In case you haven’t picked up the book Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013), you’ll have to check out this tart and spicy recipe they’ve let us share with you! Cranberries are in season and with the cooler temperatures sweeping in, the more heat the better!
Hot pepper aficionados will appreciate the distinctive kick of this habanero pepper jelly, yet it’s mild enough that it can be enjoyed by those who like only very small amounts of heat. The cranberries add a brilliant red hue to this translucent, yellow-flecked jelly. Served with cream cheese and crackers, it makes a gorgeous and spicy addition to your appetizers for Thanksgiving, or for any gathering. Remember, for canning safety, do not increase the quantity of any peppers in this recipe.
Yield: 4 – 5 (cups) or 4-5 8oz. jars
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 may be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
Wondering what calcium water is? Calcium water is a solution of the monocalcium phosphate powder (food-grade rock mineral source) that comes in its own packet with every purchase of Pomona’s Pectin. The Pomona’s Pectin directions tell you how to make calcium water with the calcium powder. Pomona’s Pectin recipes call for calcium water because the pectin is activated by calcium, not by sugar. You can read more about calcium water here.
Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.
Can Your Jelly: Remove jars from canner and ladle jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.
Habanero peppers are about as hot as they come, and getting even a little on your skin can be quite painful. Always wear gloves when working with them, do not let them come in contact with any part of your body (especially your eyes). Use common sense to keep safe and pain free!