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StingJam, a New Variety of Pepper Jelly

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

Red Caribbeans

I’ve been making all sorts of pepper jelly for over a year now. A while back I “invented” a form that had milder heat but still plenty of pepper flavor with the fruit; I called that one ZingJam. Recently I tried to make a different batch, and the heat came out low; we could detect it, but it wasn’t a major presence. I called that one TingleJam.

Today I made a new batch, with strawberries and blackberries, and I used Red Carib chiles for the heat. These chiles are a favorite in Jamaican cuisine, in dishes as diverse as Jerk Chicken, Callaloo and Escovitch Fish.

Hot JamI stubbed my toe on the heat too. It was an easy mistake to make, actually. My neighborhood grocer had some lovely, fresh Reds mixed in with the habaneros. I sorted out the red ones and hurried home with my prizes. I deseeded 8 of them, thinking that would tone the temper down to around habanero levels. I often use 6-8 habs in a ZingJam, so I thought this batch might be a bit strong, but not overly so.

No such luck. This stuff was HOT! So I now have a new arrow in my quiver: StingJam!

This batch I used a little over two pounds of strawberries; that was the weight after trimming and cutting into small pieces for macerating. I combined that with 12 ounces of blackberries. I then mashed the fruit lightly with a potato masher, and poured a cup of sugar over the fruit. I added a bit of Kirschwasser and let the whole mix stand in the fridge for a few hours, covered.

While the fruit was getting happy I set up for jelly making and canning. I used another 1.5 cups of sugar, and enough Stevia concentrate to replace about 3 cups of sugar. I put the fruit in the pot, as well as some ground spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom. Two cups of apple cider vinegar (the real stuff, not the artifically flavored junque) supplied the acid, and I used nearly 3 tablespoons of Ball pectin (the no-sugar variety; but you already knew that) . I used a nice red bell pepper too, and another half of a red bell that was left over from salad-making the night before; suitably milled down in the food chopper.

The batch made 7 deeply-red half-pints at the end, with nearly a half-pint runover. I managed not to eat all the extra before PJ got home for her required taste-test. She agreed, this stuff is very zesty, about a four out of five.

This jam has plenty of fruit flavors (strawberries, blackberries, cherry from the liqueur), nice pepper taste and body, and spices to make it all a symphony of aroma, savor and pungency in your mouth.

Now to try this recipe on the beautiful red pears I found at Sprouts last week…

Enjoy the (Fruit Sting) 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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