Beautiful in color & sweet with heat; this homemade hot pepper jelly recipe is perfect for entertaining when served on the top of cream or goat cheese.
Here in the South, Pepper Jelly is a beloved jelly. Beautiful in color, and sweet with a little heat; this classic jelly is perfect for entertaining by serving it on top of cream cheese or goat cheese. It also makes a great glaze for a pork tenderloin, hot wings, or salmon.
Follow these steps and to learn how to make your own homemade hot pepper jelly. Be sure to make extra, this Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly is great for gifts.
Easy Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe
My family loves this hot pepper jelly recipe. We have it over cream cheese at all of our gatherings. Homemade is the best. I hate it when we run out of our homemade jars and have to put out the store-bought stuff. It is never as good.
While there are a few steps and it is a little time consuming, the Hot Pepper Jelly is pretty easy to make.
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My mother came over recently and we spent some bonding time making jars of this stuff. We had a great time making it.
Step by Step Tutorial on How to Make Pepper Jelly
- First, you will need a canning set. If you don’t have one, you can order the Granite Ware 0718-1 Enamel-on-Steel Canning Kit, 9-Piece. It comes with everything you need for canning except the jars and ingredients. You can get that stuff at the grocery store. If you want to order the jelly jars online you can get: Ball 4-Ounce Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12 – 2 Pack (Total 24 Jars)
- Next, you will need to wash your jars and screw bands. Then sterilize them in boiling water to kill off any germs and bacteria
- Set your jars and screw bands to dry in a clean area.
- Finely chop your peppers.
- Add your peppers to a large pan over high heat. Mix in vinegar and fruit pectin.
- Stir constantly and let it reach to a rolling boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, remove from heat.
- At this point, you want to add sugar. Stir well and put it back on high heat, continually stirring. Let it reach to a rolling boil and boil one minute. Remove from heat. Skim off all foam.
- Ladle jelly into 8oz jars filling to 1/4in from the top. Cover with flat lids and screw on screw bands tightly.
- Place jars into canner. Water should cover jars completely. Water should be hot, but not boiling. Bring water to boil and process 5 minutes. Pull jars out and cool. *NOTE* If you live in a high altitude, you will need to adjust processing time. Here is a chart.
- You will start hearing a popping noise as the jars seal. When jars are completely cooled, check seals by pressing centers of lids with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
Pepper Jelly Tips
- Cooking Note: Scoop one ladle of pepper jelly in each jar to evenly distribute peppers before completely filling each jar. The peppers rise to the top. If you do not evenly distribute them, you will have no peppers left for the last jars.
- Cooking Note: If you do not want your Pepper Jelly Hot, substitute Jalapeños with Red Bell Peppers. If you want a spicier jelly, use a hotter pepper. I used red jalapeños for this batch.
How do you know if your jelly is set?
Try the “Plate Test.” Put a plate in a freezer for 15 minutes or more. When you think your jelly is ready, remove it from the heat. Drop a spoonful of the jelly on the plate. Let it cool for a few minutes. Using a dry, clean finger, run your finger down the center of the jelly. If it remains divided, it is set! If it forms back together, it needs to cook a few minutes longer. Here are some more tips to ensure a set jelly.
How to Save a Runny Jelly
You can make a jelly the same exact way and have one batch that is perfect, while another batch is a runny mess. Different factors can mess up a jelly from the size of a pan, altitude, more liquid in the peppers….
This Pepper jelly will not have the same firmness or texture as a store bought “Welches” jelly. It will be more soft and a little runny. However it should set and firm. If yours does not, read these tips on how to save a runny jelly.
How long is the Shelf Life?
Stored pepper jelly in a cool, dark space such as a pantry will have an 18 month to 2 year shelf life.
Once your pepper jelly is opened, it should last 6 months to a year in the refrigerator.
If you like this recipe, check out:
- Pickled Hot Serrano Peppers
- Fire and Ice Pickles
- Homemade Jalapeno Salt
- Fresh Hot Jalapeño and Garlic Relish
- Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
- Jalapeño Chimichurri Sauce
*Disclosure: I held the jar lifter upside down when I was videoing. I did not know at the time I was doing it incorrectly. That was a mistake on my part. Do not grip the jar lifter on the same side I was using.
Deliciously Easy Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped and seeded Red Bell Pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped and seeded Yellow Bell Pepper
- 1 1/4 cup finely chopped and seeded Green Bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped and seeded Jalapeño
- 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1.75 oz package powdered pectin
- 5 cups sugar
- 6 8 oz canning jars
- Sterilize six 8oz canning jars and lids in boiling water.
- Place all peppers in a large saucepan over high heat. Mix in vinegar and fruit pectin.
- Stir constantly. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat.
- Add sugar and place back on high heat. Return to a rolling boil for one minute.
- Remove from heat. Skim off any foam from top.
- Ladle jelly evenly into sterile jars, filling to ¼ inch from top of jar. Cover with flat lids and screw on screw bands tight.
- Place jars into canner with hot water that is not boiling. Water should completely cover jar. Cook on high heat to reach a boil. Process for 5 minutes,
- Remove from heat.
- When jars are completely cooled, check seals by pressing centers of lids with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)