Jalapeño Jelly may sound a little strange, but we're betting it'll be your new favorite thing to do with jalapeños. Drizzle it over cheese and serve with crunchy crackers or pita chips for an elegant appetizer with zing.
When I first started getting into canning, one of the recipes I knew I had to make immediately was jalapeño jelly. Though I didn’t grow up eating it, it was one of those foods that just clicked with me when I moved to Texas.
After all, what’s not to like about it? This sweet-spicy jelly is a wonderful kickstart to your morning when you smear it on toast, and it also is a staple of almost every dinner party I’ve been to, poured over cream cheese to one-up that lonely cube of cheddar.
These days there have been twists on jalapeño jelly in restaurants as they try to capture the nostalgia of the condiment, serving it on terrines or calling it “house-made” and only giving you a small dab alongside pâté. But in my mind, you can’t usurp a classic. The reason why the recipe has lingered on for years is thanks to hundreds and thousands of grandmothers proudly serving that jelly at every holiday function.
For those of us without Southern grandmothers, the recipe is extremely simple to make. Just some peppers, sugar, vinegar, and pectin, and you’re on your way to a versatile condiment that can spice up everything from that simple cracker spread to burgers, meatloaf, and more. I like to pour jalapeño jelly over chicken pieces before roasting for a sweet-and-spicy sticky glaze. And if I feel like getting extra spicy, I smear it on Hatch Cheddar Biscuits right out of the oven.
Plus, making it now in the height of pepper season means you’ll have plenty on hand when holiday entertaining comes around, or when it’s time to put together yet another batch of gifts for friends and family. Using smaller jars will make it perfect for gifting – why not pair them with a package of homemade wheat thins?
I used red wine vinegar for my jelly, which resulted in a gorgeous color, but you can also use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar if you would like a clearer product. Do not forgo the vinegar; in addition to adding zest to the taste, it is necessary to produce a shelf-stable jelly.
Be sure to follow the guidelines on your pectin for safe canning practices, and if a jar does not seal, store it in the refrigerator.
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