This Recipe for Pepper Jelly will make you feel like a jam making PRO! It’s super easy to make, comes together quickly and goes good on just about anything! It’s great for snacking, people pleasing and gift giving. Your charcuterie boards are already thanking you.
If you love anything that has to do with jam, red peppers, jalapeños or just plain delicious-ness, then you’re gonna wanna go ahead and whip up this AWARD-WINNING Recipe for Pepper Jelly ASAP. Now, maybe this red pepper jelly didn’t ACTUALLY win any awards. But hey, I’m willing to bet if there was an award for “goes well with any cheese” or “most addicting jam on the planet” this pepper jelly would be a sure contender.
I can’t take much of the credit for this Recipe for Pepper Jelly, though. All that credit lies within my Aunt who made this exact jam yeeeears ago. I loved it so much that I practically haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Yeah, it’s one of those things. Like a good Italian Rice Ball or a nice comforting bowl of my mama’s famous French Onion Soup, this pepper jelly will sure as heck leave a lasting impression on anyone who eats it. Lucky for me, my Aunt gladly handed over the recipe when I had the idea over Christmas of wanting to gift a few jars out to some friends.
Judging by their reactions and feedback, I think this one might become a yearly tradition. And hey, I’m not complaining. With no canning equipment and a quick and simple sterilization process that virtually anyone can do, this homemade red pepper jelly could not be any easier to make!
I know the thought of making jam or jelly from scratch can be somewhat intimidating and something you’d imagine is best left for the professionals. But, I’m here to tell you that it’s not! There really is nothing to be scared of with this one! This recipe for pepper jelly is perfect for beginners and will have you feeling like the real professional in no time. It’s great for gift giving, entertaining and snacking. Just be prepared to receive a ton of compliments and having to explain, on repeat, that no, no you didn’t get this pepper jelly from the grocery store.
INGREDIENTS FOR RECIPE FOR PEPPER JELLY USING CERTO
All it takes is 5 simple ingredients to make this delicious red pepper jelly at home. Other than that, you’ll need a few clean jars and a blender to get started. Let’s go over the ingredients in a little bit more detail down below:
- Bell Pepper: I love using Red Bell Pepper to make this pepper jelly as I love the vibrant orange and red colours it gives the jam. But you could use green, orange or even yellow pepper, if you prefer. The peppers have a neutral, sort of sweet flavour that you would almost never imagine makes an amazing jam. But you’ll see for yourself that it surely does! All you need is one large pepper to get the job done!
- Pectin: A common ingredient used to gel jams and jellies. You can think of it, in this situation, as the cement that holds the jam together. It’s what makes it thick, jiggly and gel like. Pectin comes in a few different forms – liquid, powder and instant – be sure to grab the liquid pectin for this recipe. I used the certo brand of liquid pectin as one package is the perfect amount for this recipe.
- Jalapeños: Adds the slightest bit of spice to offset the sweetness from the sugar and red pepper. I keep the seeds in because I like everything with at least a bit of spice but you can remove them for a milder jam. Don’t be afraid of the jalapeños, though… this recipe for pepper jelly is not spicy at all! To make this pepper jelly even spicier, feel free to use a hotter pepper altogether. Ghost pepper, habaneros or thai chilies would send this jelly over the top!
- Sugar: For sweetness and a bit of balance. I know it might seem like a ton of sugar but what can I tell ya when this recipe for pepper jelly is perfect?! *sighs* White sugar works best in this recipe.
- Vinegar: Adds acidity and balances out the flavours of the rest of the ingredients. Kind of takes the edge off things so to speak. White vinegar is best in this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE PEPPER JELLY FROM SCRATCH (KEY TIPS)
- This is a very fast and hands on process that will move quickly. Know what needs to be done before you start and have everything ready to go that way you can move as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Use a high speed blender for best results. If you don’t have one, a food processor will do. And if you don’t have one of those either, then good luck mincing everything up with a sharp knife as finnnne as you can get it 😉
- Be careful blending the ingredients and work in batches if you have to. The last thing you want is for the vinegar and pepper mixture to end up all over your kitchen because you overfilled the blender! PRO TIP: Wash your blender immediately and with LOTS of soap (or you can let it soak in soapy water for a bit). This stuff will make your blender smell like hot pepper vinegar for daaaays if not cleaned properly and immediately.
- Scrape off as much of the orange foam as you can before jarring the jam. I know, there’s a lot. But it has no business being in your final product.
- Sterilize the jars before adding the pepper jelly to them. You can do this by quickly boiling them for 10-15 minutes then transferring them to a clean dish towel. PRO TIP: Sterilize a bit more jars than you think you’ll need. Once the pepper jelly is ready, you won’t have time to sterilize more jars if you realize you don’t have enough. This recipe made about 8 4 oz. mason jars but you can also use larger jars instead, if you prefer.
- Be extra careful when transferring the pepper jelly to the jars. The mixture will be extremely hot (and you’ll have to work quickly) so wear gloves or take it slow. You definitely don’t want to burn yourself in the process!
- Leave about a 1/4-inch of space on top of each jar (in other words, don’t fill them all the way to the top) as the jelly will expand a bit as it cools and sets.
- Leave red pepper jelly to settle 15 minutes before sealing the lid as you don’t want to trap in unnecessary heat.
- Allow the red pepper jelly to set/cool completely before using. I like to keep mine in the fridge to set overnight.
- This Red Pepper Jelly makes great gifts! Feel free to double or even triple the batch, as necessary.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
No, this pepper jelly is not spicy. Yes, there are a couple jalapeños thrown into the mix but the spice it adds is pretty minimal, if noticeable at all. I like keeping the seeds in my jalapeños because I personally want all the spice I can get. But, feel free to omit them for a milder jam.
For a hotter jam, try replacing the jalapeños with a spicier pepper. Ghost pepper, thai chilies or habaneros would all give this pepper jelly a pretty spicy kick!
In this recipe for pepper jelly, we use liquid pectin to thicken it and make it gel like. The pectin is responsible for making the pepper jelly thick and jiggly as it sets.
Pectin comes in powder, liquid or instant forms with liquid pectin being the one we need for this recipe.
Stored in sealed and sterilized jars, this recipe for pepper jelly will last for up to 6 months in the fridge.
Honestly, this stuff is good on almost anything! Definitely cheese – with goat cheese, cream cheese and brie being my favourite pairings. It’ll elevate any charcuterie board, burger or sandwich and sure as heck deserves a spot on any party food table. I even love it as a glaze for chicken or pork, on vegetables or, my latest creation, on a pound of crispy chicken wings!
The sky is seriously the limit with this one!
- 1.5 cups Red Bell Pepper (~ 1 large), seeded and chopped
- 2 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1.5 cups White Vinegar
- 6.5 cups Sugar
- 1 (170 ml.) package Liquid Pectin
- Submerge the jars (I used 4 oz. mason jars) in a pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a clean dry cloth until ready to use.
- In the meantime, combine both peppers and vinegar in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a large pot over and add the sugar. Heat on medium-high and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.
- Stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil on high. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Skim off foam.
- Pour in hot sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch of top. Let stand for 15 minutes then seal. Let set in the fridge overnight.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 665Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 170gFiber: 1gSugar: 163gProtein: 0g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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