This recipe comes straight out of our family cookbook that my Grandfather created back in 1996. This recipe is one of his that he used to sell at fairs and festivals. I learned how to can food by watching and helping him. I loved going out to the garden and picking blueberries or grapes and then canning.
Many of you may know this jelly for its appetizer. You take a brick of cream cheese and spoon some of the pepper jelly over it - serve with crackers, especially Triscuits. However, the most important way to eat pepper jelly in my opinion is after Thanksgiving on turkey sandwiches. Spread a little mayo, pepper jelly, lettuce and fresh roasted turkey - serious good food!! How do you use pepper jelly?
Makes 8 pints
1 c ground bell peppers OR 1/2 c bell and 1/2 c jalapeno
1 1/2 c vinegar
1 c water
1 pkg pectin
1/8 tsp green or red food coloring
5 1/2 c sugar
The easiest way to grind the peppers is to clean them and cut them into sections. Then put them in a bag in the freezer. When you are ready to make the jelly, take them out and pulse them in the food processor. When they are frozen, they will mince into little pieces easily like this. Depending on how hot you want your jelly, you can use the jalapenos or not. But if you do use those, be sure to wear gloves when cleaning them or else wash your hands REALLY well after you clean them.
In a large dutch oven or saucepan, put the ground peppers, vinegar, water, pectin and coloring. Stir well. Bring this mixture to a boil and then add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring it back to a boil (watch carefully because it can and will boil up and over if you aren't careful - the voice of experience here). Boil about 1 minute. You can skim the foam off the top if you don't like the look of it in your jelly, but I'm too lazy and never do.
Pour hot jelly into prepared clean canning jars. Leave 1/4 headspace. Put screw tops on. Process the jars in hot water for 10 minutes. When they have cooled, you can take the rings off and store them in your pantry with just the lids.
This jelly makes a great gift for Christmas due to it's beautiful red or green color.