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Saint Basil’s Green; It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

This entry is part of a series, Pepper Jelly Chronicles»


One more pepper jelly and then we’re done (for a while, at least). Today I made jalapeño jelly, using a dozen fresh chiles and two medium green bell peppers. Nothing much special, although I added one interesting ingredient: Fresh basil from the garden.

I decided to steep the basil in vinegar rather than put it directly in the jelly. If you put the herb straight in, you have to cook it into the syrup. Basil doesn’t take well to cooking, in my experience. So I took the two cups of cider vinegar I planned for the jelly and brought it up to a simmer, then removed it from the heat. As it cooled slightly I roughly chopped about a cup of fresh basil from the garden, then I tossed it into the vinegar to steep for a few minutes. While that was working I got the rest of the hardware ready.

I cut and deseeded the jalapeños and the bell peppers, then I puréed the whole shebang in my trusty small food processor. That took all of about five minutes. The chile purée went into the jelly pot with the sweeteners (sugar and sucralose, a couple of cups each) and pectin (3 tablespoons). I strained the basil from the vinegar as I added it directly to the syrup. I had to manage the foaming using lots of stirring and a tablespoon of butter. I don’t know why green chiles and peppers seem to foam so much more strongly than for other jellies, but they do. Trust me, you Do Not want the pot to boil over at this point. (I can’t tell you how I know this.)

Canning was a snap, and I got a half dozen nice jars of dark green jelly for all my troubles. I tasted the pot drippings, and it’s plenty zesty with a strong sense of “green” in the flavor. Sweet but not overpoweringly so. And there’s that interesting hint of basil in the background…

Enjoy the (Green for Christmas) Heat!

Entries in this series:
  1. Red Pepper Jelly Sunday
  2. Pepper Jelly Update: Anybody Got a Gas Mask I Can Borrow?
  3. Tag-Team Teaching in the Kitchen
  4. Lemon Ginger Marmalade, an Easy Spread to Make
  5. Yellow Inferno for Breakfast: Caribé-Habañero Pepper Jelly
  6. Lemony-Hot Jam, a Hybrid Spread With a Slow Burn
  7. Hatch Chiles and Lime, a Great Combo for Jam
  8. Jessica, Your Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly is Ready
  9. Hunting the Wild Prickly Pear in South Texas
  10. Prickly Pear Jelly Redux: Juice, Juice Everywhere…
  11. Charred Pineapple, Habañeros and Bourbon, a Great Jam Combo
  12. How to Push Prickly Pear Jelly Over the Top With Serrano Chiles
  13. Not Your Momma’s Marmalade
  14. A Jam That’s Just Plum Good…
  15. Peaches O’ Eight Jam, the Perfect Pirate Toast Topping
  16. Saint Basil’s Green; It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
  17. Pepper Jelly Redux: Apricot Jam, Extra-Zesty Habañero and Serrano Jellies
  18. Pepper Jelly Sweetened with Stevia: It’s a Hit!
  19. Gardens, Gators, and Green Pepper Jelly
  20. Do Hairless Peaches Make Great Jam? You Betcha…
  21. Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Jam
  22. Cinnamon Plus Heat Equals Magic
  23. March Madness, With Mangos…
  24. StingJam, a New Variety of Pepper Jelly
  25. Butter and Scotch? Not Quite; But a Great Jelly Nonetheless…
  26. White Flesh Peach Zingjam, a Refreshing Topping
  27. More Summertime Fruit Pepper Jellies
  28. Holiday Marmalade with Habaneros and Prickly Pear Juice
  29. Pepper Jelly Makes a Great Christmas Present
  30. Cherry Season is Here, and Cherry Pepper Jellies are Great
  31. Pepper Jellies and the Manzano Chile
  32. Singapore Sling Pepper Jelly! Now You Can Drink Your Toast…
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