Habanero gold recipe?

prairie_love(z3/4 ND)October 1, 2006

Can anyone please give me the recipe for the habanero gold jelly you talk about so often? I see it mentioned and I did a search, but found discussions of it, no recipe. Although it is interesting going through some of those threads - one that started as habaneros ended up with Reading Lady's pear preserve recipe which I put in my save file....

Anyway, I have plenty of habs, and would like to try this. Thank you.


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Ann, here are two versions. The first is the original Habanero Gold, but it makes a small amount. The second is Readinglady's adaptation of it, it makes twice as much. Of course, it takes liquid pectin which I often have a problem with, but I can't figure out how to make it without the pectin.

Habanero Gold Jelly

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, including seeds
OR 1/4 cup diced, combined jalapeno and Scotch Bonnet peppers
3 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch Certo liquid pectin

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.

Over high heat, bring to a full roiling boil. Stirring constantly, boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in pectin, mixing well.
Pour jelly into hot jar, dividing solids equally among jars and filling each jar to within 1/4 inch of top rim. Wipe rims. Apply lids.

Process 10 minutes in BWB. 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. The jar can be inverted temporarily but do not allow it to stand upside-down for prolonged periods.

Repeat as necessary during the cooling/setting time, until solids remain suspended in the jelly.

Yield: 3 half pints

Hot 'N Sweet Confetti Jelly
1 cup minced dried apricots (1/8" dice) Note: Could use dried peaches or pears instead.
1 1/4 total cups minced red sweet pepper and minced red onion (1/8" dice), approximately half-and-half.
1/4 cup Habanero peppers
Note: For extra-hot, increase Habaneros to 1/2 cup and reduce red sweet pepper/red onion combination to 1 cup total.
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 3-oz. pouch liquid pectin (I used Ball, which I've decided I like better than Certo.)

Prep apricots, peppers and onion. Place in a large, stainless or other non-reactive pot. Add sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook 5 minutes. Pull off the burner; allow to cool, cover and let sit overnight.
Stir occasionally if convenient.
Note: 4-6 hours would be plenty, so the time doesn't need to be any greater than the soaking time for apricots in the original recipe.
Next day, bring the mixture back to the boil. Stir in liquid pectin. Boil hard 1 minute.

Pull off the heat. If necessary, skim foam. (I did need to skim a bit.) Let cool 2 minutes, stirring to distribute solids. Pour into jars. Stir to distribute and remove air bubbles. Do the usual with the jars and lids, BWB 10 minutes.
When jars are sealed, "agitate" to distribute solids throughout the jelly.
Yield: 6 8-oz. jars.

It's a beautiful jelly, I hope you like it. Here's my last batch:


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 12:10AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

BTW, a couple of times recently people have posted that they're not sure where the original Habanero Gold recipe came from. I keep meaning to answer that, and in this thread with Annie's gorgeous photos seems like a good time!

I'm sure similar recipes --- hot pepper jelly, mixed with fruit, with bits of peppers suspended in it --- exist in all kinds of places (for example, the version chilegirl Janice in Ottawa made, as seen on the "labels" thread, and dubbed "Far-Out Floaty Pepper Jelly" LOL). But the particular variation floating around this forum under the name Habanero Gold is printed in the Bernarding Guide to Home Preserving, which is basically the Canadian equivalent to the Ball Blue Book.

It's on page 33, in a section they call "Salute to Canadian Entrepreneurs" that features a handful of recipes from Canadian small business based around small-batch preserved foods. It's the flagship product of a line of zesty jellies called "The Feasting Table" from Ottawa-area entrepreneur Bob Rouleau.

Bernardin (the default brand of jars & lids in Canada) now belongs to the same company that owns Ball, and while they've kept on producing the separate Bernardin books for some years, I understand there's now a combined Ball-Bernardin book, which suggests to me that they'll stop making the separate ones.

Carol, didn't you say you had this book? I don't suppose it contains a salute to Canadian entrepreneurs?

