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« When the jelly doesn't set | Main | Planning with your food »

Jelly, She Wrote

Here’s my Tigress Can Jam creation courtesy of the lovely Kaela’s pick for October: Chiles! Meet cranberry jalapeno/habanero jelly!This cranberry jala-banaro jelly is a real looker. I posted a week early because I failed to read the directions properly, so this is a re-post after a very brief airing on Friday. I waited till the last minute to post because I wanted to see if it was going to set. Verdict: Yes! Here’s how I made her (this jelly is decidedly a ‘she’). I arrived at the name after a few days of deliberating. It’s a flavor combo that explodes, causes a bit of damage, and then resolves itself in short order, not unlike an episode of Murder, She Wrote.

p.s. Cranberries are super acidic, but I added a little bit of cider vinegar for both safety assurance (chile peppers are a low-acid food and need to be acidified pr operly to waterbath can) and to add a flavor boost. (Though the vinegar did leave some mineral deposits at the top of the inside of the jar, which is not a problem of safety, just aesthetics.)

All this is to say, I wouldn’t omit the vinegar if you want to waterbath can it. Make it to keep solely in the fridge and do as you please. Don’t forget to revisit my jelly post for tips on jellymaking sans commercial pectin.

Angela Lansbury Jelly (I hope she doesn’t mind, or worse, sue me)

yield 1.5 pints

This is a two-day deal, or a morning and evening kind of thing.

1. Simmer in your preserving pot for 10 minutes to thaw (if frozen):

2 cups water

1 bag (12-oz) of frozen cranberries

1 lb-10 oz frozen apple scraps (skins and cores; this is the amount I had on hand and thus used, you’d be fine with at least a half-pound of apple scraps, or substitute 1lb of finely-sliced, as-under-ripe-as-you-can-find apples)

2. Remove pot from heat when fruit is tender and mash berries with a potato masher. I just went around the apple debris, but it’s not the end of the world if you mash the apple cores. Place pot back over medium-low heat and simmer for 5 more minutes.

3. Strain mixture through a few layers of cheesecloth, a muslin produce/grain bag, a real jellybag, or whatever, for at least 6-hours. Here’s my improvised jelly bag set-up. If you’re leaving it overnight, just set it in the fridge and let it drip in there.


4. About an hour before you’re ready to make your jelly, don your rubber gloves and mince

1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and all

1 habanero pepper, I seeded mine to avoid mouth and throat calamity and place the minced pepper in a small bowl, combined well with

1.5 tsp kosher salt

5. After that’s been dehydrating for at least an hour (that’s what the salt does), rinse the peppers really well under cold water. And then rinse them again.

6. Measure your strained juice. I ended up with 2.5 cups of juice. Add equal measure sugar for the amount of juice you have. For example, I added

2.5 cups organic raw sugar and stir the juice with the sugar over low heat to dissolve the crystals.

7. Once the sugar is dissolved, raise the heat to med-high and add

2 tsp cider vinegar

minced and rinsed peppers Boil the mixture until all areas in the pot reach 220 F (and pass the spoon test). Tips on this process are detailed in the jelly post link above.

The ultimate who-done-it: Lady Jelly strikes again…8. Put hot jelly in hot jars, wipe rims really well and seal with two-piece lids. Process in boiling waterbath for 10 minutes.

Reader Comments (12)

Kate! I don't think these are supposed to go up until Sunday afternoon. I don't want you to get left out of the round up for being an overachiever and getting your stuff done early =)

It looks awesome!

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarter @ the kitchenette

Kate, I think your jelly would make Angela proud!

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

I imagine your table with white drawn shapes where a slice of bread and the jam pot have been. Love the last picture with the rubber glove, so's you leave no evidence. Looks like a great recipe for left over apple bits and bobs.

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergloria

WOO HOO I am so excited to try this! I just brought home fresh cranberries from Bandon (Oregon Coast) and have frozen apple peel on hand plus fresh peppers. Again WOO HOO

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke - in Oregon

i love pepper jelly - and they last FOREVER...i made serrano pepper jelly last year (highly recommend using champagne vinegar...) and it's amazing on cornbread...

October 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterecogrrl

The jelly thermometer looks remarkably like a murder weapon! thanks for this creative recipe and I'm so glad that now I now what to do with apple scraps.

October 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I am loving the cranberry jelly this fall. I can't wait to try it, but have yet to see jalapeno cranberry. It sounds lovely! And what a beautiful color.

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Oh my goodness! That jelly looks so good and what an appropriate name. Love it!

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathy (breadexperience)

I love the mad scientist look of that blue rubber glove!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Darling get yourself a real jelly bag! Canning kits on Amazon. You've got the Le Crueset, the atomic-powered thermoter -- who can you not have this inexpensive essential? BTW jam name ranks up there with the all-time bests. Thx.

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSean Sullivan

I started this jelly last night with just under a pound of fresh cranberries and about 1.5 pounds of apple scraps. I let it drip overnight, but nothing dripped, so I recooked it with about 1.5 cups of water this morning. It's been dripping for about 6 hours and I have less than a cup of juice. Any hints??

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay (EatLocal365)

Lindsay! You alerted me to the fact that I'd omitted a crucial ingredient when I typed this up. I revised the post to include the water, which will certainly affect how much juice you're getting. Oye, so sorry you had trouble.

November 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterKate

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