I am doing some Fall clean up in the garden, pulling up the pepper plants, cucumber vines and pulling more of the ever present weeds.
I grew three types of pepper plants this summer. The most prolific of the trio was the Poblano pepper. The Serrano came in second and the Red Bell pepper was a very distant third. An outcome of the clean-up was a large number of peppers to be used/consumed. In the past I have used the poblanos as trading material at the local farmer’s market as well as trading for a dinner at one of the local Mexican restaurants. I need to qualify the comment about the Serrano pepper plant – three weeks ago it was loaded and I failed to harvest. The result today was barely enough to make a batch of Serrano Pepper Jelly. Poblanos to the rescue!
First up this morning was the Serrano Pepper Jelly. It so tasty when completed. We mix it with soft cream cheese as a spicy dip. The use of store bought Red Bell Peppers creates a nice red hue and the bits of finely chopped pepper pieces creates a “confetti” look in the finished product. I don’t usually use liquid pectin when making jams and jellies but past pepper jelly efforts have made a less than firm set. No troubles with this recipe.
Serrano Pepper Jelly
Yields 7 8-oz jars or 14 4-oz jars
§ 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
§ 1/2 cup chopped green Serrano peppers/Poblano peppers
§ 5 cups white sugar
§ 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
§ 1 (6 fluid ounce) container liquid pectin ( like to use Certo brand)
Step 1: Sterilze jars, lids and rings according to manufacturer’s instructions. Heat water in a Large pot or water canner.
Step 2: Remove stems, veins and most of the seeds of the bell and serrano peppers. Mince peppers in a food processor.
Step 3: In a 5-quart pot over high heat, combine bell peppers, jalapenos, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a rolling boil; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Skim off any foam.
Step 4: Stirring constantly, add the pectin and let mixture continue to cool for 3 minutes more.
Step 5: Pour into hot, sterilized jars and top with sterilized lids. Secure lids with bands and put back in pot hot water and boil for 5 mins. Remove from water and allow jars to cool slowly, creating a vacuum seal. Jars may make a popping noise as they cool.
Tip: let cool, gently remove the rim and dry the lid and rings (do this very carefully) so that you do not get rusty lids. Place rings back on but be sure not to screw too tightly then set overnight. Sometimes it has taken 2 weeks for this jelly to set so be patient.
This recipe makes 14 4-oz jars. I like to put them in small jars because at this size they are a perfect addition to a cheese and cracker plate. Isn’t the coloring gorgeous? The flecks of peppers look like confetti.
I guarantee that it won’t take two weeks for this jelly to set. I had to use a spatula to get the jelly out of the pot when filling the last two jars from each batch. My yield was a little lower than the recipe – 11, 4 oz. jars. In the future I will smoke some of the Poblano peppers and make a “smoked” Poblano pepper jelly. I plan on using pecan wood…..a nice mellow wood. I have read that some that make Chipolte, smoked Jalapeno peppers, use mesquite for a stronger flavor. Maybe next time I’ll use the mesquite.