Jan 16
2013
Three Pepper Jelly and Goat Cheese Three pepper jelly and goat cheese served with crackers makes my list of perfect party foods.  All of the work on this appetizer is done ahead of time, making it perfect for a stress-free party lineup.  When it comes to entertaining, I am all about easy.  Yes, I want the food to be good, but I also don’t want to be so stressed out about the food that I don’t enjoy myself.  With Super Bowl Sunday, the second biggest eating day of the year (beat only by Thanksgiving), I’m already thinking ahead so that when game day rolls around, the food is already taken care of.  Three pepper jelly and goat cheese served with crackers is a dressed-up twist on a favorite appetizer of mine growing up—pepper jelly and cream cheese.    You whip up a big batch of pepper jelly ahead of time, and then can it so that you’ve got extra jars in the pantry, or a delicious gift to give to someone who needs a pick-me-up.  That’s a winning play in my book!  And one that we can give Napoleon Bonaparte for—go figure.  According to the Canned Food Alliance, Napoleon Bonaparte offered a cash prize to the person who could develop an efficient way to preserve food.  A French cook named Nicholas Appert invented canning, a method of heating and sealing food.  A method which, if done properly, preserves food for more than two years.  So Monsieur Appert won Napoleon’s prize, and the world got a new food-preservation technique.  So do we call Bonaparte or Appert the quarterback on this play?  I’m going to leave that one up to all of you football fanatics. Jars of Three Pepper Jelly One thing I do know, is that this three pepper jelly is a touchdown.  I fell in love with it when I tasted it at my mother-in-law’s house over the holidays, and she was kind enough to share the recipe.  It uses three different kinds of peppers: green bell peppers, Anaheim peppers, and jalapeno peppers, which gives the jelly a wonderful complex flavor.  You can make it as mild or spicy as you want by including as many jalapeno pepper seeds as your heart desires.  I’m a total chilihead, so I love going with heat, but I tend to only use a few so that others will enjoy the jelly as well. Green Bell Peppers, Anaheim Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers If you’re intimidated by jelly making or canning, don’t be.  Both are CRAZY easy, and there are lots of tools out there to help if you are nervous or confused.  Ball, the maker of the glass mason jars that you can find in most supermarkets, provides a bunch of free tools on their website, including step-by-step guides to canning.  I have their book, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which is jam packed full of information and recipes, which is kind of like the bible of canning in my mind. Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving Okay, so now about that jelly.  Get your canning gear going first, so that your jars and lids can be sterilizing while you’re making the jelly and ready to go once the jelly is done.  Then whip up the jelly!  Once the jelly is finished, pour it into your sterilized jars and process them in your canner.  The hardest part about this whole process is letting the processed jars sit for 24 hours to make sure they seal properly and cool.  Of course, you can always put some of the jelly straight into a container in the refrigerator and enjoy it once it has chilled! Canning Three Pepper Jelly Once your jelly is made, you can enjoy it served with a log of goat cheese and variety of crackers. (But don’t worry, you’re not stuck eating pepper jelly with cheese and crackers.  There are all kinds of ways to enjoy it!)  Here’s to Bonaparte and Appert!  Touchdown! Three Pepper Jelly
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Three Pepper Jelly

Makes about six 8-ounce (250 mL) jars

Adapted from Fuji Mother-in-law’s recipe; Canning methods from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Recipe Notes: Make sure to wear rubber gloves when cutting and seeding the peppers so that you do not… If you want your jelly to have a bit more heat, include some of the jalapeno seeds in the pepper mixture. If you want a brighter green jelly, you can add a few drops of green food coloring, right after you skim the foam off of the jelly in step 3.  Want red jelly instead of green?  Substitute red peppers for the green!  Higher altitude affects canning recipes, requiring longer processing times (step 5). Altitudes of 1001–6000 feet (305–1829 meters), increase the processing time to 15 minutes. Altitudes of 6001+ feet (1829+ meters), increase the processing time to 20 minutes.

Ingredients:
2 cups green bell peppers (stems, membranes and seeds removed), chopped (about 10 ounces chopped, or 2 1/2 large peppers)
1/2 cup Anaheim peppers (stem, membranes and seeds removed), chopped (about 3/15 ounces chopped, or 1 1/2 large peppers)
1/2 cup green jalapeno peppers (stems, membranes, and seeds removed), chopped (about 3.3 ounces chopped, or 1 1/2 large peppers)
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces) white vinegar
6 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pouches (each 3-ounces) liquid pectin

1. Sterilize the jars: Place 6 clean 8-ounce mason jars on a rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill the jars and the canner with cool water that reaches the top of the jars. Cover the canner and bring the water to a simmer over medium heat, but do not boil.

