On one of the rainy days we had last week I felt the inspiration to whip up a batch of Strawberry Pepper Jam. Since the hot peppers are coming in quite nicely and we have bags upon bags of homegrown strawberries in the freezer I decided that now was a better time than ever (especially since we’ve been blowing right through my last batch of blueberry jam).
I was looking at recipes but became discouraged when I read how much sugar people add into their jam (7-8 cups for just 4 cups of strawberries). So, I decided to improvise and try out my own thing. I think it came out quite tasty, although I give all the credit to those luscious strawberries I plucked from the vine all those months ago.
So, let’s get started, shall we?
For those of you who have never made jam (or it’s just been a while) these are the things you will need.
A water bath canner with a canning rack
A clean cloth
A case of pint sized Ball Jelly Jars (found at the hardware or grocery store)
This recipe made 12 jars and was oh-so-good. Make sure you have enough time to do this from start to finish as the jars and jam both need to be hot in order for the canning to work.
STRAWBERRY PEPPER JELLY
Makes 12 jars
8 cups mashed berries
4 minced jalapeno peppers – de-seeded (about 1/2 cup) – if you want it a bit on the peppery side add in some seeds as well or mince up a few more peppers.
4 cups sugar
Pectic – 4 tsp pectic powder & 4 tsp calcium powder (comes in the pectin box)
BEFORE YOU START JAMMIN’. In the pectin box you will find 2 packets. One is the pectin and the other is the calcium which helps to activate the pectin. Put the 1/2 tsp white calcium powder and 1/2 cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. (You can store in refrigerator between uses. It lasts for a number of months.) Shake well before using.
1. Remove your stems from the berries (I did this step prior to freezing). I fill up the sink with water and let the berries sit for 5 minutes or so. I grab a strainer and filter out all the leaves, twigs, stems etc. Then I put them all in a strainer and go through them a handful at a time to make sure most of the stem debris is gone.
2. In your water bath canner, add water, jars, lids & rings and bring to a boil and turn down the heat. Let them stand in hot water.
3. Prepare & mash up the fruit. Measure fruit into pan with lemon or lime juice. Add in the minced jalapenos.
4. Add proper amount of calcium water from the jar into the pan and stir well.
5. Measure sugar into a separate bowl. Thoroughly mix proper amount of Pectic powder into sugar.
6. Bring fruit or juice to boil. Add the pectin-sugar to the fruit. Stir vigorously for 1 – 2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Return to boil and remove from heat.
7. Using tongs or the ever handy jar lifters, remove 2 jars and 2 sets of lids from the water bath (so the remaining jars stay nice and hot). Using a funnel, fill them to 1/4″ of top. Wipe the rims clean with your clean cloth (otherwise they won’t seal correctly). Lightly screw on 2-piece lids (not too tightly as they need to release air to properly seal). Leave them on the counter until you finish up the rest of the jars.
8. Place the filled jars in boiling water bath & cover. Boil 10 minutes. Remove from water and let jars cool. Check seals-lids as they should be sucked down. Tighten the rings and enjoy all the year long! (An open jar lasts about 3 weeks)