Now, that you have made you Jalapeño Jam you need to preserve it, unless you plan on eating a whole pot full of pepper jelly then you can just continue on your merry way!
You must start this process with clean, sterilized jars, lids, and bands. The lids are the only part of the jars that must be new. The seal on the lids can only be used once but the jars and bands can be used until they don’t work anymore! So, invest in a bunch of jars and reuse them until you give them all away!
Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Place your clean jars and lids into the water for just enough time to bring them to the temperature of the water. Do not let this water boil! You will mess up the seals of the lids. Unfortunately I do not have two large pots, but if I did I would put way more lids and jars in the water at one time.
Once the jars are hot place them upside down on a cooling rack. I place them upside down so the extra water droplets fall out. When all the water is out of the jars attach the jar funnel to one of the jars.
Carefully pour the jam mixture in the jar.
Fill the jar just to the top of the funnel, leaving a small amount of room at the top of the jar.
Immediately, and I mean immediately because this stuff gets sticky, wipe the rim of the jar with a damp towel and place the lid on the jar. Secure the lid band to the jar just barely tight. If the jar is closed too tightly the air will not be able to escape the jar during processing.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and place a few jars in the water. Place the lid on the pot, bring back to a boil and process for 10 minutes. I have this handy can holder that fits right in the pot and makes inserting and removing the jars quick and easy.
Continue this process for all your jars until you run out of jam. I usually have to fill all of my jars up first, then rinse the jam pot out and use it for the processing, but if I had two large pots I would boil a set while I filled more jars.
While my jars were processing I washed dishes, cleaned up, and made these labels. Make sure you put the month and year! I’m currently looking for a much cuter way to label my jars, but these came with the jars so I decided not to be wasteful.
After the jars process for the 10 minutes, place them on a cooling rack in an area that doesn’t have too much of a draft. Do not touch the jars, tighten the lids, or jiggle the jars for 12 hours, or until they are completely cooled. Throughout the next hour you will hear the wonderful “popping” sound of the lids sealing! That means you were successful!
You can see I did two sizes of jars. I would have loved to have a bunch of the 4 oz jars for this type of jam, but I had an access of 8 oz jars in need of filling so the choice was easy.
Once the jars are cooled, press on the top of the lids. If the lid does not flex up and down then you are free to store them; however, if the lid can be pressed up and down immediately place it in the refrigerator and use within a couple weeks. Be sure to tighten your bands and place the labels on before storing! I always put my labels on the top of my lids because the lids will eventually get tossed and I won’t have to fool with attempting to get the stickers off my pretty jar.
That’s it! You have successful made and canned your first batch of pepper jelly!
Stay tuned for some sweet posts that will make you drool!
1.5 pounds fresh jalapeno peppers (any mixture of peppers will do)
4 cups apple cider vinegar, divided in half
6-12 cups sugar
4 boxes (1.75 oz) fruit pectin
Food coloring of your choice, usually the color of the pepper
Enough jars for approximately 80 oz of jam
Remove seeds and pith from peppers. Place half the apple cider vinegar and all the jalapenos in a food processor and puree. Combine puree and remaining apple cider vinegar in a pot. Add sugar to taste. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Add fruit pectin and continue boiling 5 minutes. Test jam and cook longer if the jam does not set. Remove from heat. Add food coloring. Pour mixture into jars. Process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Let the jars cool for at least 12 hours. Check the lids and store jars.
REMEMBER: Wear gloves!