2. Sterilize the lids: Set the screw bands aside, place the lids in a small saucepan, and cover with water. Heat just to a simmer over medium heat, but do n ot boil. Keep the lids warm until ready to use. (Do not heat the screw bands.)

3. Prepare the jelly mixture: Put all the peppers and vinegar in a blender or food processor and blend well. Process until smooth for smooth jelly, or leave some small chunks of pepper remaining for a more textured jelly. Pour the mixture into a large pot on the stove. Add the granulated sugar and salt and stir to combine.

4. Make the jelly: Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and boil, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes. Stir in the liquid pectin. Let the mixture return to a vigorous boil, and let boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and quickly skim off the foam on the surface of the jelly.

5. Fill the jars: Remove one of the jars from the canner and empty the hot water back into the canner, being careful not to burn yourself. (Do not dry the jar.) Place the jar on a tray or towel-covered counter and place a canning funnel in it. Quickly pour hot jelly into the hot jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Then with a clean, damp paper towel, wip the jar rim and threads clean. Using a magnetic or nonmetallic utensil, lift a hot lid from the water and center it on the jar. Place a screw band on the jar and screw it down evenly, just until resistance is met, and then increase to fingertip-tight. Return the jar to the canner rack and repeat until all the jelly is used.  Pour any remaining jelly into a container and place in the refrigerator.

6. Process the jars: Make sure all the jars are completely covered by at least 1 inch of hot water. Cover the canner and bring the water to a full rolling boil over high heat. Process (continue boiling rapidly) for 10 minutes, starting the timer only when the water reaches a full rolling boil. At the end of the processing time, turn the heat off and remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars, without tilting, and place them upright on a towel in a draft-free place and let cool for 24 hours.

7. Check the jars for proper seal: After 24 hours, check the lids to make sure they are sealed. If any jars have not sealed properly, then they must be refrigerated immediately or reprocessed. For those that have sealed properly, remove the screw bands, then rinse and dry them. Wipe the jars clean then loosely reapply the screw bands. Label the jars (include what is inside and the processing date), then store them in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayne January 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I’d so love to make this but we can’t get canning jars or equipment here. That said, I do think it will make good refrigerator jelly which we would finish within the week or so. My dad would love this.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm

@Jayne — Bummer! Although if you ever do find any decent jars, you don’t need any special equipment! I don’t have a canner…I just use a large stock pot! See this post here: http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2010/11/water-bath-canning-with-no-equipment.html That being said, this makes a FABULOUS refrigerator jelly! Be ready to share though, because it makes around 56 fluid ounces in total!

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Urban Wife January 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Every year, I tell myself I’m going to conquer canning and somehow always back out. This pepper jelly sounds delicious and quite possibly might just give me the kick in the pants I need. Thanks for sharing! :)

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

@Urban Wife — That’s EXACTLY what I’ve been saying! But now that I’ve started, I seriously don’t know what took me so long! So easy, and so worth having jars of stuff like this waiting to be opened in my pantry.

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Fuji Nana January 17, 2013 at 7:46 am

I did an awful lot of canning “back in the day,” and I had pretty much decided I was done canning. However, after tasting this jelly, I think I’m ready to dust off the ol’ canner. This would make a fun (and unique) friend and neighbor gift next Christmas. It is spectacularly delicious!

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm

@Fuji Nana — That’s what I was thinking! It would be fun to give a jar with some goat cheese and crackers!

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Rinku January 17, 2013 at 10:53 am

Thanks so much for stopping by my site. I love the look of this jelly. I had tried making a small batch with garden chili peppers last year.

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

@Rinku — How did it turn out? What kind of peppers were they? I’m always curious!

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Deb January 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

Hi there, I make pepper jelly too! our recipes are similar – I use red Sheppard peppers though (in place of the green bell ones). This gives an awesome red colour to the jelly. Purely a personal choice. I have also added in some scotch bonnets… :) talk about adding heat! glad you posted this, I find less and less people can things – it is such a great way to go. I am definitely an anomaly at work (for canning). !

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

@Deb — That’s one of the things I love about pepper jelly, it’s endlessly customizable! I have used red bell peppers and red jalapenos instead before to get a red jelly. So many fun flavor combinations! Yes, canning has definitely gone out of fashion, though I’m hoping that’s starting to change!

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mjskit January 18, 2013 at 9:20 am

What a GREAT jelly! I love the combination of peppers that you used. Can’t wait to make this and I bet it’s delicious with that goat cheese!!!

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Fuji Mama (Rachael) January 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm

@mjskit — Would love to hear if you try it!

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Amber January 19, 2013 at 8:04 am

I made serrano pepper jelly for neighbor christmas gifts this year! Everyone loved it so much, I’ll have to try this recipe now, I’ve already had people asking for more… Thanks!

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wilson January 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Where did you get your labels?

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