With an abundance of garden-fresh jalapenos, I decided to overcome my fear of canning and give pepper jelly a try. I had no idea where to begin, not only with a recipe, but with the whole process. Pectin? What’s pectin, anyway? I did see a lot of recommendations to use Certo and luckily that’s what I found at Publix. And all this sterilizing business and the dire warnings about clean hands and clean towels and sterile tongs and so forth? It makes me paranoid that I’m going to inadvertently poison everyone! Although the jars come out of the process sealed up tight, I’m still keeping them in the fridge instead of the pantry. Just in case.
I googled for a bunch of recipes and instructions and found them all very similar so, as usual, I more or less made it up as I went along. It turned out great, very hot and sweet. Want a less spicy version? Use fewer jalapenos and make sure you remove all the seeds from the ones you do use.
- Green Bell Pepper, 1
- Jalapenos, 6
- Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 1/2 cups
- Sugar, 7 cups
- Pectin, 2 packets
- Canning Jars, 6 8-oz jars
Wash the jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water. Dry the bands and set them aside. Put the jars in a big pot with enough water to cover them by a couple of inches and boil for ten minutes. Cover the pot and leave the jars in the hot water until you’re ready to use them. Put the lids in a small pan, cover with water and put them over lower heat but don’t let them boil. At least that’s what I read so I did it.
Add the pectin and boil at a full boil for another minute or two. I started with one packet but I was afraid it wasn’t enough so I added another. Most of the recipes I looked at talked about pectin powder and I wasn’t sure about the liquid equivalent.
Use the tongs to put the lids on the jars then screw the bands on. Yes, you get to actually touch the bands with your hands but with all sorts of warnings about making sure they’re clean. Others say to use a clean towel. Either way, just keep it clean.