Sunday, September 28, 2008

DIY Challenge, Week 2: Jam/Jelly

My camera is still away until the end of this week.... I will try to remember to add a photo when it is back.

The DIY challenge at The PPK continues with jam/jelly. I decided to make hot pepper jelly which is a key component of one of my favorite party foods. If you are inviting me to your house for a party, please do the following: Invert a jar of hot pepper jelly over a block of (vegan) cream cheese (such as that made by Tofutti) and then serve with seeded crackers. Around here, everyone uses Nabisco Sociables, but homemade would be even better. You use the cracker to scoop up a blob of combined jelly and cream cheese.

Hot pepper jelly runs the gamut in terms of heat and color. It can be mild and sweet, or blazing out of control. The amazing 28 Cooks suggested this recipe, which adds garlic and black pepper to the mix, and I couldn't resist! It's extremely tasty, easy to make, and her simple canning method worked perfectly for me. I used jalapeno peppers, apple cider vinegar, and unrefined cane sugar (from Zulka). For God's sake, remember to wear gloves when you are chopping so many hot peppers.

If you hate garlic or the 28 Cooks recipe is too strong for you, here is my mother's considerably milder recipe, which I have made in the past:

1/4 c. chopped hot peppers
1 1/2 c. sweet green bell peppers
6 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 pack liquid pectin (Certo)

Mix peppers, sugar, and vinegar and boil hard for 3 minutes. Add pectin and continue to boil for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, fill hot sterlized jars, and seal according to your preferred method.

I was worried about finding the liquid pectin (which both recipes use) but it was in my local grocery store next to the canning jars.

When I pondered what to make this week, I also considered FROG Jam - a marmalade-style jam that mixes figs, raspberries, oranges, and ginger, hence the name. It is common at fruit stands in Georgia and South Carolina, and it can be ordered on the internet from numerous places. However, I did not have any luck finding a recipe. So, being lazy, I went with the hot pepper jelly. I plan to work out a recipe for FROG Jam in due course. If you have one, send it to me!


Fiber said...

Wow - that was some serious quick work! Nicely done.

kittee said...

I have never had this, BUT, my good friends in Cleveland have made me something very similar. They pour apricot jelly that's been mixed with prepared horseradish over cream cheese and eat the same way--ya know--with crackers.

Num num num.

JohnP said...

I would so eat the apricot-horseradish version!

julie hasson said...

Your pepper jelly sounds great John! Thanks for the link to the recipe, I will have to find some time to make it very soon -like this week maybe.


Bex said...

Hot pepper jelly is super yum. We've been known to go through a jar or two from time to time.
The FROG jam sounds really yum. I hope to see a recipe :)