Thursday, May 29, 2008

Red Pepper Jam

- 12 large red peppers, washed, seeds and cores removed
- 2 tblspns coarse salt
- 1.5 cups cider vinegar
- 0.5 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 lemon, quartered


Pass peppers through food processor, then pour into a bowl and sprinkle in salt. Let stand for 4 hours.

Drain peppers well through a strainer (let drip for about 2 or 3 minutes). Place pulp in a pot with water, vinegar, and lemon. Simmer 20 minutes, then remove lemon.

Mix in sugar, and boil for approx 1 hour, until it thickens.

In the meantime, sterilize your jars: wash and dry jars, and place in an oven at 225 degrees farenheit for 30 minutes. Boil lids and caps for 10 minutes.
Pour jam into sterilized jars and seal.
Make sure there's no jam on the rim, so wipe away quickly in case of spillage. (This may be easier with 2 people - one person jarring, the other capping.)
I got this recipe from a friend of mine - she had served this jam over a brick of cream cheese, to spread on crackers, which tasted awesome. Tasting it, I would've never thought it was red peppers, because it tasted so sweet, it was almost like strawberries.
This was my first attempt at making preserves - I actually doubled the recipe, which is what you see pictured above. Same thing, just doubled. I ended up with 5 half-liter jars + 3 small jars + a teeny bit left over. The half liter jars will make good xmas gives come the holidays for the neighbors and friends. My mom and I made it together yesterday, and my brother and husband helped in putting it all into jars.
Now that I know how to make this recipe, and I know how it'll turn out, I'd make a couple changes for the next time I make it: I'd replace a quarter cup of the cider vinegar with balsamic vinegar, which I think would improve the taste, and I'd also add some Certo to thicken the jam a bit. Maybe even add a couple hot peppers in the mix, to spice it up a bit.

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