(You have to forgive the Canadian obssession with piping up to trumpet the Canadian origin of things. It's kind of a national pasttime. We can't help it. I think they slip some chemical in the maple syrup that makes us do it. ;-) )



    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 10:07AM
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Zabby, thanks for that background. I did get the Habanero Jelly recipe on the www.homecanning.com website, which is the Ball/Kerr/Bernardin/Alltrista/Jarden company. I was looking for another jelly and went into the Canadian recipes where I found Habanero Gold. That was at least a couple of years ago, so I don't know if it's still there, but it's become very popular in my household and a lot of others.

So, thanks to the Canadian enterpreneur who was sturdy enough to put habaneros into jelly, a strong man indeed. (grin)


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 11:32AM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

Wonderful! Thank you so much for the recipe and the history. Beautiful photos, I can't wait to make this one, it's so gorgeous. Our habs aren't really all that hot, so I think I''ll do the "hotter" version of Carol's recipe. Hopefully I can do this tonight or tomorrow.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 11:35AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Hi Zabby, yes, I do have that in my copy of the Bernardin book (thanks to our exchange a couple of years ago!). I have also mentioned several times in previous postings that it was a Bernardin recipe.

As you know, I'm a big fan of the Canadian canning experts and want to give credit where credit is due.

It's interesting. I notice in the new "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving" that there are no attributions for original sources, so the Habanero Gold is listed with no mention of the creator. I see also that the book contains not only Ball and Bernardin recipes but even old Kerr ones like their Apricot-Date Chutney.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 1:42PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

Here is another entry into the fray:

Apricot Red Pepper Relish
From small batch preserving
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup drained pickled jalapeno peppers (substitute fresh?)
1 1/4 cups chopped dried apricot halves
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

The directions are the same as for the original habanero gold jelly.

Btw, when I made a small trial batch of the larger batch version with pomona's pectin, the sugar came back out of solution and recrystallized in the jam. I'm going to try this relish next.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 2:42PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)


At least the recipe is included in the new book for posterity!

BTW, I sure didn't mean to suggest you (or anyone) was failing in giving credit where it was due. I am sure you and others have given correct attribution. I simply have noticed a few folks wondering where it came from lately so I thought I'd mention it, was all, as ripe hot peppers abound these days....

Melly's recipe looks lovely, too. Really, what could one make with apricots, red peppers, cider vinegar, and sugar that would be bad? What a great bunch of ingredients....


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 3:03PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Zabby, I wasn't at all concerned and didn't infer any criticism. With all the times various members have posted that recipe, it's no surprise that attribution gets lost along the way.

Here's my contribution to what has become a hot relish thread. I was very happy with this recipe. I did reduce the jalapenos by 1/3 as ours this season are very hot. I also reduced the sweet bells by 1 pepper and stopped cooking at 223 degrees.

I do have to say not using commercial liquid pectin and cooking almost to the candy stage resulted in a very pleasing mixture. I was surprised that the chunks of peach retained their integrity. The color is a glorious deep red. Very pretty in the jar and perfect for spreading on cream cheese.

I like this better than Habanero Gold.

Peach and Pepper Relish

Recipe By Linda Amendt, "Joy of Pickling"

Categories : Canning & Preserving Condiments

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 large peaches -- peeled and chopped
5 sweet red peppers -- (2 lb. 2 oz.) seeded and minced
4 jalapeno peppers -- (3 1/2 oz) red, seeded and minced
3 lemons -- halved
6 cups sugar
2 cups cider vinegar

Put prepped peppers in a nonreactive bowl (not plastic) and cover with boiling water. Let stand until cool.

Drain peppers and put into nonreactive pan with peaches (or nectarines). Squeeze the lemons (strain seeds) and add juice and lemon halves to the pot. Boil 15 minutes.

Remove lemon halves. Add sugar and vinegar. Bring mixture back to the boil. Let it boil, stirring frequently, until 230.

Remove from heat and ladle into prepped jars. Clean rims and apply lids. Process BWB 10 minutes.

