Introduction: Sugar Free Habanero Jelly
I made Jelly for the first time. My dietary needs are for no sugar. I searched for a recipe with no sugar, but no luck. So I had to research and wing it. After several people asked how I did it using no sugar, I decided to do an instructable so others might be able to learn as well.
Habanero peppers-15. I was chicken when I made my first batch and only used 8. worked fine.
1 colored bell pepper. I chose red because its pretty.
1 can of crushed pineapple in JUICE. ( I picked up tidbits for this batch by accident. I removed about half their juice because the crushed wasnt as juicy) Worked fine.
Red pepper flakes. because-pretty.
Vinegar 1 cup. apple cider or white works fine.
Sugar substitute-for 5 cups of sugar. I used a generic splenda. you can use stevia, erythritol, whatever as long as its equivalent to 5 cups sugar. Honey to me is sugar and might behave differently.
No or Low sugar pectin. I used Sure Jell in the pink box. The whole box. equivalent to 6 tablespoons low sugar dry pectin.
large pot deep enough to cover your jars with water
saucepan to cook jelly in-make sure its large enough. You dont want to spill this stuff.
Canning jars with lids. This recipe made 5 half pint jars.
tongs to handle jars and lids
cookie sheet for the hot jars
food processor or blender
GLOVES, you need them. I have cut mildly hot peppers for salsa and had my hands burn for hours. This is your warning, these are not to be trifled with.
Step 1: Get Your Jars Ready
Wash and rinse your jars, place in your large pot covered with hot water and bring to a boil.
Place your lids, but not the rings in small saucepan with hot water and heat to boiling.
Once boiled, shut off the heat and let sit in hot water until ready. Dont dump out the water, you will need it again.
Step 2: Get Your Mash Ready.
Cut up your peppers and remove the seeds and white pith. Wearing your gloves.
I just cut them in half and scooped them out. Cut up the big pepper into big chunks.
Throw all your peppers, pineapple (the whole can of crushed pineapple with the juice) 1 cup of vinegar in the food processor and pulse a few times. you dont want it to be totally pureed, just really small chunks.
Step 3: Mix Your Pectin and Sugar Substitute Together.
I mixed it right in the sauce pan with a whisk. This is so the pectin doesnt clump.
Step 4: Add Your Mash and Start Cooking!
Add the contents of the food processor to the sugar sub/pectin mixture and stir well. I added some red pepper flakes at this point, just enough to be pretty. Heat at medium high stirring occasionally. While the jelly is beginning to cook, I prep my jars to fill. Dont let it burn!
Step 5: Prep Jars for Filling.
Pull your hot jars out of the water using tongs, empty them, and set on a cookie sheet. Set your lids, still in the water nearby. Stir your jelly!
Step 6: Time Your Jelly Boil
Once your jelly reaches a full rolling boil (a boil that wont go away after stirring) Yell at google or Siri to set a timer for 2 minutes. after 2 minutes, turn off the heat and stir till it quits boiling.
If you want you can check your jelly at this point. Pull a spoon out of the freezer-(doesnt everybody keep spoons in the freezer?) and fill the spoon with jelly. Set it on the counter till it cools to room temp See if its thickening. It wont be firm but you can tell if its setting up. If its watery, you can put it back on and bring to a boil again. I have made this recipe 4 times now and it has always set up.
Step 7: Fill Your Jars.
Initially I was using a measuring cup to scoop and fill. After realizing I was doing it the hard way, I dumped the pan into a large glass measuring cup with a pouring spout. If you dont have one, your blender jar would work, a glass pitcher, whatever. Its very hot so avoid plastic. You want to keep the rims of the jars clean. Fill to the bottom of the jar threads. The jars must be full enough. If they arent, they wont seal properly. If you end up with one jar half way full, just refrigerate and eat first.
Now wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp paper towel. Then using your tongs, fish the lids out of the hot water and place on the jars and screw on the rings. Not tight, just snug.
Step 8: Process Your Jelly.
Put the filled jars back in the hot water in the big pot and make sure the water covers the jars. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
Shut off the heat, and carefully using tongs, take the jars out of the water and place on cookie sheet to cool. As the jars cool, you will hear them "ping" when they seal and the center of the lid will be depressed. Let them cool to room temp and remove the rings and carefully lift each jar by the lid. If it doesnt pop off you have sucessfully sealed your jars.
It can take 12 plus hours for the jelly to set. You should leave the jars alone and not jostle them about until that happens. After mine cool down I set them in the fridge to speed the process up. But they dont need to be kept in the fridge if sealed
Note: I know grandma and tons of other people including me have canned things by simply packing the hot jar and turning it upside down and waiting on it to seal. However, the USDA says that is no longer recommended. Who am I to argue with the USDA? and this stuff is good and I dont want it to spoil so a water bath process it is.
Step 9: Enjoy!
This jelly has been a hit with everyone who has tried it. It is hot, but the sweetness tempers the mouth burn. It is best served over a block of cream cheese with crackers.
A word of caution about the peppers- Clean your kitchen counters, pots, utensils and hands well and often. Even a little of the pepper juice on a counter transmitted to your hand and then eyes or mouth is painful. I have washed my hands repeatedly after handling them and still managed to get some in my eyes hours later. Its not fun.
Runner Up in the