If you’ve been following along at home, by now you know that pepper jellies of all types are fairly easy to make. The basic recipe can be found here, and this stream on pepper jellies chronicles the Underground’s experiments in the field. Mostly successful, I’m pleased to say.
Some of PJ’s coworkers have become fans of habanero jelly, and asked if I would make them a special edition. I thought about it a bit, and decided that cinnamon might be the additional flavor that would change good jelly into great. Cinnamon has health benefits, and is regularly paired with sweet flavors. The spice essence can be delivered via powder or oil. I have a big batch of Ceylon cinnamon, so the choice for me was obvious; however, if I had wanted to avoid the brown coloring I would have picked oil as the delivery system.
As an aside, there are really two types of cinnamon available to cooks in the States. The more common material is cassia, which is a close relative to the cinnamon elm. The bark is harvested the same way, and in many instances it’s hard to tell the spices apart. Once powdered, even experts can get fooled. If you see the sticks, though, you can tell them apart: Cassia rolls up from both edges, like a scroll, while cinnamon rolls up from one edge. Cassia is generally less expensive, and spice purists maintain it has a harsher flavor. I think it’s all good stuff, and I use whatever I have liberally in cooking and baking.
The short answer is, the jelly came out well! The cinnamon turned the bright orange jelly into a beautiful golden color. I used some of my frozen habaneros, and they worked out fine. One large, orange bell pepper went into the product too, for body and to moderate the heat. In all, I wound up with seven nice half-pint jars of golden orange goodness to share with the chiliheads at Paula’s work…
The (Sweet Zing) Heat is On!
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