Pepper Jelly recipes ??

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Kathie in Thorp
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Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Kathie in Thorp » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:06 pm

Thinking ahead to Christmas, and tis the season to be doing stuff w/ produce in the garden. Seeking a couple easy recipes for pepper jelly with a bit of zip to it -- not jelly that tastes like bell pepper, but a little sweet and a little sparky. Will probably do them in 4-oz. jars -- just enough to go with a plate of crackers and a block of soft cheese. Got any good ones?
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Alan » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:25 pm

No Kathie, but I'm watching and hoping you get a couple of recipes so I can try them. Sounds good.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby greybeard » Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:46 am

My sister makes jalepeno jelly--I'll get the instructions tomorrow.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Kathie in Thorp » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:41 pm

Can't believe Jo hasn't jumped into this! I've got recipies from the jar mfgr company books. Hoping for something a bit different.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby M.Magis » Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:10 am

I make jalepeno jelly, the recipe in the Ball book. I beleive the recipe is:
-3/4 lb jalepenos, pureed
-2 cups cider vinegar
-6 cups sugar
- (2) 3 oz packs of liquid pectin.

You can add green food coloring if you like it to be more green. Recipe says to boil for 10 minutes before adding pectin, but that removes most of the heat, so I bring to a boil and add the pectin. I experimented with a few batches to get what I like.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Kathie in Thorp » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:58 pm

M.Magis wrote:I make jalepeno jelly, the recipe in the Ball book. I beleive the recipe is:
-3/4 lb jalepenos, pureed
-2 cups cider vinegar
-6 cups sugar
- (2) 3 oz packs of liquid pectin.

You can add green food coloring if you like it to be more green. Recipe says to boil for 10 minutes before adding pectin, but that removes most of the heat, so I bring to a boil and add the pectin. I experimented with a few batches to get what I like.


Hey, what I want to hear is how you tweaked the recipe! I have the canning jar company books, but have had failures now and then with them -- usually, it's an issue with the product setting up. :( I think red jellies are really pretty, too, so would love to hear some pepper recipes using reds. If it's not in my garden, I can buy just about any kinda hot pepper in the Northern Hemisphere from a great Hispanic market 30 miles away. Thanks, M.Magis!
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Jogeephus » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:00 pm

Kathie in Thorp wrote:Can't believe Jo hasn't jumped into this! I've got recipies from the jar mfgr company books. Hoping for something a bit different.


Sorry, I can't help. Not a fan of pepper jelly.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby M.Magis » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:12 am

Kathie in Thorp wrote:Hey, what I want to hear is how you tweaked the recipe! I have the canning jar company books, but have had failures now and then with them -- usually, it's an issue with the product setting up. :( I think red jellies are really pretty, too, so would love to hear some pepper recipes using reds. If it's not in my garden, I can buy just about any kinda hot pepper in the Northern Hemisphere from a great Hispanic market 30 miles away. Thanks, M.Magis!


I’ve had issues with them setting up too, and that’s part of what I messed around with. I used powder pectin for a while, but it ended up setting up too firm for my taste. I’ve been using liquid and making sure I pull it off the stove as soon as 1 minute is up. The problem I had with the powder was probably my fault, but I’ve just had better luck with the liquid. I’ve also found that I like it to be a bit “runny”. I like to use it as a dip for things like egg rolls and sausage, and when it sets up firm it’s hard to use. I've also played around with how long I cook it before adding the pectin, because that changes how hot it is. It's just a matter of preference.
For whatever reason, I like it red too, so I leave a lot of my peppers on the plant until they turn. Though it may be hard to find red jalapenos, I’ve only ever seen green ones for sale.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Jogeephus » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:33 am

M.Magis wrote:
Kathie in Thorp wrote:Hey, what I want to hear is how you tweaked the recipe! I have the canning jar company books, but have had failures now and then with them -- usually, it's an issue with the product setting up. :( I think red jellies are really pretty, too, so would love to hear some pepper recipes using reds. If it's not in my garden, I can buy just about any kinda hot pepper in the Northern Hemisphere from a great Hispanic market 30 miles away. Thanks, M.Magis!


