Recipe and video for Jalapeno Pepper Wine Jelly
What do you do when you purchased a bottle of wine that you really just don’t love? I know, first world problems. Be that as it may, I had several bottles of a wine that I just really didn’t like.
Before you label me as some wine diva…let me dispel you of that notion. We are in a wine club and my typical qualifier when I order wine is ‘around $10 a bottle’…so I’m not some high-fallutin wine drinker who only has to have some varietal that has been sitting in some underground wine place for 100’s of years.
I’m pretty simple…I just don’t like real acidic wines…and this wine was pretty acidic…and I had several bottles of it.
I used one bottle of it when I made my Meyer Lemon and Dried Fig Conserve...which by the way is HEAVENLY.
But I still had one more bottle to use up. Coincidentally, or not, I also needed to make some pepper jelly as my daughter and her Physics lab group have discovered the value of noshing whilst studying and one of their go-to treats is pepper jelly over cream cheese. So…
Before we dive in to the recipe, let me give a little disclaimer here. I will experiment with just about ANYTHING, except when I am canning. There is a part of me that thinks that the USDA might be a tad overboard on putting the fear of God into everyone when it comes to canning, but botulism is a real thing and I’m not one to tempt it.
So, when I ‘invent’ a canning recipe, I usually rely pretty heavily on tried and true sources, only altering those things that don’t effect Ph which is especially important when water bath canning.
High Acid Foods (those with a Ph of 4.6 or lower) are safe for water bath canning, while those low-acid foods (Ph greater than 4.6) must be pressure canned due to the ability to reach a higher temperature to kill off any molds, bacteria and yeasts.
So for this recipe, I leaned on Benardin’s Wine Jelly Inferno, taking a little creative license, in a non-Ph altering kind of way, of course.
You know those times when you just need a quick appetizer? Keep a jar of this Jalapeno Pepper Wine Jelly and you will surely take your ‘cheese and cracker’ routine to new heights!
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Prepare canner, jars and lids. See The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance. If you are using Weck Jars, I do boil the glass jars and lids for at least 10 minutes and put the rubber rings separately in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. After the 2-3 minutes, I leave the rings in the hot water until ready to use them.
Chop jalapenos finely. I removed the white pith, which also removed a good number of seeds. I recommend wearing rubber gloves (that you have cleaned well) for this step
Put plate with 4 spoons in the freezer to be able to check the gel state of your jelly.
Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with package of pectin.
Add wine to wide bottom pot, I use a Kilner Jam Pan
Stir in pectin/sugar mix and whisk well until fully dissolved.
Add chopped peppers and remaining sugar and whisk well until sugar is dissolved.
Stirring frequently, bring to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down. Boil hard for 2 minutes.
Turn off heat and add balsamic vinegar. Stir well.
Put a dollop of jelly on your plate and put back in freezer for 1 minute. After a minute, if you can push the jelly and it wrinkles, it is done and ready to be canned.
Now...here's where I might have gone off of the USDA reservation a bit...and it's completely up to you on if you want to follow me. Most likely, unless you have been blessed by the canning fairy who skipped over me, your peppers will be floating at the top of your jelly. The USDA would recommend that you just let it be and stir it up when you open the jar.
Once I knew that my jars had sealed, within a half hour of removing them from the pot, I shook them a couple of times to disperse the pepper pieces throughout. I chatted with a representative from Ball who told me the risk of doing what I did was that I might cause the seals to break. I checked my seals and they were still intact 24 hours later, so I am not concerned. I am not recommending anything...just telling you what I did.
I'm sure a lawyer would advise me to tell you to do so at your own risk or something to that extent. Consider yourself told.
This recipe assumes some knowledge of proper and safe canning techniques. Please see the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for guidance.
For what it’s worth, the next time I make pepper jelly, I will probably swap out a couple jalapenos for serrano peppers. I would like a tad more heat and don’t think I can get that by just adding more jalapenos. This is a personal preference of course. You can check out the relative heat of different peppers on a Scoville Chart like this one.
OK…you have your Jalapeno Pepper Wine Jelly…now what?
So…when I stop and think of the many pluses of blogging, making and eating bacon candy for breakfast and lunch today will surely top the list of ‘great things about blogging’. Coincidentally, it also tops the list of ‘the perils of blogging’. 😉
Looking for some other canning and preserving recipes?
Need to see this Jalapeno Pepper Wine Jelly recipe in action? Here it is….
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