Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The $2 Gift - Red Pepper Jelly

This Jelly is will need a cold beer with it.
I am entering what I call my "Year of Living Frugally" after a year of indulgence.  Of course that isn't easy to do with Christmas around the corner.  Often I run out and pick a "little something" up for hostess gifts, friends,  co-workers, neighbors etc.  All those $5 and $10 (or more) gifts really add up and this year I'm just not doing it.  I am starting to stock up on homemade items such as these little Red Pepper Jellies.  I have made this for years, and my friends, kids and their friends are always bugging me to make a batch....I have tweaked this recipe for years trying to get a very hot batch that sets well.  I think the hot peppers affect the setting sometimes.  Anyway, I finally have my recipe perfected and want to share it with you.

(Private message to the Montreal girls at last night's Girls Night Out....a batch has been sent to Boy Childs make sure he delivers your jars)

Yesterday I whipped up a batch of 25 2 oz jars.  I made a label using a free template and now have a batch of gifts to give away.  Thinking it was a cute name I labelled it HOT LIPS, only to browse the web later and see there is an existing Hot lips disregard my label (it's not for resale anyway) and next batch I will think of something more original.  

I make my jelly with scotch bonnets.  Please read my warning in the recipe....I actually had a burn on my face once as I touched my face with pepper juiced hands.  You can give these with a little ornament such as I did HERE for my wedding jam, or wrap it in a tea towel with a package of bagel crisps and a Brie cheese.  Or tie it onto a six pack of beer.  A perfect gift that has no waste (jar can be reused.  Good neighbors and friends will return your jars hoping for refills.)  One batch costs about $10 to the jars...

Here is my not so secret recipe.  Let me know how yours turns out......

 Hot Red Pepper Jelly
Wash jars and screw rings/lids in hot soapy water then put on baking sheet in oven at 220 degrees for at least 30 minutes-keep warm.  Place lids on a clean tea towel until ready to use.
1-1/3 cups cider vinegar (I use a nice organic one)
1 tsp salt
5 ½ cups sugar
2 pouches of liquid Certo pectin
3-4 large red peppers diced to make 3 sups
3-4 scotch bonnet peppers seeds removed (please see my warning below *)

In food processor or blender waz up 3 cups chopped red pepper and the scotch bonnets to make a coarse puree.

In large saucepan, add red and hot peppers, vinegar and salt and sugar. Bring to rolling boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, stirring now and then.

Stir in pectin and remove from heat. Skim off any foam. Let cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle into hot sterilized jars; seal immediately with new lids. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water or per your own canning instructions.  Because of the hot peppers, it could take 2 weeks to set.

*ANY MORE THAN 3 is TOO HOT…do not use the seeds unless you want to die.

When chopping the hot peppers I use surgical gloves or household rubber gloves and wash them with soap and water after. Do not get the juice from the hot peppers on you.  If the juice gets on your hands, you don’t feel it right away, but you will later………………Wipe up all seeds and juice and wash cutting board while you have the gloves on.  Wipe up any seeds that could have fallen on floor or counter…you do not want your dog or cat licking them up.

Makes 6-7 cups


  1. It sounds wonderful! I actually attempted mint jelly this year for the first time and was quite pleased with it.
    Like you, I'm looking for a more frugal but thoughtful Christmas this year!

  2. what a sweetie to share this ...thanks so much your jars...great gifty size...Crazy name ..Just perfect!

  3. I make a similar jelly and love it. I have always wanted to try making it with scotch bonnets but was to chicken - I use Thai chili peppers and Cayenne peppers. I think I will give this one a try because who doesn't need an excuse to drink beer! My husband will thank you - he loves HOT peppers.

  4. I always think home made gifts are the nicest anyway. I have loads of 'hot' peppers and a few sweet ones as well so I would love to have a go at making some Hot Lips jelly. Chania - thanks so much for posting the recipe

  5. I would take a jar of that over a $25 gift certificate any day of the week.
    Good job!

  6. Wonderful recipe Chania...I love extreme cooking!

  7. Great idea Chania! I like all your ideas about what could accompany the jelly as well. Ann

  8. Oh Chania this sound D.I.V.I.N.E....PROMISE me you'll bring a FEW jars to Texas next year....We'll test it out in the evenings under the porch with our Stellas & crackers....**wink**....Or should that be **BLISS**....!!

    Cheers from Oz,
    Tamarah xx

  9. I think this is the perfect little gift idea! Thanks for sharing your recipe xo

  10. Red and green hot pepper jelly is always my hostess gift. When taking a snack, it is usually lying atop a smidgen of creme cheese which, in turn, is atop a mini phyllo shell
    mmmm-mmmm yum.

  11. I just made hot pepper jelly for the first time ever last weekend. It came out really runny, so I cooked it again and added another pack of Certa. It came out a bit less runny, but still runny nevertheless. Now I have hope that maybe it just needs to sit for a while to firm up - fingers crossed! At least it tastes good :-)

    Thanks for sharing your recipe - I'll use it if I make jelly again. BTW, I think the peppers I used are called little blues - although they start out purple and end up red, so I don't know how blue ended up in the name!

  12. YUM! Now I wish I had more time (before the baby comes) so that I could make a batch to give as gifts.
    I just wanted to say thank you so much for the sweet message (comment) that you left for me on my blog. I appreciate your advice (very much) and am going to listen to what Noah is REALLY saying to me.
    xox your friend.


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania