Five Alarm Apple Hot Pepper Jam
I’m doing my best to use the plethora of fresh garden produce I have in my fridge before it goes bad. I fell behind on the peppers; they were starting to sag … so I was trying to think of what to do with them. Someone posted a hot pepper jelly recipe (I think it was Mary) and I immediately decided that this is what I need to do to use up my peppers.
A strange thing happens to my emotions when I do these types of things. First, I feel all happy and proud that I used my peppers and apples before they went bad. Then a sort of strange sadness comes over me as I feel the loss of my hot peppers. Suddenly after I have used them, I feel the urge to make something ELSE with my hot peppers, only to realize I have no more fresh hot peppers.
Then I have to go remind myself, there is nothing to be sad about. I have hot peppers in my freezer, and I have this lovely jam. All is well and good in the world. I love slathering this on my toast. Of course it’s good with cream cheese and crackers. You can also use it in marinades, salad dressings and sauces … wherever you need a little hot sweet “zing”. It’s easy to tone down the heat in this jam if you’re worried it will be too hot. Just use fewer hot peppers and more sweet peppers or apples. As long as you have 4 cups total of “fruit”, you’re golden.
- About 3 cups mixed hot & sweet peppers (I used 12 hot peppers, some bell peppers and some mini sweet peppers), cored & chopped fine
- About 1 cup peeled, cored, finely chopped apple
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 packet of Sure-Jell for Low Sugar or No Sugar recipes (the pink box)
- Clean your jars and lids and get them ready to sterilize: either put them in the dishwasher on hot or heat them in a saucepan of water, get it warm, then boil for at least 5 minutes before using.
- Meanwhile, cut the stem off the peppers and remove any ribs from the middle. Take the seeds out of the sweet peppers. If you want extra hot jam, include some of the seeds from the hot peppers. Peel and core the apples. Put them all in a food processor and chop fine (or chop by hand).
- Put the peppers and apples in a soup pot or large saucepan.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar with the Sure Jell. Stir this mixture into the pepper-apple mixture. Heat over medium-high heat until you reach a full rolling boil (that is, when stirring, the mixture keeps boiling).
- Stir in the rest of the sugar, the vinegar and the water. Return to a full boil and let boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
- Ladle the hot jam immediately into the hot, sterilized jars. Cover with sterilized lids and screw on the band tightly. Do a water bath if you like, according to the instructions from Sure Jell.
- Flip the jars upside down and let sit until cool, then flip them back upright. Leave the lids on for 24 hours. If any of your jars do not seal, keep them in the fridge and use within a month or two. Remove the bands from all the jars after 24 hours, label the sealed jars and store in a cupboard or pantry until ready to use.
To be honest, I skipped the water bath. For jams/jellies, it isn't always necessary, but if you want to be extra safe, do use a hot water bath according to Sure Jell's instructions.
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