You can bet I'll be breaking some out this week for Thanksgiving.
ghost pepper, but it’s just a matter of time before some chilehead tempts death with infernal jelly on a cracker.
Of all these, my favorites are those that pack a noticeable capsaicin punch. In his 1987 cookbook, Southern Cooking, Craig Claiborne gives the recipe for an unfussy but suitably piquant jelly. He notes, rightly, that the peppers may be strained before the jelly sets in order to make clear jelly. Personally, I don’t see the point in that when most of this is going to be spread on top of soft white cheese for snacks. But, do as you will. Likewise, Claiborne calls for food coloring is an optional ingredient. I don’t find that my hot pepper jam needs it, but you do what your family likes.
Hot Pepper Jelly
1 cup cored and ground sweet red or green peppers, with the seeds
½ cup corn and ground long hot red or green peppers
6 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups white vinegar
¼ tsp salt, if desired
1 bottle (6 oz) fruit pectin
Red or green food coloring, optional
Combine the sweet peppers, hot peppers, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a saucepan. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strain or not, as desired, and return mixture to the saucepan. If strained, the solids are good as a relish. Pour in the pectin and bring to the boil. Stir in the food coloring. Pour into sterilized half-pint jars and seal with paraffin. Store in a cool place.
YIELD: 8 TO 10 cups
Craig Claiborne (1987)
364 pages (hardback)
The New York Times Company