January 31, 2012

Canning Hot Pepper Jam

Hot pepper jam is one of the best things to come into my life as a result of learning to can. It's totally superfluous- no one would ever say it was necessary to make it through the winter.

But damn if it doesn't make winter all the much better to be inside, cozy, having the old lady snack of hot pepper jam warmed over cream cheese, eaten with crackers.

While that looks like wine in the background,
I was actually not drinking and canning (for once).

Vrylena and I got together at her beautiful, new house on Saturday to do some out-of-season canning. We bought our produce at the grocery store, and I didn't feel guilty about it at all. V. bought organic (on sale even!) sweet peppers and I bought the jalapenos. The whole recipe probably cost us $20. 

Some times you need a little mid-winter (48 days until spring!) pick-me-up. We ended up with 12 jars of beautiful, red and green flecked, spicy, sweet jam.

We left the seeds in the jalapenos, and the jam was actually pretty spicy. It was nice, but mellowed when eaten with cream cheese.

Hot Pepper Jam
From Pomona's Pectin                                                  

1 cup finely chopped red and green bell peppers
1/3 cup  finely chopped jalapeno peppers
1 1/3 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
2 1/3 cups sugar                          
2 tsp calcium water (included in Pomona's pectin)
1-1/2 tsp Pomona's pectin powder

Wash 4 half-pint jars or 8 4-oz. jars, lids, and screw bands. Place jars in hot water bath canner and fill with water. Bring to a simmer.

Bring peppers and vinegar to a boil in a large stock pot. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Measure sugar into a bowl and remove 1/2 cup into a small bowl. Add pectin powder and stir to combine. 

Add calcium water to pepper vinegar mixture and slowly stir in sugar-pectin mixture. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining sugar while stirring. Return mixture to a boil for 1 minute.

Pour hot jam into hot jars to within 1/2-inch of top. Wipe rims. Apply warmed lids until finger tip tight. Process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.