Muscadine Pepper Jelly

Yield: Approximately 6-8 pints

Ingredients

8 cups minced bell peppers (green is a must, but I like red as well for color contrast, food processor works well on pulse)

6 jalapenos stems removed, but seeds and ribs included pulsed with a food processor or minced fine

3 cups Muscadine juice (For tips on extracting the juice, please visit my website http://renegadegypsygourmet.com/)

3 cups apple cider vinegar

4-5 cups sugar (I used four, you may like it sweeter)

2 boxes Sure Jell pectin, pink box

Instructions

Start by prepping the vegetables. I made it quick by using my food processor on pulse until the peppers resembled a relish consistency. Set aside. Gather the juice, sugar, vinegar, and pectin, and set that next to the vegetables.

Fill the stock pot two-thirds full of water (so that when the jars are added for processing there’s at least an inch or two above each jar). On high heat, let this come to a boil. The trick here is to sterilize all the tools you will use before you begin the jelly. I was new at this and sterilized the tongs, ladle, jars, and when it came to the lids, I put them in a sauce pot and covered them with boiling water; letting them sit until just before I was ready for them.

In a heavy bottomed stock pot, add peppers, Muscadine juice, vinegar, and sugar. Good tip, add one teaspoon butter to reduce foaming. Bring to a rapid boil stirring as you go. Once at a hard boil add the two packets of pectin boil for an additional minute and remove from the heat. This will be a thin mixture, but don’t worry. The pectin will help it jell as it sits. Line up the sterilized jars and ladle mixture into each, leaving ¼ to ½ inch headroom for each jar. Remove lids and screw tops from the water bath, wipe the rim of each jar clean, and assemble jars.

Next, with the tongs add the kitchen towel to the sterilization stock pot. By doing this you’re insuring the jars don’t break when added to the pot for processing. Add the jars and allow to process for ten minutes at a rolling boil. Carefully remove jars and set aside on a kitchen towel to cool. Once cool, check the jars for proper sealing by pressing a finger in the center of each top. If there is no movement, voila! Jelly perfected by you, the home cook. This jelly is suitable for Christmas gifts, hostess gifts, and a nice reminder of warmer weather for you and your family all winter long.