This Pepper Jelly recipe is extremely easy to make and it’s great to have in the pantry.
What Kind of Peppers Should you Use for Pepper Jelly?
For this Pepper Jelly recipe, I used a hodgepodge of sweet peppers harvested from my garden. There are red and green shishito peppers, yellow banana peppers, and cute little red and orange mad hatters.
The result of all the colours are very pretty, confetti-like jelly. It looks sparkly and festive, perfect for holiday gift-giving.
What’s the Difference Between Jelly and Jam?
Jelly and Jam are both made with fruit. However, they are different products. Jelly is made with the juice of the fruit, while jam is made with the whole fruit. Although jams are thick, they aren’t as firm as jellies. Some examples of jelly recipes: Pear Jelly or Homemade Grape Jelly. And some jam recipes: Spiced Plum Jam With Cardamom and Cinnamon or Rhubarb Jam
This pepper jelly is a little different from other fruit jellies because it does contain little pieces of the peppers.
Pectin: Liquid or Powdered?
I used liquid pectin in this jelly recipe. Simply because it’s how I learned to make it and it’s a very easy way to make jams & jellies. But if you are following a recipe for jam or jelly, always use the form of pectin that the recipe specifies.
The cooking methods used are different for the two different forms of pectin, so they are not interchangeable. Here’s more info on that: Liquid Pectin vs Powdered Pectin
Can You Reduce the Amount of Sugar in this Jelly?
I don’t recommend reducing the amount of sugar in this recipe. For jellies and jams, sugar is more than just a sweetener. The sugar works with the pectin and fruit acids to form the gel, and it also acts as a preservative.
If you reduce the amount of sugar, you take the risk of your jelly not setting up. And there is nothing worse than putting in the effort, only to have un-jelled jelly. And besides, aren’t jams and jellies supposed to be sweet?
Do You Like It Hot?
I often make hot pepper jelly, too. If you would like your jelly to pack some heat, simply replace some of the peppers with jalapeno or other hot peppers, depending on your desired heat level. And if you don’t have hot peppers, you can add a pinch or two of dried red pepper flakes in the cooking process.
I like to make this sweet pepper jelly for gift giving because not everyone likes spice, but everyone does love this jelly.
How to Use Your Pepper Jelly
As I mentioned, these pretty jars make excellent homemade gifts, for holiday gifts or hostess gifts. This jelly is delicious on crackers with creamy cheese, such as brie, and a perfect addition to a charcuterie board. It’s great to have on hand for impromptu entertaining. Cheese and crackers get an instant upgrade when you add some pepper jelly.
Some other ways to use Pepper Jelly:
- Glaze for grilling salmon, pork, or chicken
- Glaze for baked ham
- Topping for baked brie
- Sauce for chicken wings or meatballs (toss the hot wings or meatballs in jelly for a restaurant-style appetizer)
- Spread on a turkey sandwich (so good!)
- Dip for egg rolls or spring rolls (Just heat in the microwave)
- Spread on toast or biscuits
- Topping for pancakes or waffles
- Shake with a little vinegar for a delicious, tangy salad dressing
How to Make this Pepper Jelly Recipe
Pepper Jelly is easy to make, versatile, and makes a perfect and pretty home crafted gift.
- 1.5 cups sweet peppers preferably three colours, finely diced
- 3 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 liquid pectin 85 ml
In a large stainless steel of enamel pot, combine diced peppers, sugar and vinegar
Over high heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for one full minute
Stir in liquid pectin, bring back to a boil, and boil hard for one full minute.
Remove from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars.
Put on lids and twist screw bands just finger tight
Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes
Allow to cool, in which time you should hear the pop of the sealing jars, and your jelly will thicken
It's important to sterilize your jars: Wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse well, and then boil for 10 minutes.
Keep the water that you sterilized your jars in boiling so that you can process your filled jars in it.
The diced peppers in your jelly will float to the top of the jars. To keep this from happening and suspend them throughout the jelly, turn the jars upside down and then upright a few times during the cooling time. As the jelly cools and gels, the particles will stay suspended.