Jalapeno-bourbon-vanilla-peach jelly

So, last week I had some peaches I needed to use, so I threw them in the fridge with some sugar, Bulleit bourbon, and a split vanilla bean. As I haven’t had a chance to get to the farmers’ market to pick up more fresh, delicious Colorado peaches, there they’ve sat. Lonely. Unloved. Until today, that is, when my friend Lenny dropped off a ton of jalapenos from his garden. When life hands you jalapenos, you make jalapeno-peach jelly!

I searched the internets far and wide and wasn’t able to find a low- or no-sugar recipe, so I was forced to create my own. To make sure I don’t poison Dan, myself, or anyone else, I started with the jalapeno jelly recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

FACT: It’s crucially important when water-bath canning to ensure your food has the right level of acidity; if not, things can go horribly, horribly wrong. Badly/improperly canned food can kill you, people. For reals. Here’s a handy list of FAQs about home canning.

Since the Ball recipe calls for pectin and the 6 cups of sugar that go along with it, I consulted the instructions on the jar of Ball Low- or No-sugar needed pectin I have on hand. It said that for 2 cups of fruit, you need 1.5 tbsps pectin and up to 1/2 cup of sugar/sugar substitute/honey. I ended up adding about 1/4 cup of honey to augment the sugar from/on the peaches and I think it worked out pretty well.

jalapeno-peach jam

jalapeno-peach jam

Here’s the recipe:

12oz. jalapenos – stemmed, seeded & chopped (I left the ribs and some stray seeds in)

2 cups apple cider vinegar, divided

~1.5 cups peaches, pureed

1/4 cup honey

1.5 tbsp RealFruit Low 0r No Sugar Needed Pectin

1. Prepare canner, jars and lids. Place a spoon in the freezer to use later for testing the jell of your jelly.

2. Puree the peppers and 1 cup of the vinegar until smooth. Then, add in your peaches and puree it all together until smooth. (I used a stick blender for this, but it can be done in a regular blender or a food processor with a metal blade.)

3. In your favorite jam-making  (read: non-reactive) pot, combine the pepper-peach puree, the honey, and the remaining cup of vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes.

4. Add in the pectin, 1/2 tbsp at a time, stirring well in between. Continue boiling at a rolling boil, stirring constantly,  until the temp reaches 220°F and/or it starts to look shiny and feel thick like jelly. If there’s foam, you can skim it off, or just stir it back in again.

5. Take the spoon out of the freezer and spoon out some jelly; let it cool and then test it to see if it’s jelled enough. If not, add more pectin and keep boiling.

6. When ready, turn off the heat under the jelly. Take the jars and bands out of the canner and place them on a clean towel next to your stove. Fill each jar (note: funnels are awesome), leaving a 1/4 inch of headspace at the top. Wipe off the rims, center the lid on the jar, then screw on the band until it’s super tight.

7. Process jars in the canner (ensuring they’re completely covered) at a boil for 10 minutes. I processed mine for 15, since I’m a little over 5,000 ft above sea level. Remember to start the timer only after the water has reached a boil.

8. Remove jars from canner and let cool completely. You should hear pings as the jars vacuum seal. When the jars are cool, remove the bands and check for a seal by picking up the jar by the lid. If it doesn’t move or come off, you’re good to go! If it does, put the jar in the fridge and use it right away.

Sealed jars should be good in a cool, dry place for up to 18 months according to most of the recipes I’ve seen. If you see bubbles on top of the jelly or any other signs of spoilage, DO NOT EAT IT.

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5 responses to “Jalapeno-bourbon-vanilla-peach jelly

  1. My mom is a diabetic so I make fezeerr jam for her with a lil variation enjoyClean and slice 4 cups of fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, peaches and plums. Put the fruit in your blender and blend until it is a crushed consistency or use potato masher for hand version. Add 1 1/2 cups of Splenda and 1/4 oz. of non-sugar fezeerr pectin (found at the grocery store). There is no need to add this sugar substitute in the same amounts as you would sugar in a regular jam recipe, as it will make the jam taste bitter. Stir the fruit and Splenda mixture for three minutes, until the Splenda and pectin are dissolved. Pour the jam into containers and freeze or refrigerate.

  2. Lenny Maiorani

    This sounds like a good ice cream flavor. I am going to shoot the idea over to Sweet Action!

    • Can you use the classic glass cnaning jars? I make jam every year, but the old fashion way .and having the kitchen 200 degree’s in the middle of summer isn’t fun. This seems much easier, but I’m not sure the glass will freeze correctly. If anyone knows or has advice, please let me know.Also, to reply to the post above. If you use the less sugar pectin, you won’t have to use as much sugar. Personally, I think it tastes much better with less sugar. It really brings out the flavor’s in whatever fruit you use (my preference is peaches)

      • I definitely wouldn’t recommend using glass jars in the freezer. You can find containers that are safe for freezing on Amazon, though. They’re usually pretty reasonably priced.

    • I’ve made freezer jam using ptsalic and glass containers. They both freeze well. After it comes out of the freezer it has to go in the fridge. There is no shelf life it will mold. There is no cooking involved which is the difference from canning vs. freezer. If it comes out to running you probably used more fruit then what the recipe calls for or not enough pectin. In those cases save it as syrup for those pancakes/french toast and cheese cakes! :O))

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