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Hot Pepper Jelly the Easy Way

Red JellyLate summer is a great time to be a chilehead. All kinds of chiles are available at farmer’s markets and groceries. And if you garden (I do), then you may be overrun with zesty goodness; many modern varieties of chile plants are super-producers.

What to do with all the chile goodness? Make your own jams and jellies!

Oh, come on, it’s not that hard. I do it, and I don’t have all the traditional equipment. And no, I don’t cheat and borrow my mom’s canning set; she’s busy putting up her own stuff.

Here’s the gear I used:

  • Small food processor
  • Large soup pot with lid
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Grip-around tongs (to handle the hot jars)
  • Whisk and ladle
  • A dozen half-pint canning jars, with rings and fresh lids

Here’s a recipe that will help you get the “software” together:

I made a half dozen red using Fresno chiles, and a half dozen green using Hatch hots. I also used my soup pot to sterilize the jars and lids, then left the pot on for the canning run; got the whole batch done in about an hour or so.

One trick to add more flavor, and make the peppers easier to handle: I roasted the bells and Hatch chiles on my gas grill until the skins were blistered, the put them in a brown paper bag for 5-10 minutes. The skins just rub off under running water! Then you wash away the seeds and purée…

Enjoy the (Summer Chile) Heat!

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