In re: The end of summer and jalapeño jelly

The other day we went out into the garden which is still loaded with vegetables (although a lot of them are green tomatoes that may never ripen with the cool wet weather now) and harvested everything we could and pitched all the bad tomatoes into the compost bin.  (There were a lot of perfect looking tomatoes that sadly had a worm hole in them).  We ended up with a lot of tomatoes, banana peppers and a whole load of jalapeños without a super clear idea of what we’d do with them.

We couldn’t cook a whole pound of jalapeños into anything unless we were making poppers one night (not a bad idea actually) so preserving them came to mind, and jalapeño jelly sounded like the perfect destination.  Looked up some recipes on the internet and being fairly novice at canning tend not to stray from the tried and true ball recipes.  So using this recipe for jalapeño jelly from the Ball cookbook started up the water bath and washed some jars and got busy making the jelly.  The jelly is super easy as you may guess if you peaked at the recipe (jalapeños, sugar, cider vinegar, pectin), we departed from the recipe in not pureeing the jalapeños and instead leaving them in a small fine dice using the food processor and omitted the food color.

The results are amazing.  The huge amount of sugar and pectin as well as the 10 minutes of boiling the jelly mello the jalapeños to a really pleasant heat level where even the most timid of eaters could enjoy the mild punch.  The natural color looks kinda like a pickle relish – a muted green and the flecks of the jalapeño are suspended in the jelly.  The jelly is of course perfect on cream cheese and a cracker, but can bring back a blast of peppery summer throughout the winter to a number of dishes by mixing into sauces or using as you would a chutney.

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