My Nana is a canning queen! Each year she gives us pepper jelly and jalapenos from her yearly canning supply. My husband absolutely LOVES the pepper jelly and can knock a whole 8 oz cream cheese hunk covered in pepper jelly in about 2-3 days all by himself if I let him. 😉
For over a year I had plans to try canning myself! Well this past Saturday I finally pulled up my britches and made it happen! It turned out delicious!!!
First, I had to go purchase a few tools. I already had a giant stew pot which I used for the hot boiling baths. The important thing about using a regular stew pot is you need either a canning rack or even a silicone pot holder to go on the bottom of your pot. This prevents the glass jars from touching the bottom of the pot which can shatter your jars. I used a silicone pot holder and it worked just fine. I had to buy a jar grabber, mason jars, canning funnel and pectin gel. I used Ball jelly jars!
Jar Grabber HERE
Canning Funnel HERE
I must say this was kind of an intense process to undertake alone and for the first time. There are a lot of things going on at the same time during the canning process. It was a little bit intimidating for my scatter brained self, but I got through it! I must say if you are worried about not being able to do it, trust me, you can! That first time might be really stressful but the next time it can only get easier! 🙂 Cue motivational music! 🙂 It’s well worth the work! This would make a great stay at home date night activity! 🙂
I’m not really sure where this recipe came from but my Nana has had it for years! It is a tad bit confusing. So read it thoroughly many times to prepare yourself should you decide to use this one! If this one is too confusing, go find another one! My feelings won’t be hurt! 😛
– 6 medium jalapenos
-1 medium red bell pepper
-1 medium green bell pepper
****Out of these peppers you will use 2 & 3/4 cups of the chopped peppers.****
-1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
-1 tbsp crushed red pepper
-6 1/2 cups of sugar
-1 pouch CERTO pectin gel
1. Bring boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to simmer. (water canner=your pot)
2. Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling.
3. Prepare the peppers by seeding and dicing the peppers. Keep 1 tsp of jalapeno seeds for added heat.
4.In a large sauce pan, saute the peppers for about 2 minutes. Add in the vinegar and 1 tbsp of crushed red pepper, stir for 1 minutes.
5. Measure exact amount of sugar and pour into the simmering peppers and vinegar.
6. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
7. Stir in pectin quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a medal spoon. *I didn’t need to do this.
8. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling within 1/8 inch of the tops. Wipe jar rims and threads clean of any drips. Cover with the 2 piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner using the jar grabbers. (elevated rack=silicone pot holder) Water must cover jars by 1-2 inches; add boiling water if needed. Cover; bring water to a gentle boil. Process jelly for 10 minutes. (process=let set in pot) After 10 minutes remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing the middle of the lid with your finger. (If the lid springs up then the jar is not sealed and must be refrigerated.
*Don’t check the your lids until after 24 hours. They might not seal until then. I checked too soon and panicked because I thought they weren’t sealed. I called my nana and she said to leave them alone and wait! haha 🙂
9. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Store unopened jellies in cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jellies up to 3 weeks.