One of the things that I look forward to about the Christmas holidays, is the food...I'm quite happy to stuff myself delirious with cakes, cookies, roast meats, chocolates and of course, lots of appetizers!
One of my favourites is this red pepper jelly that is delicious on top of cream cheese slathered crackers. All of the bases are covered here...cheese, carbs AND a little bit of sweet and spicy...who wouldn't love that?!
To make this little bit o' sassy in a jar, you will need a large stock pot, about 6 or 7, 250 ml. or 12, 125 ml. canning jars, 2 red bell peppers, 2 jalapeno peppers, dried apricots, 1 "Granny Smith" apple, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, granulated sugar, hot chili pepper flakes and liquid pectin, such as "Certo". Prepare your jars by cleaning and sterilizing them (I sterilize clean jars by placing them in a 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes) Place the lid inserts into a bowl of very hot water to soften the sealing rings.
First, coarsely chop 2 red bell peppers (removing seeds) and 2 jalapeno peppers...remove seeds if you wish or keep them in depending on how hot you want your sauce (the seeds add heat),
...and a 1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots.
Throw the peppers and apricots into a blender or layer them to create an esthetically pleasing photo such as the one above
...and puree until somewhat smooth...you may leave some smaller bits for texture, but only because I said so...then scrape the pepper puree into a large stock pot.
Next, peel and grate a "Granny Smith" apple and add to the pepper mixture
...along with 1 tsp. of dried red hot pepper flakes,
...1 cup of white vinegar,
1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 3 1/2 - 4 cups of granulated sugar, which I forgot to take a photo of because I'm disorganized that way!
Over medium/low heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring periodically to eliminate scorching.
After the mixture has boiled for about 10 minutes, add 2 pouches of liquid pectin, such as "Certo"
Stir the pectin in until fully combined then bring the mixture back to a boil and continue stirring for about five minutes.
Remove from heat, stir for another minute, then ladle mixture into prepared jelly jars
Wiping the rim with a clean cloth to ensure a proper seal.
Immediatly screw the lids on finger tight then process jars in a hot water bath for about 10 minutes.
Use any size of canning jars but the smaller ones are nice for making up Christmas baskets of cream cheese, crackers and red pepper jelly!
I took some of this jelly to a little "Christmas Shindig" last night and the girls there gave it their thumbs up...or maybe they were just being polite and afraid I would flip the buffet table over, yelling "I'm never cooking again!"...either way, I thought it was good! Lol! :) It's also nice used as a glaze for pork tenderloin or ham...de-lish!!
Red Pepper Jelly
2 red bell pepper
2 jalepeno peppers
1/2 cup of chopped, dried apricots
1 "Granny Smith" apple, peeled and grated
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 cup of white vinegar
1 tsp. dried red hot pepper flakes
3 1/2 - 4 cups of granulated sugar
2 pouches of liquid pectin, such as "Certo"
Remove seeds and chop the red bell and the jalapeno peppers (leave the seeds of the jalapeno peppers for added heat if you like)...Puree the peppers and the chopped apricots in a blender...scrape out into a large stock pot and add the grated apple, vinegars, sugar, pepper flakes and boil on medium/low heat for about 10 minutes...add the pouches of liquid pectin and stir...bring mixture to a boil again for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly...remove from heat, stir for about 1 minute then ladle into prepared jelly jars...process in a boiling water bath for about 10 minutes...Enjoy!