Friday, May 31, 2013

Apricot Pepper Jelly; My First Homemade Batch



From this (with a few other ingredients):
 To This:

 **None of the links in this post are affiliate links. Just my own links to things I thought would be helpful**

I had always stayed away from pepper jelly of any kind thinking it sounded like a horrible combination and would be too hot. Then in Door County, WI, where they have tons of samples I tried my first batch and was hooked! I found them delightful! They had a really nice sweetness to them with a little kick of spice. My sister introduced me to Apricot Pepper Jelly and that has quickly become my favorite. She gave me a couple jars with my Christmas gift last December since she knew I liked it so much. The problem is, the jelly doesn't last long. I love to eat it on toast and the jar goes quickly. My grocery store only carries a mint pepper jelly which doesn't appeal to me, so I started scouring Amazon and the internet. Unfortunately, pepper jelly is expensive! The Apricot Jelly my sister buys (I filled her 13.2 oz jar above) would cost me $9.95 on Amazon and $7.99 for shipping! Even after checking eBay, it would cost me over $10/jar just to get some pepper jelly.

So, I started researching whether I could just make my own. I am so glad I did. I've never canned anything before, so I thought jam or jelly would be out of the question. I found some recipes that make a relatively small batch (about 4-5 jars). That would mean I could store it in the fridge and I'm sure they'd be gone within a month or two.

These are the recipes I saved for trying out:

Apricot Pepper Jelly from Cook, Eat Share
Apricot Jalapeno Jelly from CD Kitchen
Hot N Sweet Pepper Jelly from Cooks.com

I ended up making the one from Cook, Eat, Share and it turned out wonderful! It includes minimal ingredients; just jalapeno peppers, red and/or green peppers, dried apricots, cider vinegar, pectin and sugar. It's amazing to me that you cook all these things together and come up with jars of yummy jelly!





I remember reading the jars needed to be sterilized, so I did that step even though I'm keeping mine refrigerated. I found a website that said you could put the jars and lids in the oven and bake at 225 degrees for 10 minutes to sterilize them. I did that since I don't have any canning tools.

After this experience of successfully making jelly, I'm now inspired to look into canning and preserving! I've always wanted to learn how to can and preserve, but I thought it would be too much for me. My mom often made homemade jam and my dad to this day still cans his tomatoes and Coho salmon that he catches during his fishing season, so it's part of my heritage that I'd like to carry on. I found a great website too that has several resources. It's called Pick Your Own and I found a wonderful tutorial for making jam. I spent a lot of time on that post since she includes a lot of wonderful links for canning supplies, books on preserving and FAQ about jam making.

I have several books I've put on hold at the library and will hopefully come back to blog more about it. My hope is to purchase a canning kit to get started. Here are the books I'll be skimming through:
*Ball Blue Book of Preserving
*The Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Home
*Canning & Preserving; All You Need to Make Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Chutneys and More
*Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
*Food in Jars

Do you can or preserve your food? What websites or books are your favorites?

As always,

Thanks for visiting!



8 comments:

Brigitte said...

I too have always wanted to try canning, but It seemed like Too many steps, and I was afraid if I did it wrong we'd all get sick. But I would consider doing a small batch of something that could be eaten right away!

Elena said...

Wow! I would love to try the taste!

Kate @ Life on the Pavement... said...

Yum!

Tracey M. said...

Thank you for your comments :)

Sarah said...

This looks super yum. My mom used to make jalapeno jelly that I loved.

Delighted to meet you. I hope you don't mind if I splash around to get to know you a bit more. This looks like a refreshing place to dip into some goodness.

I'm also on the hunt for ideas to splatter some joy into our summer. I would love to hear your ideas. Come splash with us!

http://justsarahdawn.blogspot.com/2013/07/splatter-it-up.html

Splashin,
Sarah

Barbara said...

I am looking for a way to duplicate the Apricot Pepper Jelly that I love from Aloha from Oregan. I see you have one of their jars in your photos. How does the recipe compare to the flavor of theirs?

Thank you for the recipe and information.

Tracey M. said...

@Barbara: I was skeptical of whether the taste would be even remotely close to the Aloha brand, but it was! It had the right consistency and a great balance of heat/sweet/apricot flavor. I am going to make this again and save my money.

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