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Cranberry-Habanero Jelly recipe

Cranberry-Habanero Jelly with Pomona’s Pectin

Preserving with Pomona's Pectin CookbookUpdated June 1, 2023

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.

Cranberry-Habanero Jelly

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.

  • ¼ cup finely chopped cranberries
  • cups seeded finely diced yellow bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons seeded minced habanero pepper
  • cups white vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups sugar divided
  • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water
  1. 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.

  2. Combine chopped cranberries, diced yellow pepper, minced habanero pepper, and vinegar in a saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, still covered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine pectin powder with ½ cup of the sugar. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  4. Add calcium water to the pepper mixture, mix well, and return the mixture to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the jelly returns to a boil. After the pectin is fully dissolved, add the remaining quantity of sugar and stir to dissolve it. Once sugar is dissolved, and the jelly returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
  5. 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.

Recipe Notes

Holy Hotness!
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!

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  1. Carolyn Posted July 14, 2021 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I’ve made habernero jelly in the past, quite a few years ago, before I discovered Pomona Universal Pectin.

    I’d LOVE to make the cranberry habanero jelly. If calls for chopped cranberries. Does it mean those dry cranberries I buy at Thanksgiving??

    • Fillmore Container Posted July 14, 2021 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Most preserving recipes I’ve seen (and used) call for the cranberries that are still round…in the produce section…as opposed to the dehydrated “craisin” type. Does that help?

  2. Tracy Mitchell Posted May 19, 2023 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Has anybody tried this recipe using jalapeños instead of habaneros and Stevia instead of actual sugar? It looks so good!

    • Fillmore Container Posted May 20, 2023 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Hi Tracy, A pepper switch should be fine, and since this uses Pomona’s (which doesn’t require sugar for the set), the stevia should also be fine. You want to refer to their recommendations on the proportions prior to the sweetener swap.

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