Sweet Chili Pepper Jelly is great on crackers or bite-sized toasts with cheese . It adds a crunch and mild heat and makes a great appetizer. This is an easy and a foolproof recipe for a home cook.
Making jelly at home
I never thought I'll make jelly at home after a failed attempt at making jelly back in Middle school. I was making tomato jelly. I never used anything to set the jelly. There was way too much sugar. It crystallized. I don't know why, but somehow everybody in my family found a reason to laught about the jelly. Even after many years, my tomato jelly would bring some smiles if it was mentioned. I never bothered to make any jelly and preferred the store bought ones. But I was concerned about the high sugar content. So I hardly bought any.
Sweet chili peppers and red bell peppers(capsicum)
These two varieties of peppers are abundant in summer here in Ontario. It's fall here and I still see them around in the market. I bought plenty and my husband suggested I make jelly with them. The red bell pepper is fleshy and has no heat. The long peppers you see in the photo are what called as "sweet chili peppers". They might look like red bell peppers but they have a mild heat. There are plenty of recipes out there for hot pepper jelly. Not everyone can handle the heat and I really tone way down the heat for me and my family.
I used a mix of both peppers for balancing out flavours and for the mild heat. If you want to use only the chili peppers you can do so. It will take the heat up a notch or two.
If you want to keep this mix of peppers and increase the heat, you can add a teaspoon of chili flakes.
Setting the jelly using Pectin
To set the jelly I used Pectin. There are two varieties of pectin. Regular and no-cook. The regular variety is added to the pan with other ingredients and boiled. The no-cook variety is used after the jelly is made and set in the refrigerator. What I bought was the no-cook variety "Freezer Jam Pectin". Read the instructions in the package to see how you can use yours.
Let's talk about sugar, shall we? Typically, you have to use a lot of sugar to make jelly. That's also the reason I don't buy jelly from the store. This recipe uses only ¾th cup of raw cane sugar. I think it gives the right amount of sweetness. White granulated sugar can be used if that's what you have. Remeber, you don't eat all this jelly in one go. And share some with friends and family. This jelly makes a great gift.
There are so many ways to use this lovely jelly
- spread it on toasts with cream cheese or cottage cheese
- spread it on crackers with cream cheese for a great appetizer
- Use it as condiment for biryani ,pilau or rice based dishes
- serve it with your warm oatmeal for breakfast
Which ever way you choose to eat it, it's delicious, it's easy to make and tastes great on anything.
Sweet Chili Pepper Jelly
- 3 sweet chili peppers cored and seeded
- 3 red bell peppers cored and seeded
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup vinegar
- 0.5 teaspoon salt to taste
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoon Pectin
- Place the peppers in a food processor and pulse it until chopped finely.
- Heat the pan on medium high and add the chopped peppers, sugar, vinegar, salt and water. Heat until the sugar melts and the mixture starts to boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
- Take off from the heat and let it cool.
- Add in the Pectin and stir until well mixed.
- Ladle into clean jars leaving ½ inch (1 cm) headspace; put the lids on. Let stand until thickened.
- Store in the refrigerator upto 3 weeks or freeze for longer
- Thaw in the refrigerator from frozen.
- Add 1 teaspoon red chili flakes to increase heat.
- Add more salt depending on your taste.