Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly

Cranberry pepper jelly on gluten free rice crackers with goat cheeseAfter a few flops trying to make Rhubarb Pepper Jelly this fall, my friend Ashley and I ran out of rhubarb.  You can count on us trying to perfect Rhubarb Pepper Jelly again in the spring as soon as we can get our hands on some rhubarb.  Luckily, I have a vivacious plant growing in my back alley.  A strange place for rhubarb to be growing, but I have declared the rhubarb area a lawn mower free zone!


Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly
Born from our failure at Rhubarb Pepper Jelly is Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly. Just a hint of heat, the right amount of tartness and an influx of sweet, my Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly is fabulous on a rice cracker, smothered with goat cheese or cream cheese.
Serves: 6 8 ounce jars
  • 1 cup ground sweet red pepper (approximately 1 or 2 medium sweet red peppers)
  • approximately 3 medium hot red peppers
  • 1½ cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 5½ cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 bag of liquid pectin
  1. Wash all peppers thoroughly and remove the stem, seeds and membrane from the sweet red pepper. Put the red pepper into the food processor and pulse until it is a pulp. Measure out one cup of the pepper, including the juice. Put into a large saucepan.
  2. Remove the stems from the hot red peppers and put the hot red peppers, including the seeds and the membrane, into the food processor and pulse until it is a pulp. The seeds and the membrane are where the heat comes from. Combine half of the hot red peppers in the pot with the red pepper from step 1. Reserve the other half of the hot red peppers for after the taste testing is complete -- once the heat is in the saucepan it is basically impossible to remove it.
  3. Put the cranberries into the food processor and pulse until finely ground. Combine in the saucepan with the peppers.
  4. Add the red wine vinegar and the sugar to the pepper and cranberry mixture. Stir to combine.
  5. Bring to a boil at medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for five minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let sit uncovered for fifteen minutes.
  7. Strain the liquid through a colander and into a clean saucepan. I suppose you could also use cheesecloth, but I rarely have that on hand, so a colander works just as well. The smaller the holes in your colander, the less cloudy your jelly will be.
  8. Add the lemon juice and liquid pectin and bring to a rolling boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off the foam.
  9. Bottle the hot jelly into clean, sterilized 250 ml jars using a measuring cup to ladle the jelly through a wide-mouthed funnel, leaving ¼ inch of head space. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel. Centre a hot lid on the jar, "put a ring on it" and process for five minutes in a waterbath canner.

Please refer to my Step by Step Canning Guide for proper canning techniques.  Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Pepper Jelly

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