Growing up in Louisiana, I came to love Tabasco pepper jelly. Spread over a Port Salut-topped cracker? Perfection! I also adore plum jam and last summer made a Mexican-inspired one: flame-roasted jalapeño, coriander, sugar and plums. I loved it but neglected to make much or write down the recipe. Long story short, I noodled on a way to combine both ideas into a jam with the spicy kick of the pepper jelly but the ease in making of the plum. This perfectly fits my bill. —em-i-lis
medium habañero pepper, washed and sliced into thin rings (wear gloves when handling the pepper)
medium jalapeño pepper (about 4" long)
washed and chopped plums (you can use a mix of types; about 7 plums)
peeled and chopped peaches (about 1 large peach)
Fill your waterbath canner with water, cover and place over high heat on stove. Place four half-pint jars (with lids and bands) nearby. When the water is at a boil, you can sterilize the jars by submerging them in the pot. You can also prep the lids this way by putting them in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes and then removing them. You needn't sterilize or prepare the bands.
In an 8" skillet set over medium-high heat, pour the ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup water. Stir to combine and continue stirring regularly until the sugar has melted. Add the habañero rings and candy them by cooking for 6-10 minutes. They'll start to look like a coating of sugar syrup is encasing them. Using tongs, remove the candied rings to a plate and set aside. Pour the habañero syrup into a small glass measuring cup or vessel. Set aside- you'll use some of this in the jam.
Around the burner of a gas stove (or you can use a grill), place a sheet of foil (this makes for easier clean-up). Turn the burner on, and, using tongs, hold the jalapeño in the flames, rotating it regularly. You want to burn the skin and roast the inside. When the pepper's skin is evenly blackened, put it in a Ziploc and seal shut. After five minutes or so, remove it and then slough off the skin. This should be an easy task now. Dice the roasted jalapeño and set aside.
In a jam or other large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot set over medium-high heat, toss together the chopped plums, peaches and 2½ cups of sugar. When the sugar has melted, turn the heat up to high and add 2 tablespoons of your reserved habañero syrup, your diced/reserved jalapeño and the chopped ginger. Stir to combine well.
Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind the toasted coriander seeds and add to the jam.
Add at least half of your reserved candied habañero rings to the jam. Taste the jam. Keeping in mind that the heat of the peppers (the degree of spiciness) will fade some as the jam cools, add more habañero rings or syrup to taste.
After 20 or 25 minutes, the temperature of the jam should be at about 218. It will sheet off the back of a wooden spoon, look thick and boil in a lava-like way.
Carefully ladle the hot jam into your prepared jars, run a chopstick or slim knife around the edges to release any air bubbles, apply the lids and bands, and process in your waterbath canner for 12 minutes. Remove and let cool, undisturbed, for a few hours.