Pepper Jelly



It is summer time and the Jalapeno plants are really producing peppers.  As the summer has gotten hotter, so too have the peppers.  What to do?  Eat 'em - or - can 'em.  The Jalapeno Chicken Wrap recipe is a summer favorite for the eat 'em part.  This recipe and canning process will allow you to enjoy the heat all year long.  Jalapeno pepper jelly is great on a cracker with cream cheese.


1/2 c Jalapeno peppers; seeded
1/2 c Green Bell peppers; seeded
1 c Chopped onion
1 1/2 c Vinegar
5 c Sugar
2 Pouches liquid pectin


Place the Jalapenos, Green Bell peppers, onion and vinegar in a food processor or blender. Process until very fine. Pour the sugar into a heavy non-aluminum pot. Stir the Chile mixture, bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the pectin. Let sit 5 minutes. Ladle into sterilized jars and seal. Makes 10 Cups.

NOTE: Caution, the peppers can be hot, all the way around.  You may want to use rubber gloves when handling the peppers.  Also, DO NOT put your fingers by your eyes if you have not washed your hands after handling the Jalapeños.  You may also want to make sure the stove-top vent fan is on high while the mixture boils. The vapor is hot.

NOTE: Follow canning procedures for these preserves when you can 'em.  We use the BALL brand products.  A complete how-to is at their website

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A small green chile pepper that is mildly hot. They are named after Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz. Serrano peppers are a good substitute when there are no jalapenos on hand.

Peppers originate from Central America where most of the main varieties were developed by local Indians. Once peppers were discovered by the Spaniards and Portuguese they were rapidly introduced worldwide and eagerly incorporated into local cuisines. Sweet peppers can be eaten raw or cooked; chili or hot pepper are used in seasoning.

The wild form of this species is native from Florida and the Bahamas to Arizona and down though Central America to Colombia. Seeds have been found in archaeological excavations dating to before 5000 BC in the Tehuacan Caves at Puebla, Mexico. Evidence suggests that by 3500 BC, Capsicum annuum was under cultivation.

Other species of Capsicum are also grown (e.g. Capsicum frutescens is the main ingredient of Tabasco sauce) but Capsicum annuum has produced almost all the varieties of chilies and peppers. Varieties can be either sweet or hot and come in a variety of colors. The green pepper is an unripe red or yellow sweet pepper. Cayenne pepper and paprika are also derived from varieties of C. annuum (CHECK).

The hot flavor of chilies is caused by the substance capsicin which is concentrated mainly in the placenta (i.e. the connective tissue between the fruit and the seeds) and the seeds. A single mutation of a particular gene turns off capsaicin production to produce a sweet pepper.

Capsicum species were brought back to Europe by the Spaniards in the late 1400's and early 1500's and soon became enormously popular as they could be easily grown in gardens and could be used as a replacement spice for Pepper Piper nigrum which was very expensive. Chili peppers were probably introduced to Africa and Asia by the Portuguese and in Asia in particular, became widely grown and incorporated extensively into local cuisine.

Many of the varieties of Capsicum annuum were developed by New World Indians before European invaders arrived. Modern breeding has tended to concentrate on developing new sweet pepper cultivars.


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