Yield: 9 half-pint jars


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 3:17PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Sorry, to clarify, original recipe specified 6 red sweet peppers and 6 jalapenos. The recipe I provided lists amounts I used.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 3:22PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

That sounds really good. Do you think frozen peaches would work. I could drain off the liquid after thawing. I love love love peaches, but didn't find any decent ones around here. I finally broke down and ordered the joy of pickling to add to the collection.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 4:32PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

You know, I don't see any reason why frozen peaches wouldn't work. In fact, given the long cooking, I might not drain off the liquid, or at least not all of it. I would think that's where much of the flavor would reside.

What you might do (just thinking here) is drain the juice, cook as per the instructions with the lemon, add the sugar, the vinegar and perhaps a portion of the peach liquid and go from there.

The worst that could happen is the peaches might become jam rather than disparate chunks, which is what I thought would happen in the first place but didn't.

I hope you do try it, Melly. I'd like to hear how someone else likes it.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 6:51PM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

Carol, that sounds excellent also, I may have to do it too! I have a bit of the same problem as Melly in that peach season is over, so would have to use store bought or frozen.

My husband and I really are NOT jam/jelly/preserves eaters. But, I keep seeing recipes that sound wonderful, so I simply MUST make them! Of course, if I get 9 jars, we will probably only eat 2, so that means I have 7 for gifts. Not a bad way to go.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 7:48PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

You'd be surprised how quickly some of these pepper jellies and relishes "disappear" when inserted into cheddar cheese thumprint cookies. It's a perfect appetizer for buffets and potlucks.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:48PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

I thought about the flavor issue after I posted. When, yes when, (I'm thinking this weekend) I try it, I think I will drain the juice and reduce it a little while the relish is cooking, then add it back in. I'll make sure to cut the peaches into big enough chunks that they don't disappear. Of course, not making them too big, either.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 3:02AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

That sounds like a great idea. And the lemon in the recipe should perk up the peach flavor too.

It will be interesting to hear how it turns out. It will be nice to have the alternative of working with frozen fruit. Generally I can get good fresh ones but even here there are years when that just isn't going to happen.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:50AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Ann, we're not big jam or relish eaters either --- but as I was musing the other day, now that means I've been canning for a few years, that means we can always have a wonderful variety on hand! If I make 7 or 8 jars of each and we use 1 or 2 over the year, I only have to make it every few years, meaning I can make just 2 or 3 kinds each year and always have a far more than that available. Hee hee. (And a nice stash to give as hostess gifts, etc.)

Carol, have you posted your cheddar thumbrint cookie recipe? I have a standard one for thumbprint cookies to make with sweet fruit jams --- would I just reduce a bit of sugar and add some sharp cheese? That really is a great idea for an appetizer/hostess gift, and a fine destination for the larger quantities of pepper jelly than I'm likely to use....


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 2:39PM
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zabby, I know Carol is laid up with a sore foot, so I'll post the recipe, Carol gave it to me to fill with Habanero Gold. It's a huge hit at the office and everywhere else, I took a double batch to Canning Camp last year and not one was left. (Ssshhh, don't tell that I was snacking on them on the way there, LOL)

They're nice and cheese-y, not at all sweet, like a cheese cracker only good.

Savory Cheddar and Jalapeño Jelly Cookies from Rick Rodgers

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen

8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup jalapeno jelly, or sub apple butter or chutney

Place cheese and butter in a food processor (could be creamed by hand or mixer); add flour and process until the mixture forms a soft dough. Gather up the dough and divide into two flat disks. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until chilled, about 45 minutes.

Position two racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 400°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or use nonstick sheets.

Using 1 teaspoon dough for each, roll the dough into small balls and place 1 inch apart on the sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or 1/2-inch-thick dowel, poke an indentation in each cookie. Place the jelly in a small plastic bag and force it down into one corner. Snip off the corner of the bag to make a small hole. Pipe the jelly into the indentations.

Return to the oven and bake, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking, until the tops are very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. (Cookies will continue to crisp as they cool.) Transfer to racks and cool completely.

Can be baked up to two days ahead. Store at room temperature in an airtight container and separate layers with wax paper.

