Red Jalapeno Jam or Jelly

Jalapeno Jelly was a favorite of my husband and a brother-in-law beginning way back when.  They enjoyed it on bagels with cream cheese for breakfast right before golfing or as a snack on crackers  (blend 1/3 cup jelly with 8 oz. cream cheese and spread over crackers).   I never made a lot – just enough to have a taste each year.  I do use it in some sauces as well or how about a peanut butter, sliced onion and red pepper jelly sandwich?  That suggestion came from one of my herb books… I am not so sure about that idea…

I also decided to try another recipe since I bought so many peppers and the new recipe, which is jam, won – I am sure Gene would agree.

Lots of jalapenos from the Farmers Market…


Red Jalapeno Jam

  • 3/4 lb. jalapeno peppers (I prefer to use red but you can use green)
  • 2 cups cider vinegar, divided
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2 pouches liquid pectin
  • green food coloring (optional if you use green peppers, food coloring is not needed if you use red)

Prepare peppers by removing stems, seeds and membrane.  Do wear gloves when you do this step.  Puree peppers and 1 cup vinegar in a food processor or blender.

Combine puree, 1 cup vinegar and sugar in a large saucepot.  Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes stirring constantly.  Stir in liquid pectin and return to a rolling boil.  This means the jelly cannot be stirred down while boiling.  Boil for 1 minute, remove.  Now is the time to stir in a few drops of food coloring, optional.

Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.  I always run my jars through the dishwasher so they are good and hot and place the lids (not the rings) in boiling water to sterilize.  Wipe the top of the jar rims with a damp scott towel and place the lids on and then the rings. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.   Be sure the water is 1 to 2 inches above the jars.  Start counting once the water is at a full boil.

The finished product – Red Jalapeno Jam – a new favorite!

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju  


The following  recipe is my original one  that I probably first made some 30 years ago and came from one of my herb books.  There is more work to this recipe as you are separating the pulp and using only the juice.  There are also sweet peppers in addition to the jalapenos.

Red Jalapeno Jelly

  • 1 generous pound jalapenos
  • 1 pound red bell peppers
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1-3/4 oz. pkg. powdered pectin
  • 5 cups sugar

Wearing rubber gloves, stem and seed the peppers; puree them as fine as possible in a food processor or blender.

Combine the puree and the water in a large pot and place over medium-high heat.  When the liquid comes to a simmer reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour the hot pepper puree into a jelly bag or a strainer lined with dampened cheesecloth.  Let the juice drip for an hour, stirring occasionally and pressing down on the puree to release as much juice as you can;  you need 2 cups.

Pour the strained juice (2 cups – if not enough; add water to make 2 cups) into a large sauce pan.  Add the vinegar and pectin and stir well.

Bring the liquid to a full boil and add the sugar all at once, stirring to dissolve.  Bring the contents to a boil that cannot be stirred down and stir for 1 minute.

Ladle into hot jars with a 1/4-inch headspace.  I wipe the top of the jar with a wet scott towel, then place the lid on followed by the ring.   Process the jelly for 10 minutes in a hot water canner.

Red Jalapeno Jelly – an old recipe now replaced with the Jam recipe above

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju  

1-IMG_1836 1-IMG_1837

Comment:  After comparing the two, jam or jelly, I prefer the new jam recipe that has more body and keeps the pulp – I like the specks of jalapeno in the jam and the touch of heat by using only jalapenos – it has some character and there is a good balance between hot and sweet.

2 thoughts on “Red Jalapeno Jam or Jelly

  1. This looks really good and I want to try both recipes. I’ll see how many jalapeños my garden produces this year. I usually make green pepper jelly but I like the red color in this recipe. A small jar of red and a small jar of green would make a nice holiday gift–throw in some cream cheese and crackers and a bottle of wine.


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