Sunday, October 7, 2018

Blackberry - Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

Beautiful in color and sweet with heat, this homemade blackberry- jalapeno jelly is delicious served on top of crackers with cream cheese.   

Today' recipe is for an amazingly delicious Blackberry - Jalapeno Pepper Jelly. I love making pepper jelly with garden peppers. Every spring and summer I plant peppers and every year I make pepper jelly for ourselves and for family and friends. Our summer garden has just about dried up, but our jalapeno and bell peppers are still going strong. For some reason my pepper plants seem to do better when September comes along and the temps drop down from the triple digits.   


Currently our highs are in the 80's, so I have peppers coming out of ears!  I've  given away a lot to co-workers and friends, but we still have some in the fridge and more growing in the garden. Soooooooo that means it's time to make pepper jelly again. If  you've never tried pepper jelly you sure are missing out.  Hot pepper jelly has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and is made from fresh jalapenos, bell peppers, sugar, apple cider vinegar and pectin. 

I've never added food coloring in my pepper jelly because the peppers alone yield a beautiful green color. Once in a while I add frozen berries to make strawberry- jalapeno jelly and this beautiful deep purple blackberry jalapeno jelly. All of the varieties are equally delicious and make wonderful holiday gifts for friends and family. If you love pepper jelly, I hope you'll give this recipe a try.  




Blackberry - Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

Ingredients:  
7- 8 medium - large size fresh jalapeno peppers 
1 - large or two medium size green bell pepper, seeded 
2 - cups frozen blackberries, thawed 
2 - tablespoons lemon juice 
1 - cup apple cider vinegar
3 - cups sugar
3 - ounces Liquid Fruit Pectin (I prefer Certo)
3 - 4 - half pint canning jars with Lids & Bands

Directions: 
To start wash your jars in hot soapy water and then prepare the boiling water canner. If using a regular large pot place a round rack or dish cloth on the bottom of the pot. 

Place the jars on top of rack or dish cloth (this keep the jars from direct contact with the pot or canner). Keep jars, lids and rings in hot water bath until ready for use (do not boil). 

Cut off the stems and remove the seeds from the peppers (I recommend wearing latex gloves while handling hot peppers). If you want a bit of a kick leave in half of the jalapeno pepper seeds. 

Puree peppers using a food processor or high speed blender with 1/2 cup cider vinegar until smooth (do not strain pepper puree). 

In a large pot combine pepper puree with remaining 1/2 cup cider vinegar and sugar. Add the frozen blackberries to the blender or food processor and blend the blackberries with the lemon juice until a thick pulp forms. 

Add the blackberry pulp to a fine mesh strainer with a bowl underneath. Stir, smash and press the pulp through the strainer so all of the juice releases into the bowl. Discard the pulp and add the blackberry juice into the pot with the jalapeno mixture. 

Bring the mixture to a full boil, reduce heat to a light boil and simmer, stirring frequently. Add the fruit pectin, squeezing the entire contents out of the pouch, continue simmering (to a light boil) until the jelly reaches 220 degrees (the temperature in which jelly sets) on a candy thermometer. 

Remove from heat and skim off any foam (if any). Ladle into hot jar leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims with a clean cloth. Remove lids from hot water and center lids on the jars. Apply bands but do not tighten too hard.   

Add jars to hot water bath (making sure water completely covers the jars) and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes (time starts after water comes to a boil).  

Remove jars onto a towel or hot pad to cool completely. Check lids to make they have sealed after 24 hours. Lid should not pop up when center is pressed. 

Serve on crackers with softened cream or goat cheese.

Recipe yields: about 3 - 4 half pints 
Adapted from: Jalapeno Pepper Jelly




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