Hot Pepper Jelly

Canning jam is an involved process, and although I don’t discourage it, I don’t enjoy doing it. But making jams and jellies is something I do enjoy. Sadly, people confuse the two and, as a result, avoid making them completely. That is a shame. The great news is that you can easily (and quickly) make jams and jellies without canning, so keep reading my friends. From strawberry-rhubarb quick jam to this delightful, sweet-spicy hot pepper jelly, there is a wonderful world of spreads out there for you to discover, and I hope you do.

Little did I know, that pepper jelly is considered a Southern favorite. The Southern version is often described as being somewhere between a jam and a relish texture-wise. Made up of just a few ingredients; peppers, sugar, vinegar, and pectin resulting in a very special, slightly unusual, preserve, I’m told Southerners love their pepper jelly so much, they will put it on just about anything. A well-known favorite is cream cheese served with a side of Ritz crackers. Interesting, but I’ve got to admit, not me at all.

hot pepper jelly

That aside, I’m blogging about pepper jelly because it’s something one of my college besties was obsessed with. The Saturday morning farmers market near campus provided her with a steady supply which, just like a Southerner, (she is midwestern), she would put it on just about everything, but her favorite was pretzels. My roommate was the inspiration behind this jelly recipe and my husband has been the happy receiver of my developing it. Like my friend, he has yet to find something hot pepper jelly can’t be put on. And I’m very serious about that. From sandwiches to scrambled eggs, this sweet-and-spicy spread is a welcome pop to just about anything you can think up.

Unlike traditional Southern pepper jellies, I make mine without pectin and instead use dried apricots to help the jelly set. Although my jelly contains traditional red peppers, instead of jalapeño peppers, I use a combination of fresh habaneros as well as dried Aleppo pepper flakes for heat, which creates a unique sweetness and salty flavor with the perfect amount of heat.

hot pepper jelly

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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