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How To Make Pepper Jelly


Pick a pepper (jelly)

Written by Emily Storrow | Photography by Jonathan Boncek


Jars of this Southern staple make for easy entertaining

Adored for its ability to complete hors d’oeuvres with the twist of a lid, pepper jelly has earned its place in the Southern pantry. Have it on hand for easy entertaining—whether served over cream cheese, as a dip with jalapeño poppers, or atop a warm slice of cornbread, it’s just as suited for surprise houseguests as it is for a Super Bowl snack. Our recipe turns out a jelly that’s sweet with deep pepper flavor. Keep in mind that jalapeños can be unpredictable on the heat front. It’s commonly believed they get hotter with age, so white striations or a red hue could signal higher heat. Capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives peppers their spice, is concentrated in the white inner membrane that holds the seeds. When choosing jalapeños, try giving them a gentle squeeze to gauge the size of the membrane. Still, the only surefire way to tell how much heat a pepper is packing is to take a bite. If you prefer a spicier pepper jelly, consider swapping a few jalapeños for serranos or adding a teaspoon of dried chile flakes. Concerned about your hands burning after chopping the peppers? Wear gloves or use a food processor—just remember to drain the excess water the peppers give off before proceeding with the recipe.


•6 jalapeño peppers

•1 red pepper

•1 yellow pepper

•¾ cup white wine vinegar

•1 (1.75-ounce) package SURE-JELL pectin (for less or no sugar needed recipes)

•4 cups sugar

Makes about 6 (8-ounce) jars

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