Monday, July 02, 2007
Canning is addictive
--Balsamic Red Pepper Jelly
Balsamic Red Pepper Jelly
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving Copyright 2006
5 medium red bell peppers, stemmed and seeded
3 medium jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and deveined (leave some seeds and veins if you want it hot)
2 cloves garlic
½ cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 package (1.75 oz/ 49 to 57 g) regular powdered fruit pectin
3 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1. Finely dice enough red pepper to measure ½ cup and set aside. In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, purée remaining red pepperw, jalapeño peppers and garlic until smooth.
2. Transfer purée to a dampened jelly bag or a strainer lined with several layers of dampened cheesecloth set over a deep bowl. Let drip, undisturbed, for 30 minutes. Measure 1 ½ cups pepper juice. If you do not have the required amount, add ½ cup boiling water to the remaining pulp in the jelly bag to extract additional juice.
3. Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids.
4. Transfer pepper juice to a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Add reserved diced pepper, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.
5. Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lids on jars. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, them remove jars, cool and store.
Makes about seven 4-ounce jars (or four 8-ounce jars). The recipe called for 4-ounce jars but I didn't realize this and bought 8-ounce jars.
Yes, I got the canner out again this weekend. It was quite easy to make this recipe. In fact, I made it twice in one day. I used my freezer stash of jalapeños for the first batch and they were seeded and deveined before I froze them. The jelly didn't have enough heat for my taste. So I went out and bought two good sized jalapeños and used the entire peppers in the next batch. That batch packed the bit of punch that I was looking for in a pepper jelly.
I've purchased a few hot pepper jellies over the years and some lack flavor and/or heat. The first batch I made was flavorful but without I couldn't help but feel that something was missing. I think my second batch had the perfect combination of both. I'll definitely make this again someday.
I'm in trouble with this canning thing. It's addictive but like baking, it's easy to get carried away. There is only so much room in one's diet for pickles and jams and I don't think I'm brave enough to get into pressure canning low-acid foods.
So now we're up to 6 jars of bread and butter pickles, 6 jars of dill pickles, 4 jars of mild balsamic red pepper and 4 jars of spicy balsamic red pepper jelly. That's after only 2 weekends. Yikes!
If you want to get into canning, you need to use modern recipes so this book is perfect. It not only has the recipes but it has all of the other information you need to can safely.
This recipe, especially on top of the cream cheese, is perfect for the Weekend Cookbook Challenge. The current theme (#18) is Red and White. This is my first entry, which is odd because everyday is a cookbook challenge here at the Cookbook Junkie. The round up will be posted after July 15th.
Blast From The Past: Old-Fashioned Potato Salad from October 2005. I've been craving some of this.
Question of the Day: What's your latest addiction?