We have no shame admitting that one of our favorite party snacks to put out is a block of cream cheese with pepper jelly. So why not step up this crowd-pleasing appetizer and make it from scratch? Jalapeño, poblano and bell peppers are suspended in a sweet apple cider vinegar jelly for a tangy and spicy spread—perfect day or night.
When working with pectin, be careful to avoid clumps. The easiest way to yield a perfect jelly is to slowly sprinkle the pectin over top of the liquid, waiting until one layer is absorbed before adding more.
To learn more, read “Jam Session.”
Hot Pepper Jelly
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus canning time
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes, plus canning time
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
3 poblano peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pectin
2 sterilized pint jars with lids and rims
1. In a blender, combine the vinegar and peppers, and pulse until the peppers are finely chopped, speckled throughout the liquid. Transfer to a medium saucepan, and add the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and let cook until the sugar fully dissolves, 5 minutes.
2. Sprinkle the pectin over the mixture and continue to cook until fully incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes more.
3. Divide the jelly between 2 mason jars, pressing the mixture down until there is only about ½ inch of space left at the top of each jar. Wipe the rim then affix the lid on each jar.
4. Bring a stockpot filled with enough water for the jars to be completely submerged to a boil. Arrange the jars on a wire rack and lower into the water. Boil for about 15 minutes.
5. Carefully remove the jars and let them cool to room temperature on a folded towel, making sure not to disturb the lids. Check the seal after 24 hours; it should not flex when pressed in the center. The jelly will keep for up to 1 year.