The title of this recipe has a double meaning. First, it means that Granny J is hot stuff. Second, this is Granny J’s hot stuff – the best pepper jelly in the world. She finally revealed her secrets and sent me the recipe for this prized family jewel. And it’s awesome. Every bite reminds me of my childhood, eating cream cheese and pepper jelly with crackers on my deck in the summer time. It’s sweet and hot and the most amazing snack in the world.
Granny J said the first time she had it, she was living at an army base in Texas. She was at a woman’s house who had served pepper jelly swirled in cream cheese, and Granny J loved it so much that she asked for the recipe, which the woman told her was just on the back of the package of Certo (a gelatin base). The recipe called for green peppers, food coloring, and only a few jalapenos. Granny J thought she could make it better so she started to experiment – she doubled the jalapenos, started using red peppers instead of green and left out the food coloring. She also decided not to strain the mixture and instead, left in a lot of the seeds and chunks of pepper. This gave the jelly a rosy color and the chunks of fruit made it look even more attractive.
To give you an idea of how tasty this is – after I made it for this post, I ate it for dinner and breakfast the next morning. Good luck!
1-2 large green or red bell pepper (approximately 1-2 C)
6-10 fresh jalapeno peppers (approximately 1 C)
6 1/2 C sugar
1 3/4 C cider vinegar
1 pkg Certo (both envelopes) – if you have another brand, use whatever equivalent gels 6-8 cups of liquid
Granny J’s Directions:
There is not necessarily a beer pairing for this recipe. Since it takes about the same amount of time to drink a beer as cooking the jelly, crack one open while you work on your chef skills in the kitchen.
Cut up the red peppers and de-vein, but keep some of the seeds.
Chop just the tops off of 1/2 the jalapenos, and for the other half, de-vein and remove the seeds. This allows there to be some seeds in the jelly but not so much that your mouth catches on fire.
Puree all the peppers in blender with the vinegar.
Combine with the sugar in large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.
Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
Keep an eye on pot when bringing to boil as it may start to foam up and boil over. At this point, you can remove from the heat and strain as desired – but in our family, we leave in the seeds and chunks for extra-goodness.
Return to heat and add 2 packets of Certo or 2-3 packets of a powdered gelatin mix; return to a boil for one minute.
Remove from the heat and ladle into sterilized 1/2 pint jars. Top with lids and rings. Hand tighten and turn upside down to seal. Or you can sterilize for 30 minutes in hot water bath. I usually use hot water bath.
I serve over cream cheese with crackers or in omelets. It can also be melted and used as basting sauce for chicken, pork or fish. Just be careful that you don’t get it too hot because there is so much sugar. Makes 5-6 1/2 pint jars or 3 full pint jars – which makes a great gift!