A few years ago we received a jar of jalapeno jelly from Paul's aunt. Spicy yet sweet, the jelly was delicious on tortilla chips, or spread on crackers with a little cream cheese. I haven't stopped thinking about how good it was, so I decided this year to attempt to make our own.
Jalapenos are in season right now, and I found them for 99 cents a pound. I had wanted to grow our own, but when the time came to plant peppers this summer all the jalapenos were sold out, and I ended up planting serrano and Big Jim New Mexico peppers instead (both of which are doing well). Still, no pepper can really compare to the flavor of the jalapeno.
I used 12 jalapeno peppers and 2 green bell peppers (from our garden) to make the jelly, along with 6 cups of sugar, 2 cups of cider vinegar, and Bell brand liquid pectin (which includes the recipe that I used). I got all of my supplies ready first, and then asked Paul, "Hey, do we have any latex gloves?" after searching all the usual cleaning supplies cupboards. It turned out that we did not have any gloves. So I took a big gulp and jumped into deseeding 12 jalapeno peppers in bare hands.
Once you get them deseeded, you just pile them all in the blender or food processor along with the half the vinegar, and give them a whirl.
Then pour it into a pot with the rest of the cider vinegar and the sugar and bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes. This stuff got to frothing and in record time became like a science experiment gone bad. I couldn't get it down and as a result my stove got slimed in burnt jalapeno froth - nice. It took much scrubbing and even a razor to get the mess off.
Luckily, all I had left to do was add the liquid pectin for a minute, and then pour in hot jars and process for 15 minutes in the canner. By the time I finished that plus the cleanup, it was dusk.
The next morning, I was thrilled to find that my 6 jars of jalapeno jelly had set up perfectly. And they taste so good. Even the twins are going crazy over the spicy jelly on tortilla chips. In fact, we're all so fond of this delicacy that I've decided to make another batch - or even two. But after spending a night with hands-on-fire, you'd better believe I'm going to invest in some latex gloves first!