Apricot Pepper Jelly Recipe

Apricot Pepper Jelly Recipe Recipe

I've made several sweet and spicy preserves in the past and this is one of the many variations we made last summer. As I might have told you before, Lulu's favorite hobby after work is gardening. He takes such great pride harvesting the hottest chiles. He started them from seeds and grew them in those cool Jiffy greenhouses. We should be starting planting the seeds again in the following weeks.

Last August, we harvested jalapeño and Habanero chiles. I paired the spicy peppers with delicious apricot juice and made my own pepper jelly. The problem with canning and making so many experiments during the summer is that we have to store all the jars in the garage. The preserves taste much better if you let them sit for a few weeks so the flavors are at their fullest. By that time, we usually forget about them until we do a huge clean up! It just took us 6 months to find these 3 jars. I’m glad we did; this apricot pepper jelly tastes delicious!

Ingredients

Yields: 3 (1-pint) jars

1-½ (11.5-ounce) cans apricot juice
1-½ cups apple cider vinegar
2 jalapeño peppers
15 Habanero chiles
1 teaspoon canola oil (or any neutral oil)
5 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 (1.75-ounce) package powdered pectin
1/8 teaspoon powdered yellow food coloring


Directions

Prepping the chiles:

Choose fully ripened chiles. Wash and pat them dry. Cut the stems off the peppers.

Brush them with oil. Place a grill on your stove and char all the skin of the peppers. Wrap in aluminum foil. Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Clean the peppers using a knife; the skin will come right off. Wearing disposable gloves, remove the seeds and finely dice the flesh.

Note: remember not to rub your eyes after touching the chile pepper seeds.

How to make apricot pepper jelly:

Optional (for a smoother jelly): In a large bowl, strain out the excess pulp from the apricot juice using 4-layered cheesecloth. Wrap it and make a knot at the tip and suspend it over a bowl using chopsticks. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. Squeeze any extra juice from the cloth and discard any solids.

Place the diced chiles in a saucepan. Add sugar, apricot juice, apple cider vinegar, powdered pectin and salt. Stir well until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to make sure the ingredients don't stick to the bottom.

Dissolve the yellow food coloring in 1 teaspoon of water and add it to the mixture. Bring to a boil again, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 2 minutes until thickened and syrupy. 

Canning:

While the pepper jelly is cooking, fill a large pot of water and bring to just under a boil. Place 3 1-pint Mason jars, lids, heat-proof funnel and tongs in the pot and boil for 10 minutes. Be sure to read the instructions that come with your Mason jars. They'll give you exact time and techniques.

Remove the jars from the water and fill with the hot jelly, leaving about ¼-inch of head space or whatever your canning directions say. Carefully place the lids on the jars (see tips). Tighten the collar around each jar. Bring your large pot of water back to a boil and place all the sealed jars in it for 10 minutes.

Remove the jars from the water. If the top of the lid still pops, the vacuum didn't form and you'll need to consume the jam in the next couple of weeks, storing it in the refrigerator. Otherwise you can safely store it in your pantry for up to a year.

Allow to sit at least for a week before opening the jars.

Enjoy!


Tips

I use Habanero and jalapeño peppers for this recipe. The Habanero is the spiciest pepper in the world. If you're afraid it will be too spicy, you can find another red pepper that is more appropriate to your heat tolerance.

Since the color wasn't bright enough, I added a little yellow food coloring, but you could omit it. You can find yellow food coloring powder in Indian markets.

You could use any other fruit juices. Another flavor combination that works great is raspberry and chiles.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on March 13, 2011.


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