Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Habanero Gold Jelly

I love pepper jelly, and this one is no exception.  If you like a little sweet and a little hot, then this jelly is definitely for you.  Grab a block of cream cheese and some crackers and you are in for a special treat!

  Once you try this it is sure to become a family favorite.

Yields approximately 6 half pint jars
You will need 
  • Water Bath Canner
  • Jars, Lids and Rings
  • Jar Lifter, Magnet, Towels, Cutting Board and
  • all those little things that make canning easy and fun.
  • 2/3 cups of finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped habanero pepper
  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 2 pouches of liquid pectin
  • A pat of butter
When working with peppers, especially habaneros and other hot peppers you should wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from the heat.  I freeze mine and use them as I need them.  I have found that they are much easier to handle and the juices don't have time to burn your hands like they do when fresh picked.  You don't lose the heat when freezing them and they work great for jelly.

Now let's make Jelly!

Combine your vinegar and apricots in a large stainless steel pot.  Stir and let set for at least 4 hours.  I do this step either the night before and make jelly the next morning or I do it that morning and make the jelly when I get home from work in the evening. 

Looks like this

Put your jars in the canner to sterilize while you are making the jelly.  Put boiling water over your lids and rings and let set until you are ready for them.

Chop your onions and peppers up.  To have a very pretty jelly you can cut them into 1/8 inch slices and then again into 1/4 inch pieces.  I am lazy, so I put them in my ninja and give the a zap or two.  Mine look like this.

Add your onions, red peppers and habaneros to the pot. 

 Stir in your sugar and a pat of butter. 
 Turn heat on high and stir constantly.  Bring this to a full rolling boil that can't be stirred down.  Stir in the pectin and bring back to a boil.  Boil exactly one minute.  Remove from heat and skim foam if needed.  The butter helps greatly to reduce foam.

Immediately fill your hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

Wipe the rims with a paper towel dipped in vinegar to ensure a good seal.  Put on rings and tighten down finger tight.

Place in boiling water bath and process for 10 minutes.

 Turn off heat and remove lid.  Let jars sit in canner for another 5 minutes.  Remove from canner and place on counter to cool for 24 hours. 

Tip:  If you want your fruit to be distributed more evenly in the jars, let them cool for about 15 minutes or until you hear them ping.  Very carefully lift the jar and twist/tilt very gently to allow it to distribute a little more.  DO NOT  SHAKE AND DO NOT INVERT THE JARS.  Inverting a jar can ruin your seal.