Pepper jelly is a delicious enigma: the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. It is nothing short of perfection on a cracker with cream cheese.
This recipe is extremely versatile, use whatever color peppers you have on hand, and adjust the heat level to your liking, from just a hint of heat to inferno-in-your-mouth.
This sweet and spicy pepper jelly is one of my favorite recipes from my canning ebook series, That’s My Jam. It’s been a few years since I’ve made it, but recently a glut of peppers from our CSA left me no other choice than to make a batch or two. The result was so pretty I decided to share it here, complete with brand new labels (the ones in the ebook are specifically for red pepper jelly, so a new, more inclusive label seemed to be in order).
I’m actually not particularly fond of peppers, if you can believe it. Pepper jelly is the exception, however, and I will devour an entire jar myself with gusto.
My favorite way to use it is on crackers with cream cheese or goat cheese, but it’s also great as a topping for baked brie, slathered on a juicy burger, layered with ham and goat cheese in a extra special monte cristo (recipe is in Breakfast for Dinner, if you’re craving!), or even as a glaze for meat or vegetables.
I’ve actually posted a pepper jelly recipe before, a traditional recipe using liquid pectin, but I reworked the recipe using Pomona’s pectin for the ebook a few years back. The updated recipe also incorporates the chopped peppers rather than straining them out, which results in a slightly chunkier but noticeably more flavorful jam (not to mention a higher yield).
Another benefit to using a low sugar pectin? It’s much quicker. In fact, the third batch of this jelly I made (I had high hopes for the purple version using some pretty purple sweet peppers, alas, ’twas not meant to be…) only took 30 minutes start to finish, minus the water bath (which I opted to skip for the third batch since it was smaller and ugly and not worth preserving). Even including the 10 minute boiling water bath, you can easily be done in 45 minutes… an hour total if we’re including dishes. Still, for jam, that’s definitely on the quick side, and one of the reasons I love canning with Pomona’s pectin.
(Be sure to click through and scroll to the bottom of this post for the printable labels… including a NEW editable template option for your canning convenience!)