I have officially taken on too much again! I have found myself in a situation of apple overload this week. After tackling making two batches of plain apple jelly, 6 apple pies, and 3 batches of this apple pepper jelly, I STILL have plenty more apples available for additional pies, crisps and sauces. This was BY FAR my favorite recipe I came up with for this year's apple bounty. I've never made hot apple jelly before, but I combined a few recipes for other fruits and have decided this is a winner! Be sure to finely chop the peppers in the blender, first. Properly skim the jelly so you don't end up with the dreaded floating peppers!
· 1/2 tsp butter or margarine (optional)
-*Prepare apple juice ((*Cook down 3 quarts of cooking apples + 3 cups water, mash, and then strain the juice for fresh apple juice), OR measure 2.5 cups of store-bought apple juice (any variety will do).
-Combine peppers and water in a blender and whiz until finely chopped. I do not seed any of the peppers, but you can remove them if desired to control the heat level.
-Stir together prepared juice, vinegar, hot pepper mixture, and pectin powder in a large stock pot or sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
-Add sugar and butter, and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir at the rolling boil stage for one minute
-Remove from heat. Gently stir and skim foam for 5 minutes to prevent "floating" peppers. This step slightly cools the mixture and helps the larger pieces emulsify
-Ladle mixture into 4 or 5 prepared (sterilized, warm) 1/2 pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool and allow to rest for 24 hours prior to opening.
Now bust out some crackers and cream cheese, and dig in! Or, enjoy with some grilled pork or chicken....yum :)