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Pepper Jelly Makes a Great Christmas Present

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


Pineapple during the Holidays? It’s not just for ham anymore!

I’ve been making all sorts of pepper jellies in the run-up to Christmas. Late-year fruit usually are the firmer ones: Pears, apples, quince and the like. I’ve used some red pears in a pear-prickly pear-red chiles jelly that was a bit on the milder side; I guess I didn’t get enough serranos in there. I found some nice candied ginger, and used that in a pineapple-ginger-prickly pear-habanero blend. Very nice!

Maybe you’re noticing a pattern here: Lots of prickly pear. Yes, I still have many quarts of tasty prickly pear juice to sweeten and add flavor to my jellies. As I have mentioned elsewhere, it was a great summer for prickly pear fruit. I’ll not use it all soon, even in my frenzied campaign to make lots of gifts.

I found some cherries on at a reasonable price this week. Unusual, and they can’t be U.S. product. Not sure where they’re from; I guess Chile. Tasty little beggars in any case. I’ll use them with pineapple in one prep, and with no other fruit. Both will feature (you guessed it) prickly pear juice and habaneros.

BowlOCherriesStrawberries are nice at the moment too. Surely hothouse cultivated, but nicely priced in any case. With some raspberries in there, and enough habaneros to burn off the roof of your mouth add a nice, tingly after-bite, these strawberries will make a wonderful jam.

I saw some pretty persimmons in a specialty grocery, but I’ve never used these before. If I see them again I’ll snag a couple and taste them and learn how to peel them. I know my grandmother used to make persimmon jam, but my mom doesn’t have her recipe. Pity.

In a related note, I made some prickly pear syrup. Cooked down some juice, added brown and white sugars, and it came out awesome. Slow process, though. I didn’t need any artificial flavors as the prickly pear was all I needed.

Time to get back into the kitchen and make some more Holiday hot-stuff. So many jellies, so little time…

The (Gift of Hot Cuisine) Heat is ON!

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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