Gypsy Gourmet’s Hot Pepper Jam

Yield: Approximately 6 1/2 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 apple cider vinegar

6 scant cups sugar (By scant I mean barely to the rim)

2 boxes Sure Jell pectin, pink box no-sugar

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 sugar, vinegar, and pectin, and set that next to the vegetables. Place three small plates in the freezer to test your jam when you’re ready to can. It will gel quickly and jiggle a little when placed on the plate.

The trick here is to sterilize all the tools you will use before you begin the jam. 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 simmer until just before I was ready for them. I also made sure to never touch them with my naked fingers. The magnetic lid wand is a handy-dandy tool for that.

Fill the canning stock pot two-thirds full of water (so that when the jars are added for processing there’s at least two inches above each jar), and have your tea kettle on simmer in case you need to add additional water. On medium-high heat, let this come to a gentle boil.

In a heavy-bottomed, non- reactive, canning stock pot, add peppers, vinegar, and sugar. Good tip, add one teaspoon butter to reduce foaming. Bring to a gentle boil stirring as you go. Once at a boil add the two packets of pectin, stirring well, and boil for an additional minute. Remove pot from heat. This will be a thin mixture, but don’t worry. The pectin will help it gel as it sits. Check for consistency on a frozen plate. Line up the sterilized jars and ladle mixture into each, leaving ¼ inch headroom for each jar. Wearing your sturdy rubber gloves, wipe the rim of each jar clean with a clean kitchen towel, removing lids and screw-tops, one at a time, and assemble jars. Give each screw top a final twist to ensure seal and line up for processing.

Add the jars to the rack and carefully lower into boiling water.  Allow to process for ten minutes at a rolling boil. Carefully remove jars and set aside on a kitchen towel to cool for at least eight hours to overnight. Once cool, check the jars for proper sealing by pressing a finger in the center of each top. If there is no movement, voila! Jam perfected by you, the home cook. This jam is suitable for Christmas gifts, hostess gifts, and a nice reminder of warmer weather for you and your family all winter long.

*Side note you can use a fancy jagged edge scissors to cut a 4×4 inch square of fabric to add a special touch to your homemade jams. Simply unscrew the top place the cut fabric over the lid, and replace and screw the top back on. Labels are available in most office supply stores and can be easily hand printed or customized however you like.