Ahh, St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us! I love making this hot jalapeno jelly every year to give out to friends and neighbors. Are jalapenos Irish? Nope – not in the least, but as a native San Diegan it’s my way of bringing my south of the border flavor to my Irish heritage. Plus, who doesn’t love green jalapeno jelly smothered on top of cream cheese and served with crackers?
This recipe uses jalapeno peppers only (no bell peppers!) I prefer leaving a few seeds or so on each pepper as that is what gives it an amazing spice kick.
Makes 5 – 6 half-pints
3⁄4 lb jalapeno pepper
2 cups cider vinegar, divided
6 cups sugar
2 (3 ounce) envelopes liquid pectin
green food coloring (optional)
* If you do not use exactly 6 cups of sugar, it may not set up correctly. I was ‘a little light’ on my cups of sugar and mine did turn out thinner than I would have liked. If you do slightly skimp on the sugar, you will have to use more pectin to help it gel.
After removing stems and seeds from jalapenos, puree in food processor with 1 cup cider vinegar. Take care while cutting and cleaning the jalapenos! Wear disposable gloves if you have them, or be sure to wash your hands with lots of soap and hot water after handling as the hot pepper oils will get in your skin & ouch it can hurt if you rub your eye later! Some people experience skin irriation as well.
Combine puree, additional 1 cup cider vinegar, and sugar in large saucepot. Bring to a boil; boil 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in liquid pectin. Return to a rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.* Although I did use 2 liquid pectins, I recommend using 3 because my batch was not thick enough. I like it when the jelly sits on top of the cream cheese and does run off.
Remove from heat.
Skim foam, if necessary, and stir in a few drops of food coloring, if desired. ( I did one large drop – trust me 1 is just fine. You want it to be natural green not scary alien green)
Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust 2 piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.