I’ve got to admit, I have never been afraid of trying something new in the kitchen except for canning……everyone says it’s SO EASY but I could never get passed the fact that I was preserving food for my family to eat and what if I didn’t do it right or if it’s spoils or gets contaminated?
Since growing a garden though, I’ve had such great success and an over abundance with my harvests and would give them away to friends. I needed to find a way to preserve some of it for later use. CANNING was the only thing that came to mind. After numerous readings, watching youtube, and asking people who canned, I said “I can do this”; and set out to buy my “equipment”. I wanted to make sure I did this and did it RIGHT!
The very first on my list was canning cucumbers to make Dill Pickles.
SUCCESS! We opened a few jars up a while ago and they were DEELISH! Still crunchy and not overpowering with its sourness. After that success, I’ve since canned Pickled Squash, Sweet Pickles, Jalapeno Jelly and Peaches.
Last night, I wasn’t tired at all and knew I needed to do something with the jalapenos I picked from the garden that day; I decided to make some Jalapeno Pepper Jelly! It was a process but I was able to make 6 (1/2 pints) with the recipe. Here’s what I did:
JALAPENO PEPPER JELLY
2 cups Apple cider vinegar
6 cups Sugar (YES 6!)
2 (6 fl. oz. pouches) Liquid Pectin (I used Sure Jell Certo)
Green food coloring (optional)
Wash your peppers and remove the membranes and seeds. If you’d like the jelly with a little more “kick”, keep some of the membranes and seeds. Add the peppers to a food processor along with 1 cup of the cider vinegar and process them until pureed finely.
While that is going, make sure to be sterilizing your jars according to the manufacturers instructions.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup cider vinegar and heat that on the stove top to dissolve the vinegar, add the pureed peppers to the sugar/vinegar mixture and bring this to a boil. Boil for a good 10 minutes and continue to stir constantly! Stir in a few drops of green food coloring if using. After the 10 minutes, add your liquid pectin to the mixture and continue to stir. Allow this to boil hard for 1 minute.
Remove from the stove top. Remove your sterilized jars and place them onto a CLEAN towel.
Carefully ladle the jelly mixture into your clean sterilized jars, making sure to leave a headway of about 1/4 – 1/2-inch from the top. Because I did not “puree” my peppers too finely, I had larger bits of pepper that I really didn’t want in my jelly. I used a strainer to remove MOST but not ALL of the bits.
Using a clean dish cloth, dipped a part of it into the boiling water used to sterilize your jars, and wipe the mouth area of the jars clean, making sure that there is nothing on it to prevent the jars from sealing properly.
After doing this, add your sterilized lids and rings but do not tighten the rings too tight.
Bring your water bath back up to a boil; place your jars of jelly into the water bath and process or boiling for 10 minutes. Do not start timing until it’s come to a hard boil.
Once the time is up; carefully remove your jars and set them onto a clean towel to cool off completely.
This will be about the time your start to hear those wonderful “PINGING & POPPING” sounds, which tells you that your jar has processed and sealed properly. Leave them on the counter overnight, do not bother them.
In the morning, remove the rings and holding the jars by the lids, try to lift them off, if it doesn’t come off easily, it’s properly sealed. You can store them without the rings this way. Place them into a cool dark area, I used a cabinet in my kitchen. Allow them to sit for about 1 week, and then you’re ready to use them. If you’ve processed it correctly, they can keep for up to a year unopened. If it did not process properly, place it in the refrigerator to use right away OR you can reprocess in the water bath again, but remember to add a NEW lid; lids are not reusable like the rings and jars.
I hope this helps you with your fear of canning, I know that it’s helped me……HAPPY CANNING!