Ok. Reader. Did you think I could let the summer slip away without one more blueberry recipe? Surely not! This summer’s CSA boxes had a bunch of great veggies but, there is no doubt that we got a ton of a couple things in particular… potatoes, yes- like a 5 pound bag every week; peppers of every kind but mainly jalapeños, banana peppers and bell peppers; and blueberries!
If you come to our home for a party or a gathering, there is a really good chance one of the starters is going to be pepper jelly and cream cheese with crackers. If you have never had it, I absolutely suggest you give it a whirl. For the longest time I thought pepper jelly came in two varieties- red and green. And then I stumbled across some blueberry and some raspberry pepper jellies- game changer.
If you will remember, I made pepper jelly last summer. Before that batch I did some research- there are 2 ways to can something. You can seal it by
boiling pressure cooking it or you can seal it with wax. Last summer, I opted to boil the jars. And I also opted to make sugar-free jelly. For my first attempt at pepper jelly- it wasn’t too shabby. However, when this summer rolled around, I knew I was gonna make some changes to my techniques.
The first change was that I knew I wanted to make 2 batches of pepper jelly- a traditional one and a blueberry one. The second change was that I wanted to just go ahead and use sugar. Lastly, I wanted to seal the jars with wax. And just for good measure, I wanted to get back to my roots and use a recipe that is tried and true- I decided to use a recipe from one of my hometown’s cookbooks. It is one of those cookbooks that is an institution of sorts.
Now, this cookbook is close to 40 years old and many of these recipes older than that. So, the first thing I did was gather all my peppers and send them through my food processor.
I had so many that I had to go in batches. I followed the recipe’s instructions- combined about 1 cup of peppers with 6 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar and brought it to a hard boil. Then strained the peppers out and brought it back to a hard boil.
While I was waiting on the peppers to boil, I washed all the pint jars in hot soapy water.
I added green food coloring to this batch to make it a pretty green color and poured this hot mixture into jars. At this point I started over doing everything exactly the same except after I strained the peppers out, I added a pint or so of blueberries and I never strained them out of what would become the jelly.
After I got this batch in the jars, I started working on the wax. I created a double boiler and melted the wax.
I followed the directions on the wax and it instructed to apply 2 layers of wax to each jar applying the first layer when the jelly is still warm. Below, I have just poured wax over the hot blueberry jelly and the first layer of wax over the traditional pepper jelly is already starting to cool.
- 1- ½ cups of peppers, chopped
- 6½ cups of sugar
- 1½ cups of apple cider vinegar
- 1 4oz "tube" of Certo
- red or green food coloring
- 1 pint of blueberries, optional
- Mix peppers, sugar and vinegar in a large boiler and bring to a hard boil
- Strain out peppers and bring to a rolling boil. Add the blueberries here if you are opting to use them
- Remove from heat and add Certo and food coloring and pour into sterilized jars.
- Seal with wax
Does your hometown have cookbooks that have been around for more than 40 years? Have you tried any of the recipes and found some jems? Have you had pepper jelly? How do you like to eat it? By itself or with other stuff? As always, we wanna know.