Hot jam!

As a treat once last summer, Farmer Jenny gave everyone tiny jars of pepper jelly with their CSA goodies. Now, pepper jelly is a staple in the South, but I have to admit I’d never been enticed to try it before. The thought of peppers mixed together with sugar and gelatin just didn’t knock my socks off.

That was then. This is now.

After trying a spoonful on fresh corn bread, my socks were knocked halfway to China.

Our friend and urban farmer Owen is known for the incredible array of peppers he sells at the weekend market, even arranged and labeled by the Scoville scale of capsaicin content. So last Saturday we picked up a pound of his fresh veg, selecting a variety of medium-hot peppers  — mostly red because the thought of green jelly gives me the heebie geebies.

Pepper jelly puree

The recipe is simple and straightforward and would be great for beginners. Just puree, boil, pour in jars, and process in a water bath canner (i.e. giant pot of boiling water.) Done.

Pepper jelly

One pound of peppers produced 14 four-ounce jars, and I’ll probably do another batch next week to make a year’s supply. We sampled a bit poured over cream cheese and served on crackers, and it took all our strength not to lick the plate.  Spoiler alert: this will definitely be the easy-to-make, sock-knocking appetizer we take to all the holiday parties this winter.

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