Pepper Jelly and Cuteness Overload
Because mother nature has decided to be a real beeeyatch this year I had to pull my pepper plants out of the garden the other night to beat jack frost. Again, because good old mother nature flipped us the middle finger this year we really had no summer to speak of and what my pepper plants wanted was, to quote Buster Poindexter, HOT HOT HOT. In the end I had about 20 or so peppers. Saturday on our hunting and gathering expedition we stopped at the Waltham Farmer's market which is whittled down to about 2 or 3 stalls of vegetables now and I picked up a big bag of peppers to supplement.
Sunday as mother nature again slapped us in the face with rain and wind and sleet and snow IN OCTOBER - sorry can you feel my bitterness - I decided to break my fear of canning and make some pepper jelly. Mmmmmm pepper jelly. I'm a condiment collector. Everywhere we travel I by a jar of this and a bottle of that and more often than not pepper jelly leaps off the shelf and demands to be taken home. Some people serve a bit over cream cheese on a cracker, and please if you do this make it a Ritz, my grandpa would, but we use it all the time as a glaze for pork.
I poured through my books, I googled, I searched and in the end I used the recipe on the pack of pectin I bought. Folks, look no further because the recipe is perfect. You get just the right suspension of particles and you can control your heat by leaving or removing the ribs and seeds. I did my Mom's method of boil the jars first, fill warm, add lids and flip with no second boil, but you will have decide what makes you feel comfortable. I think if I were just making a fruit jam then I would have gone for the second boil, but this one is loaded with acid and sugar so i am pretty confident nothing is going to survive in it.
Take 12 oz of peppers and 1 cup of cider vinegar and puree it in a food processor. Dump that into a heavy bottomed pot leaving PLENTY of head room because jam always wants to boil over. Add 1 more cup of cider vinegar and 6 cups (or 42 ounces) of sugar and stir.
Bring to a rolling boil stirring here and there, don't walk away - trust me on this - boil 10 minutes. Add two 3 ounce packages of liquid pectin and boil 1 more minute. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4" headroom, add lid and ring, seal finger tight and flip. Call your Mom to ask her how long to leave them flipped upside down, 'oh awhile'. Flip back upright after 15 minutes or so and listen for the plink of the vacuum seal. Makes 5 half pint jars and a smidge leftover for the fridge. VOILA! Jelly! So much fun. I feel a new hobby coming on.
I'd like to finish this little discussion with a picture that will make you squeal. No? Well maybe just me then. My SD went to watch the Patriots game yesterday at his friends farm in VA. At halftime they walked out to his field to take this picture of the new arrival. I want to pet it now!