Fiery, Hot, Habaneros!

The other day we were gifted with a bowl full of habanero and scots bonnet peppers. Not being a pepper aficionado, I had to read up on what these were and how to use them; what a gift!  These peppers are HOT!  According to Google, there are only a handful that are 2-3 times hotter; that’s ok, these are hot enough.

Ronnie loves the spicey yet these may be too much for him.  No chemical burns, please. My tastes run on the hot/tamer side.  A good compromise?  Why some hot pepper jelly.  Just a teaspoon makes a dish pop.

I know your thinking “but jelly is for toast, right?”.  Ummm, not in this case.

  • Top a block of cream cheese, add some crackers.  Mmmm.
  • Heat up that BBQ sauce with just a touch
  • Hot wings
  • Brush on a ham
  • Gifts (with a tag on uses)
  • Final glaze for fish, chicken, pork, or beef
  • spoon over vanilla ice cream
  • melt jelly and add to your salad dressing of choice (Italian is a good choice)

I am assuming that you know how to use a hot water canner and am familiar with the new canning guidelines.  This recipe appeared to be a good fit as we have two boxes of liquid pectin to use up:

  • 12 ounces assorted chili peppers, with stems, seeds and ribs removed.  WEAR GLOVES for this – these peppers are hot enough to produce chemical burns.
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 pouches liquid pectin

In a food processor, blend the peppers and 1 cup of the vinegar.  The mixture should be fairly smooth, but not completely so you end up with pretty little flecks of peppers in the jelly.

In a large saucepan, combine this puree with the sugar and remaining 1 cup of vinegar.  Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 10 minutes.  Add the pectin and stir for one more minute.  Remove from heat and let the foam subside.

Habanero JellyPour jelly into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe the rims, center lid over jar and screw on band tightly.  Place into canner and process (at a high boil) for 10 minutes.  Wait at least 5 minutes before removing from canner.

As the jars cool, you may need to swirl gently to encourage more even dispersal of the pepper flecks; I did not have to do this. Refrigerate any leftover jelly plus any jars that do not completely seal by the next day.

Unopened jars will be good on your shelf for about a year.  I am going to use this on some beef this eve.  Will let you know what happens!