I'm adding this later. After a couple of hours, the pepper jelly firmed up beautifully. It's the perfect consistency. I wish my whole life was like that.