This time of year, there are all kinds of things to keep us busy but one of the best I know is putting away the bounty from our summer's fruit and vegetable crops. Since I did not do any gardening this year, I can only thank my farmer's markets, produce stands and the generosity of neighbors. Mobile has an unusual climate, I mean, it is hot as Hades down here with a humidity level that is almost unbearable at times. I have often complained of not being able to grow tomatoes because of the hot, humid nights but one thing that does well is hot peppers, that is if you can keep them watered.
Here is one of the many ways I like to store them away. It is good on so many things, served with cream cheese as a spread, on roasted corn, grilled meats, mixed with BBQ sauce for a glaze, goes great with bacon & cheese on sandwiches, pairs really well with smoked salmon not to mention pork, veal and lamb . . . it is just a great all-purpose relish. How do you like to serve yours? Let me know and let me know how you like my version... Enjoy!
Hot Pepper Jelly
2 1/2 cups finely chopped red & green hot peppers
1 small sweet bell pepper finely chopped
1 1/2 cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
6 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon butter (this reduces foam)
6 oz Certo pouch (Sure-Jell fruit pectin)
1 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
Coarsely chop peppers with seeds and place in blender with vinegar, sugar and pulse to mix well. Transfer to pot, add butter and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Cook for 5 minutes at a steady boil. Quickly add Certo and coloring. Allow mixture to return to a boil and cook for 3 more minutes stirring a few times. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Put into half pint jars and seal in water bath for 10 minutes. This should make about 7 jars with a little left over.
Note: This is also good adding a cup or so of chopped fresh cranberries along with a good handful of chopped pecans to the peppers. I would add another ounce of Certo to compensate for the cranberry moisture.