Homemade Apple Jalapeño Jelly makes the most delicious gifts not to mention it is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Get step-by-step instructions on how to make this obsessively good homemade jalapeno jelly at home. Try with cheddar pie crackers!
I’m pretty sure Hiro and I collected the entire contents of two apple trees last week and then started on a third until I ran out of Rubbermaid containers to put them in.
The over zealousness of my apple picking has prompted me to consider a blog name change and possible identity crisis.
Last week I graced you with this over-the-top apple pie with a cheddar cheese crust and now I bring you a sweet, supple apple jelly flecked with fiery jalapeños and fresh cayenne chile slices.
Why You Must Make This Apple Hot Pepper Jelly
This is the first year I’ve attempted apple jelly and I don’t have any idea what has taken me so long.
It is the most soft, luxurious jelly with that fresh-picked smell of crisp, raw apple.
I added spicy jalapeños and fresh cayenne chiles to it because hot pepper jelly is one of my favorite afternoon indulgences.
A thin shear of hot pepper jelly over some cream cheese on a seeded cracker satisfies my every mid-day desire.
If you’ve ever canned anything before you probably have most of these things already, but here’s a rundown of everything you’ll need to make this jelly.
- An 8-quart stock pot with a lid. Ideally two stock pots—one to make the apple juice and one to make the jelly but you could wash the one you made the juice in and use it again for the jelly if you only have one big pot.
- Potato masher to mash the apples after you cook them for juice.
- Large fine mesh strainer for straining out the apple juice.
- Cheesecloth for straining out the little bits of pulp for perfectly clear juice.
- Large bowl or deep pot for collecting the juice.
- Liquid measuring cups
- Small plate for checking the thickness of the jelly.
- Canner with rack and lid
- 10 1/2 Pint (8 ounce) mason jars with clean lids and rings
- 2 Candy thermometers with pot clip. You’ll need one for the canner and one for the jelly.
- Wooden spoon for stirring jelly.
- Dry measuring cups for measuring sugar.
- Canning tongs
- Canning funnel
how to make apple jalapeño jelly
The first step is to make homemade apple juice. Cut the apples and place them in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
Mash cooked apples with a potato masher, strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve and discard the pulp.
Combine the homemade juice with the chiles, 7 cups sugar, boil over medium until the sugar dissolves.
Add the pectin and continue to cook and stir occasionally, until jelly reaches 220°F.
Meanwhile, prep the pint jars. Sterilize them by submerging them in a hot water bath (ideally the canning pot you are using). You can use any size jars you’d like, even the small 1/2 cup ones work great.
Once the jelly is ready, ladle it into the sterilized jars, seal, and process the jelly in the hot water canner for 20 minutes if using pint jars.
Remove from the hot water bath, let cool, then store for up to a year.
what are pie crackers?
Last week when I was testing the cheddar cheese crust for my apple pie I found myself shamelessly over-snacking on the scraps.
Pie crust cookies are absolutely a thing, but have you ever had pie crust crackers?
The salty cheese in the crust makes an amazing cracker, especially topped with crunchy, nutty sesame seeds.
Tips For Success
If you’ve never canned anything before, take a deep breath. This isn’t a hard process, just takes some patience. Here’s a few pointers for getting it right:
- Read the recipe all the way through before beginning and make sure you have all the equipment you need. Check the list above.
- You don’t have to use fresh-picked apples, store-bought Granny Smith apples would be fine, but you do need to make your own apple juice if you want the jalapeno jelly to set properly.
- The type of apple is important, green, tart varieties like Granny Smith are higher in pectin and set better than other varieties.
- Use this recipe to make jam or jelly. Jam-lovers don’t need to strain out the pulp when making the juice. Leave it in for a thicker more apple-butter-like consistency.
- Apples have lots of natural pectin (the natural fiber found in plants that gels and becomes thick) especially in the skin. So don’t peel the apples before cooking them.
- Cook the apple jelly to 220°F. It’s best to use a candy thermometer (you will need two thermometers for this recipe) but also to test your jelly by dropping a dab on a chilled plate, putting it in the freezer for a few minutes then see if it has jelled.
- Prefer pepper jelly to jalapeno jelly? Substitute green bell peppers for the jalapeños and cayenne chiles.
Because Who Doesn’t Love Pepper Jelly?
Seriously though, this spicy-sweet jelly is so good, it’s pretty impossible not to love. Try the recipe, and let me know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so that I can see your stuff! Happy eating!
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