What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hot Pepper Jelly

Hot pepper jelly used to be only a southern thing. I think it was popularized by Charleston Receipts, but don't know for sure. The recipe is in the cookbook with no fan fare. I have several old cookbooks, like my Grandmother's original, and she, like I, was from Virgina. I don't know how old the cookbook is, but there are articles from the newspaper with recipes in it from 1920. I also have a very old
Williamsburg cookbook as well as 2 from 1986 and there are no recipes for hot pepper jelly in any of them. I have heard that fancy dinner parties in Savannah and Charleston, it was served with water crackers and cream cheese. For those who haven't had the pleasure, it is a jelly made from bell and hot peppers. It can be red or green. It sounds weird but it is positively addictive. I do not know if anyone from anywhere who has ever tried it and not liked it. I recently visited the great town of Detroit and brought 3 kinds of jelly for my (3) hosts to choose from: fig, grape, and hot pepper, and the first one chosen was the hot pepper jelly (What does that tell ya?) and they were no southerns but me (what I mean is there were no Yankees there!)

It is traditionally served with cream cheese and crackers but serving with brie would work or as an accompaniment to meat. Trust me, if you've never had it, it doesn't taste like what you think it tastes like, whatever that is. Yes, it has a lot of sugar in it. It's jelly, after all. And because of it, you get the sweet and hot thing going. I am submitting this for weekend's , hosted this week at home at Kalyns Kitchen. It's really not hard to make and it's beautiful! I prefer all red because RED hot pepper jelly sounds and looks better than green, although they taste the same. I have even seen them mixed: 1/2 jar red and 1/2 green. It's pretty but it takes too much time when there isn't any.

My recipe:

5 red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups jalapeno peppers (or a mix of jalapenos and cayenne’s)
1 cup cider vinegar
2 cups white vinegar
12 cup sugar
3 boxes liquid pectin

Get most of the seeds and veins out of the peppers. Puree peppers in batches in food processor until very pureed. Add to large pot with sugar and vinegar. Cook until simmering and all of the sugar is melted. Bring to a boil. Add liquid pectin. Bring back to a boil. Boil 1 minute or until the temperature reaches soft ball stage (220). Spoon into sterilized 1/2 pint jars leaving 1/2" at the top. Put on lids and simmer in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 14 1/2 pints.

Other things to consider: You can put the peppers through a food mill. I have one but like the pepper bits you see as a result of processing in a food processor. You can use all white or cider vinegar. I like the clarity that the white vinegar gives but the taste of the cider vinegar. You can use all green peppers. Most recipes call for all jalapenos. I happen to like mixing them for the heat and differences in flavor, but still use mainly jalapenos, but sometimes it’s based on how many I have of what in the garden.

If you try the recipe and you've never tried pepper jelly before, please let me know what you think. For more recipes, check out our website at swank recipes Cheers!


  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger Kalyn said…

    I've eaten this and you're right, it's absolutely addicting. Great sounding recipe.

  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger JMom said…

    Although I was apprehensive at first, I've learned to love this too! My aunt makes the green kind and never fails to send me a couple of jars a year. They don't last as long as we'd like them :(

  • At 10:57 PM, Anonymous mamagazelle said…

    I use hot pepper jelly by melting/softening a little and using as a dip for egg rolls.


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