September 2018 – Chili Pepper Jelly

This summer, our trainer Lori’s garden produced a bumper crop of jalapeno and serrano peppers. What to do with all these beautiful peppers?


She turned them into pepper¬†jelly that can be served with crackers and a creamy cheese (such as goat cheese or brie), or to top a burger or grilled chicken breast, or to glaze a pork tenderloin. It’s not nearly as difficult as you might think, and you don’t need a fancy canner to do it.

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Drummond


  • 1 lb. serrano and jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded (Use latex gloves for this step, or risk “hot pepper hands“!)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 5 1/2 cups of sugar, divided
  • 2 packets (1.75 oz. each) Less sugar or No Sugar Fruit Pectin, such as Sure Jell
  • 6 mason jars, 8 oz. each


  1. Fill a large stock pot 2/3 of the way with water, and set on the stove to boil (you can put a lid on it and turn it down to a simmer if it boils before you are ready for it).
  2. Put the jars in the dishwasher on the sterilize/sanitize mode to clean them. Put the lids/rings in a saucepan of water on the stove and allow to boil for 5 minutes. You can then turn it off and leave the lids in the pot until ready to use.
  3. Put a few ice cubes and some water in a cup, and place a metal spoon in the cup. Set aside.
  4. Mix the pectin and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl, mix together, and set aside.
  5. Add peppers and 1 cup of vinegar to a blender or food processor. Process until slightly chunky, then transfer to a stainless steel pot.
  6. Add 5 cups of sugar and 1 cup of vinegar to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the pectin and sugar to the pot and boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. (At this point, make sure the water in the large stock pot is boiling.)
  8. Use the spoon that has been sitting in the cold water to spoon up a small amount of jelly for a texture and taste test.
  9. Transfer jelly to the mason jars, filling each to within 1/4 inch of the top of the jar. Put the lids on and tighten the rings.
  10. Using tongs, place the jars into the pot of boiling water and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Ensure there is at least 2 inches of water covering the jars.
  11. Use tongs to remove the jars to a towel and allow them to cool completely. Refrigerate after opening the jar.