Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mayhaw or Cranberry Pepper Jelly

This is a recipe for Mayhaw Pepper Jelly from NCHFP but I don't have Mayhaws and wanted to use Cranberry Juice instead. In determining if it would be safe to use Cranberry Juice in place of Mayhaw Juice I checked the PH levels for both. Mayhaws have a higher PH level than Cranberries so you should be able to safely use Cranberry Juice in this recipe in place of Mayhaw Juice.

The PH level of Mayhaws is  5.1-7.0, the PH level of Dried Cranberries is 2.8-3.0
And the PH level of Cranberry Juice Canned is  2.30 - 2.52 

Ingredients Needed
  • 4 cups Mayhaw juice or Cranberry Juice
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 5½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh, seeded, chopped jalapeno peppers
  • ¼ cup fresh, seeded, chopped red hot chili peppers (or other red hot peppers)
  • ½ cup vinegar
Yield: About 6 half-pint jars  (Sterilize your jars, this is only processed for 5 minutes)

  1. Add pectin and ½ cup of the sugar to juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
  2. Add remainder of sugar and bring to 200°F (a simmering boil). Simmer for 15 minutes. Skim foam.
  3. Add chopped peppers and vinegar. Simmer for 20 minutes longer. 
  4. Pour quickly into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ¼-inch head-space. 
  5. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids finger tight. Process in a Boiling Water Canner

Table 1. Recommended process time for Mayhaw/Cranberry Pepper Jelly in a boiling water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar Size0 - 1,000 ft1,001 - 6,000 ftAbove 6,000 ft
or Pints
5 min1015

Making Mayhaw Juice

Amount to Gather: One gallon (4 quarts) or about 4 ½ pounds of mayhaws will yield about 12 cups of strained, flavorful juice, enough for three batches of jelly. Two quarts of mayhaws cooked will yield 6 cups of fruit and about 2 cups of pulp when the drained fruit is put through a food mill.

Cooking Mayhaws for Juice, Jelly or Syrup: The most important thing in making jelly is to begin with a juice (jelly stock) that has a full-bodied, mayhaw flavor. If too much water is used in cooking, the unique fragrance and taste will not match up to what is expected in quality jelly.

To Prepare Juice or Jelly Stock: Sort mayhaws, removing decayed fruit and trash. You can leave the tiny stems and dark blossom end on the fruit. Wash thoroughly. Measure or weigh fruit and put in large saucepan. For each gallon (4 quarts or about 4 ½ pounds) of mayhaws, cover with 3 quarts (12 cups) of water. For 2 quarts of fruit (a little over 2 pounds), cover with 6 cups water.
Bring to a boil, cover and cook gently for about 30 minutes. Cool and drain juice first through a colander, pressing fruit lightly with the back of a spoon. Then strain the juice through two or three thicknesses of damp cheesecloth, through a jelly bag or a clean thin white cloth. Leave the sediment which settles to the bottom. From 1 gallon of mayhaws you should have about 12 cups of strained juice.