Introduction: Low Sugar Peach Jalapeño Jelly
I have another Instructable for Jalapeño Peach Jelly, but this canning season I'm trying to cut back on sugar and have been thrilled with results I'm getting using Pomona's Pectin. This recipe comes from their site and is delicious! It's also ramped up on heat, since cutting back on sugar means more jalapeño flavor. It lets the flavor of perfectly ripe Ohio peaches shine. Peach season is only a couple months here and the peaches are so delightful I love using them in canning so I can enjoy their flavor year round.
Peach Jalapeño Jelly is tasty warmed up and served over a block of cream cheese with crackers, but it can be used in many more ways. As a glaze for fish, chicken, pork, vegetables, carrots being a favorite. Make sweet and spicy thumbprint cookies or bars, serve it over ice cream or yogurt. I love using pepper jelly in grilled cheese sandwiches. What ideas do you have for Peach Jalapeño Jelly?
Makes 5-6 cups, you can use 4- or 8-oz. canning jars
Recipe created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona's Pectin
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
4½ pounds peaches
½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped jalapeno pepper
¾ cup vinegar
6 teaspoons calcium water
1¼ cups sugar
5½ teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder
Notes: Pepper Choices: You can use any color of bell pepper and any variety of hot pepper that you wish, in any combination, as long as the total quantity of peppers, including both hot peppers and bell peppers, does not exceed 1 cup. If you like extra heat, you can increase the hot pepper quantity, while decreasing the bell pepper quantity by the same amount. f you prefer less heat, you can do the opposite. Peppers are a low-acid food, and must be balanced with the proper quantity of acid (vinegar, in this case) in order for the jelly to be safe for boiling water bath canning, which is why the overall quantity of peppers used in this recipe must not exceed 1 cup.
Vinegar Choices: Use standard white or apple cider vinegar with 5 percent acidity.
Fruit Choices: If you prefer to use fruits other than or in addition to peaches, there are a few other fruits that will work well with this recipe. Specifically, in addition to peaches, you may use any combination of nectarine, apricot, sweet cherry, sweet plum, or pear (but not Asian pear). Fruits not on this list will not work well with this recipe. If you don’t have fresh fruit to work with, you can purchase unsweetened fruit juice and use that instead. Just be sure that the fruit juice contains no additional ingredients. If you are using unsweetened fruit juice rather than fresh fruit, skip steps 2 and 3.
Step 2: Make Peach Juice
Before You Begin: Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use. Always stir well right before using.
Remove and discard peach pits and peels, then chop the peaches and place in a sauce pan with 1 cup water. Cover, bring the peaches up to a boil, reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and thoroughly mash the peaches. (Note: It is not essential that you pit and peel the peaches, if you peel them you can save the pulp to use in smoothies, or eat over ice cream, I chose not to peel them, because it's much faster.) Since I make multiple batches, I also pressure cook peaches to soften them, it only takes one minute under high pressure, quick release, and proceed with the recipe.
Transfer the mashed peaches into a jelly bag. (An impromptu bag made from layers of cheesecloth wrapped around the mashed fruit and gathered at the top works equally well, if you don’t have a jelly bag.) Suspend the jelly bag over a large bowl and allow the mashed fruit to drip juice into the bowl until you have accumulated 4 cups of juice. This will likely take 2-4 hours. After you have accumulated the necessary 4 cups of juice, you can compost the fruit pulp, or – even better – use it for something else.
Step 3: Prepare Peppers
Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Since the recipe calls for processing for 10 minutes, the time it takes to sterilize jars, you don't need to sterilize them, reduce heat in the pot and keep the jars warm. You can also keep the jars warm in a 225 degree F oven until you're ready to fill them.
Wash the bell peppers, remove and discard seeds, and roughly chop. Repeat the process for the jalapeno peppers. The recipe calls for finely chopping, but a blender, or food processor makes quick work of this task. Simply add the peppers and 3/4 cup vinegar to a blender and pulse until the peppers are finely chopped.
Pour into a large saucepan.
Step 4: Cook Jelly
Cover the pepper-vinegar mixture and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, remove it from the heat.
Measure 4 cups of the peach juice (If you have extra juice, use it for something else). Pour the measured quantity into the sauce pan with the vinegar-pepper mixture. Then, add the calcium water and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Put the sauce pan on the stove and bring the peach mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve the pectin. Return the jelly to a boil, then remove it from the heat.
Step 5: Fill and Process Jars
Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jelly, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to fingertip tight.
Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
Turn off heat, remove lid, and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then remove jars from canner.
Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Then confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, wipe off outside of jars and lids with a damp cloth, label jars, and store, in a cool, dark environment, for up to one year. Refrigerate the jars once opened.