I just overcame my fear of canning this weekend (finally!) and the first recipe I decided to try was Habanero Gold Jelly. Not only had I never canned before but I've never touched or eaten a Habanero pepper!
These babies are HOT! I wished I would have done some research on them before handling because I now know (a little too late) that I should have worn rubber gloves. Fortunately, the burning sensation on my fingers has subsided from scraping the seeds with bare hands! If you like hot and spicy, you'll love this! Along with Habanero peppers, sweet red pepper, red onion and dried apricots make up the red and gold of this delicious jelly. Please don't be alarmed at my red hot experience - the jelly was delightful. I seeded the Habanero peppers to keep it a little more tame. I use this handy gadget which makes the job fast and easy!
The recipe for Habanero Gold Jelly has been on the Cooking Forum website for many years and many of my foodie friends have made it before. I recently discovered that the original recipe is credited to Bob Rouleau of Canada and it can be found on the Bernadin Canada canning website.
Tonight we had one of our daughters and her boyfriend for dinner and I served this jelly as a relish with brie and sharp cheddar cheeses on baguettte slices. The creamy brie and the jelly with an 'attitude' was a wonderful pairing. Since many men love the heat of chili peppers, this jelly was very popular tonight! Others have used it in sauces or marinades for grilled meat and poultry or as a condiment. If you want to popular with the spicy men in your life - give it a try!
Aren't my half-pint canning jars the cutest? If you're interested, you can find them by clicking here.
Adapted from a recipe by Bob Rouleau, Canada
Habanero Gold Jelly
Makes 4 half-pint jars
1/3 cup finely sliced dried apricots
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 up finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup finely diced habanero peppers - I removed the seeds but you can leave them in if you want it REALLY hot
OR 1/4 cup diced, combined jalapeno and Scotch Bonnet peppers
3 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
Here is a good reference site for first-time canners, like myself, which explains how to prepare your jars for canning and other safety tips.
Cut apricots into 1/8 inch slices. Measure into a large deep stainless steel saucepan with vinegar; let stand 4 hours. Individually, cut onion and seeded peppers into 1/8 inch slices; cut slices into 1/4 inch dice. Measure each ingredient; add to apricots. Stir in sugar.
Bring to a full rolling boil. Stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add liquid pectin, mixing well.
Pour jelly into hot jars, dividing solids equally among jars and filling each jar to within 1/4 inch of top rim. Wipe rims and apply lids.
Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool upright, until lids pop down, about 30 minutes. When lids are concave but the jelly is still hot, carefully grasp jar without disturbing lid and invert, twist, or rotate each jar to distribute solids throughout jelly.
Repeat as necessary during the cooling/setting time, until solids remain suspended in the jelly.