a jam made from peppers

The Bread Exchange was back in Munich two weeks ago and once again I knew that I wanted to make something that tastes exciting and that keeps well in a glass jar. Last time it was fig mustard. This time I decided on red pepper jelly.

I had actually forgotten about red pepper jelly. No matter how hard I try, I cannot remember the last time I ate it. It was probably years ago at some holiday party and it was probably served with cream cheese and crackers. It is strange how you can go years without eating something and then the thought of it lands in your head. The thought is so strong that it sets off a bomb that can only be stopped by giving into this craving. The truth is that I could not even remember if I particularly liked red pepper jelly the last time I had it years ago, but as soon as that thought set up camp in my mind I knew I had to make it and it turns out that I love the stuff. It is an addictive combination of spicy and sweet.

I also did not realize that red pepper jelly is a North American thing. I am not even certain that it is, but I do know that I have never seen it in a European grocery store and that the Europeans I mentioned it to had never heard of it.

Most jelly recipes call for pectin; however, I did not have luck finding it in my closest German grocery store. The country seems more into jams than into jellies. I used a jam sugar instead. This recipe is based on using this sugar, but if you can find some apple pectin use it. The technique for making it will be quite different, so you should probably consult a more traditional jelly recipe (one that adds the pectin after boiling and straining the peppers). That said, the flavour of this jelly is dreamy so I recommend using the same ingredients, but just adapting the cooking technique. In fact, my partner said it was the best thing that I made all summer. Considering how much I cook, that is quite the statement.

Red Pepper Jelly


4 red peppers
1 1/4 cups jam sugar
1 chili pepper, seeded if you don't want a spicy jelly
2 tbsp pineapple
a pinch of salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar

Wash the peppers (including the chili pepper) well and thinly dice them into small cubes. Seed the chili pepper if you wish (I seeded half of the pepper). Throw the peppers into a large mixing bowl with the sugar. Cut the pineapple into small chunks too and then add it. Toss with in a generous pinch of salt and let the pepper mixture sit for at least three hours, or overnight.

Once the mixture has had the opportunity to sit pour, it into a large pot and add the apple cider vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until it reaches a desired consistency, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place into clean jars.* The jelly will thicken as it cools.

Serve with soft cheeses and fresh bread, or Swedish flatbread.

*If you wish, sterilize the jars while you cook the jelly by boiling them in a large pot of hot water for 10 minutes. When the jelly is ready, spoon the jelly into the hot jars with a ladle and then tightly secure them with a lid. Return the jars to the boiling water and leave them in for 10 minutes. That said, this jelly is so good that you will probably eat it quite quickly so you can most likely skip this step.


Joana  – (October 3, 2011 at 4:30 PM)  

This post is leaving me absolutely ravenous. It looks so delicious!

Amaia –   – (October 20, 2011 at 10:49 PM)  

For the record: Red Pepper Jelly it's traditional in the Basque Country (Spain-France) and Catalonia.

Yours seems nice!

Alles gute

Sasha  – (October 21, 2011 at 4:06 PM)  

Thanks for letting me know!

If I am in the region again one day I will surely keep an eye out for it.

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