I’ve had issues with them setting up too, and that’s part of what I messed around with. I used powder pectin for a while, but it ended up setting up too firm for my taste. I’ve been using liquid and making sure I pull it off the stove as soon as 1 minute is up. The problem I had with the powder was probably my fault, but I’ve just had better luck with the liquid. I’ve also found that I like it to be a bit “runny”. I like to use it as a dip for things like egg rolls and sausage, and when it sets up firm it’s hard to use. I've also played around with how long I cook it before adding the pectin, because that changes how hot it is. It's just a matter of preference.
For whatever reason, I like it red too, so I leave a lot of my peppers on the plant until they turn. Though it may be hard to find red jalapenos, I’ve only ever seen green ones for sale.


FWIW, monitor your pH and take note of what level it is at the consistency you like. pH plays a pretty big roll on the type set.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby M.Magis » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:56 am

Jogeephus wrote:FWIW, monitor your pH and take note of what level it is at the consistency you like. pH plays a pretty big roll on the type set.

Thanks, I didn't realize that. Curious, what do you use to monitor it? I have litmus strips I use for tanning skins, but I don't think they'd work well for jelly?
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Lucky_P » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:59 am

My tweak?
I use crabapple juice... so mine is Crabapple-hot pepper jelly - made with red crabapple juice, a red onion, a red bell pepper and red jalapenos.
Made some with mulberries a couple of years back... deep purple color.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Jogeephus » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:32 pm

M.Magis wrote:
Jogeephus wrote:FWIW, monitor your pH and take note of what level it is at the consistency you like. pH plays a pretty big roll on the type set.

Thanks, I didn't realize that. Curious, what do you use to monitor it? I have litmus strips I use for tanning skins, but I don't think they'd work well for jelly?


Litmus paper works pretty good. I use Micro-line (2.9-5.2) and also have a meter. If you notice some recipes call for addition of lemon juice. I used to think this was for color but found its more to insure the gel. This is why if you use really ripe fruits you get great flavor but it may not gel and you only get syrup or a soft gel. This is also why they tell you not to use over-ripe fruits. I think the industry standard is something like 1:4 of young fruit to mature with pectin addition but you can manipulate the pH and get a good gel with any fruit.

Here is some of the science of it.

Pectin will only gel if the soluble solids content is higher than 65% and the pH is 2.0 - 3.8. The gel is formed by cross-linking the polymer at junction zones in which mainly hydrogen bonds and the repulsion of methyl groups create areas where sugar and water can be trapped into the pectin network.


Try making watermelon jelly. Its impossible unless you acidify the mix.

pH is very important when making jelly for safety and gelling reasons. Safety wise, you want the base to be beneath 4.6 or you will risk botulism. That aside, if I understand you right you like a softer jelly and to get this you probably want your pH to be at 3.4 - 3.5 (or 4). This should give you a very soft tender jelly and well within the safe zone. For a firmer jelly you would shoot for 3.1 - 3.3. Also note that its not all about pH but also has to do with suspended solids and this is where the boiling time comes in and this reduces the water, increases suspended solids and increases pH through reduction but I think if you play around with these numbers you'll have better chance of making just what you want because your fruit varies from picking to picking.

Didn't mean to get windy and hope you find this helpful.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby M.Magis » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:05 pm

Very helpful, thank you. This explains why I had so much trouble keeping it consistant from batch to batch.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Kathie in Thorp » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:09 pm

Thanks, everyone. Good science lesson there, Jo. Lucky, the crabapple infusion sounds awesome, but pretty hard to come by out here.
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Re: Pepper Jelly recipes ??

Postby Jogeephus » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:29 pm

Sumac berries are very similar. Don't know if you've ever made Sumac lemonade but its really good stuff and you can hardly tell it from lemonade except the color.
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