You can get almost any fruit you want, whenever you want it, thanks to our grocery industry. But don’t they taste best when they’re in season? That’s why I make so much pepper jelly this time of year…
Dark sweet cherries have been available in our area for a few weeks, but the prices! I didn’t want to sell a car or take out a second mortgage to get a few pounds of these tasty morsels. I was beginning to think the harvest had been poor up north, then the prices dropped a lot. I stocked up! A friend showed us how to quickly pit cherries (Thanks, Kari!), and we worked our way through seven pounds in no time. Fortunately, cherry juice isn’t nearly as staining as others. (Although it was easy to spot who wasn’t putting all their pitted cherries in the bowl, since they sported a deep purple ring on their smug mug.)
I made two big batches of jelly from these cherries, totaling 15 half-pint jars. The first one I used four habaneros, giving the spread a nice, even heat. What I call “stingjam” level. Not enough heat to put anybody off, but if you put too much on the cracker you’ll notice. The second batch got cowhorn cayennes from last year’s bumper crop. I simply grabbed a few frozen peppers out of the freezer, topped them while they were still solid, then ground them up in my trusty little Kitchenaid food processor. I guess there were about eight of these long, red lovelies. The eight half-pints this batch produced have a milder aspect, but every now and again you get a bigger bit of the cayenne and you know it. Nice little surprises!
In case you forgot how I make my jellies, read this post.
Next up, pineapples. It seems that Central America has had a bumper crop of the large, yellow fruit this year. We’ve had them available in our area for a while now, at prices as low as a buck apiece. Mostly they’re going for two-for-three, or sometimes $2 each, but not more. They’ve been in that price range since April! Although the scuttlebutt in our area is that the great prices are about to come to an end. I hope they don’t go back to the $6-8 range, like they were. I’m getting spoiled by having this juicy, sweet produce readily available; I’ve been enjoying pineapple on ice cream, in salsas, and as a snack. Can’t get enough!
I bought two for the pineapple jellies, and made two batches. The difference between them is the alcoholic spirit I infused. One got bourbon, the other got rum. Each batch of six half-pints took a pineapple each, which I cut into pieces and scorched on my new grill to give the fruit some nice marks and added flavor. I added a few ounces of pineapple juice, and I used lemon juice as the acid for these batches. Pretty standard preparation, other than that.
So far that makes about 80 half-pints of jelly this season. And I don’t even have many peppers from this year’s garden yet! Though the number of blooms at the moment is amazing…
Enjoy the (Jars O’ Jelly) Heat!
- Red Pepper Jelly Sunday
- Pepper Jelly Update: Anybody Got a Gas Mask I Can Borrow?
- Tag-Team Teaching in the Kitchen
- Lemon Ginger Marmalade, an Easy Spread to Make
- Yellow Inferno for Breakfast: Caribé-Habañero Pepper Jelly
- Lemony-Hot Jam, a Hybrid Spread With a Slow Burn
- Hatch Chiles and Lime, a Great Combo for Jam
- Jessica, Your Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly is Ready
- Hunting the Wild Prickly Pear in South Texas
- Prickly Pear Jelly Redux: Juice, Juice Everywhere…
- Charred Pineapple, Habañeros and Bourbon, a Great Jam Combo
- How to Push Prickly Pear Jelly Over the Top With Serrano Chiles
- Not Your Momma’s Marmalade
- A Jam That’s Just Plum Good…
- Peaches O’ Eight Jam, the Perfect Pirate Toast Topping
- Saint Basil’s Green; It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
- Pepper Jelly Redux: Apricot Jam, Extra-Zesty Habañero and Serrano Jellies
- Pepper Jelly Sweetened with Stevia: It’s a Hit!
- Gardens, Gators, and Green Pepper Jelly
- Do Hairless Peaches Make Great Jam? You Betcha…
- Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Jam
- Cinnamon Plus Heat Equals Magic
- March Madness, With Mangos…
- StingJam, a New Variety of Pepper Jelly
- Butter and Scotch? Not Quite; But a Great Jelly Nonetheless…
- White Flesh Peach Zingjam, a Refreshing Topping
- More Summertime Fruit Pepper Jellies
- Holiday Marmalade with Habaneros and Prickly Pear Juice
- Pepper Jelly Makes a Great Christmas Present
- Cherry Season is Here, and Cherry Pepper Jellies are Great
- Pepper Jellies and the Manzano Chile
- Singapore Sling Pepper Jelly! Now You Can Drink Your Toast…