Hot Pepper Jelly

Hot peppers are known best from their use in the fiery cuisines of Mexico, India, Thailand and Africa. Hot peppers get their 'heat' from a chemical called capsaicin, which activates pain receptors in the mouth, not the taste buds. Experts agree that hot, dry summers produce the hottest peppers, and peppers are hottest when allowed to fully ripen before picking. Hot pepper varieties include cayenne, jalapeño, habanero and chile peppers. Peppers are perennial shrubs in their native South America, and are grown as annuals in the Midwest’s colder climate. Requiring warm temperatures, peppers should be planted outside when nighttime temperatures do not fall below 55 degrees. Place peppers in a sunny location, mulch and keep the soil evenly moist. Most pepper varieties are ready to harvest in 70 to 80 days.

 

Hot Pepper Jelly

1 pound round bell peppers

1 pound green bell peppers

6 cups sugar

1 cup cider vinegar

2 teaspoons dried hot
red pepper flakes

9 ounces liquid pectin

Cut bell peppers into 1-inch pieces and chop finely in food processor. Transfer peppers to a deep kettle. Add the sugar, vinegar and pepper flakes and boil the mixture until sugar is dissolved.

Stir in pectin and boil mixture until it reaches 222 degrees on a candy thermometer. Transfer jelly to Mason jars. Store in a cool, dark place.