5 Ingredients or Fewer

Hot Pepper Jelly

October  2, 2009
Author Notes

I know these aren't bell peppers, but they key to this recipe is to make it with red jalapenos - I love their flavor, and I set out trying to make a jelly that captured that flavor, with just the right amount of spice that didn't overwhelm it. Not too sweet, not too spicy, SO much peppery goodness. - apartmentcooker —Erin McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Having never made jelly of any kind before, this was a new challenge for us. The big surprise was not only how easy it was, but how tasty the results were! After some searching we finally located some red jalapeno peppers (it was a bit early in the season in upstate New York), and found them leaning heavily toward the sweet side, with only a hint of heat. As the difference in the heat of peppers can vary from batch to batch, plant to plant and even pepper to pepper from the same plant, when I do this again I will gather an assortment of red peppers (jalapeno, habanero, red bell) and mix and match, tasting as I go to get just the right amount of kick. The jelly did take overnight to set, rather than right away, and it was a bit liquidy, but that was no doubt due to my inexperience with jellies. To sum it up: Delicious, and it will definitely be made again and again! —wssmom

  • Serves 4 pints
  • 3/4 pound red jalapenos
  • 2 cups cider vinegar, divided
  • 6 cups sugar
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 1 pouch Certo liquid pectin
In This Recipe
  1. Halve the jalapenos. Seed the jalapenos based on how spicy you want the jelly. (Since red jalapenos are sweeter than green jalapenos, I seeded half of the jalapenos, but left the seeds with the other half. It made for a only slightly spicy jelly. Final spice can also be adjusted with red pepper flakes at the end of cooking.)
  2. Transfer the peppers to a food processor or blender, with half of the vinegar. Transfer the mixture to a large pot. Add the remaining vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in liquid pectin. Boil for 1 minute, until jelly begins to thicken. Remove from heat, and ladle into sterilized jars. If keeping in the fridge, close the jars and refrigerate. If planning to keep on the shelves, process, covered, in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, or until sealed.

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I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.