Pepper Jelly!

My Canning Cellar

Jun 5 2022 • 5 mins

This is season 2, episode 19, Pepper Jelly.

This recipe was done on the water bath cycle of my digital canner, and of course you can use your regular water bath canner. For equipment I also used a dutch oven pot, pot holders, a canning funnel, canning jar lifter, a sharp knife, a cutting board, measure cups and spoons, my small food processor, and a towel. I always put newly processed jars on a towel no matter what table I use, not only to catch the water but also to avoid shocking the jars on a colder surface.

The recipe I used is from a website I happened upon online, and I will put the link in the show description, and this is a  Ball brand recipe.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly because I didn’t have the amount of honey called for, but do check out the website to see the original recipe.

The ingredients I used were

8 medium green and red peppers

1/2 cup  jalapeño peppers, and I used store bought ones that came in a jar

1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons low or no sugar needed pectin, and I had Ball brand

2 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups honey

I cut the tops off of the peppers, de-seeded the peppers, and then chopped them as small as I could. After the first 4 peppers, I wondered why I wasn’t using the food processor, so I then did. I trimmed around the cap of the peppers, using every good piece of pepper I could see.

I also put the jalapeño peppers in the food processor and gave them a few spins with the blades.

I put the peppers all into a dutch oven pot with the vinegar and pectin, and brought it to a rolling boil. A rolling boil is one that can’t be stirred down. Then I added the sugar and the honey, brought that to a rolling boil, and let it boil while I stirred it continuously for 3 minutes.

My jars had been setting in boiling water in the digital canner as I always put hot food into hot jars and into hot water, so I took each one out, filled them using the funnel to 1/4 inch headspace, wiped the rim off with a lint free cloth that was soaked in hot water, put the lid on and finger tightened the ring. After each jar was filled and back in the boiling water, I added enough hot water to cover the jars by about two inches.

The processing time for my elevation above sea level was 15 minutes. Using the digital canner, I didn’t have to do anything other than advance to the canning cycle when prompted, let it do its thing, and after the cool down period I let them set in the canner without the cover for another five minutes before removing, which is just to allow for some settling of the food so nothing spits out at me when I lift them out. If I had used my regular stove top water bath canner, I would have started timing the 15 minutes after the water started a continual rolling boil.

I ended up with 6 and almost a full 7th half pint jars. Normally I would be sure to have the correct head space, but I figured that I would just put the almost full jar in the refrigerator for more immediate use after processing.

The reason for needing the correct head space is that tested recipes are configured using a certain headspace, and if we have too little then the time allotted for processing may not be enough to rid the jar of the extra air, which can lead to food discoloration or a failed seal.