If you get this too cold in the freezer it's hard to handle, but becomes more pliable if you let it set a minute. They are so yummy they are addictive and everyone wants me to make these now.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 2:53PM
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Hey, look, I found a picture too. These are yummy.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 4:04PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Laid-up being the operative word, as post-surgery I'm supposed to keep said foot elevated. Needless to say, unless I'm a contortionist, that severely limits keyboarding time.

Thank you, Annie, for posting the recipe and the inspiring photo.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 7:47PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Thanks so much, both Annie and Carol!

BOY do those look/sound good. I bet BF would LOVE them, too. His birthday is Thursday --- I think I will make him some. Mmmm.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:12PM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

Yes, thank you both! I will be making the thumbprints too, I'm sure. Zabby, thanks for asking for the recipe - I was embarassed to because it sounded like something everyone should know (hangs her head in shame...).

Carol, I sure hope your foot feels better very soon, no fun being laid-up.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:38PM
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Ann, never be ashamed to ask for a recipe, even if you've asked for it before. I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally deleted a recipe, or saved it but I don't know where or printed it out and lost it.

Just ask again. I, for one, don't mind reposting.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:45PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Oh gosh, Ann. I'm with Annie. There's so much cross-traffic here on GardenWeb that lots of times a recipe that's mentioned isn't even listed on Harvest. And the search engine is so idiosyncratic, no one's bothered by re-posting. Doesn't take much effort to cut-and-paste again.

Actually, I don't think those thumbprints were even on Harvest prior to Annie's post. Originally I posted it on Cooking, so Zabby did a favor by asking about it.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 3:05AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Hey, Ann, it's actually EASIEST to post a recipe that's been posted before, since someone will be able to find it on the server or on a hard drive!

Anyway, I'm going to try those tomorrow for BF's birthday.

Carol, hope you feel better soon!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 10:40AM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

OK, well, here's another question that I know I have asked before, but I just can't seem to figure out.

I would like to use less sugar. I am just not fond of sweet jams and jellies, I really prefer tart. I was delighted with the strawberry and raspberry jams I made using the no-sugar-added pectin.

But, this whole pectin thing still confuses me. First, I do not know what the difference is between powder and liquid. If a recipe calls for one, I cannot substitute the other, can I? And if Carol uses the Ball liquid for this because she prefers it to Certo - must I also use Ball or can I use Certo? Does brand matter?

Then, if I want less sugar...as I understand it, I cannot take a recipe such as this and simply decrease the sugar or I won't get proper jelling - is that correct? If I want to decrease the sugar, can I use this same recipe but use the no-sugar-added pectin and then add however much sugar I want? Or when I use that nsa (my abbreviation) pectin am I restricted to the recipes included with the instructions?

thanks for your patience, some day I'll understand pectin, I promise!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 12:22PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Boy, if you arrive at a perfect understanding of commercial pectin, let us know. Annie and I both have discussed the unreliability of its performance.

And now I'm trying to remember - I was just reading something from a big-time jam-maker. Sorry, can't recall who - who said the commercial pectins give preservers a false sense of infallibility.

Ironically, regular commercial pectins (as opposed to NSA) require more sugar rather than less for the set.

Now, to answer your questions. Powder and liquid are not interchangeable. Recipes for each are formulated differently. However, generally I have not had problems substituting one brand of the same type for another. For example, Certo liquid should work fine where I specified Ball liquid. It's purely personal but I like Ball better because I detect less of an obnoxious chemical aftertaste. I really loathe liquid pectin and use it only in Habanero Gold for that reason.

Usually if you go to their websites, you'll see that makers of the NSA pectin (like that abbreviation) have formulated their own copycat recipes for these popular jellies which do make it possible to use much less sugar.

However, I would guess at some point the hot-sweet balance might be lost. There's also the tartness of the vinegar to account for, and that can't be reduced because with all the peppers it's important to safety. However, cider vinegar has a natural sweetness distilled doesn't, so less sweetening would be required.

You could take that peach-pepper relish I posted and try reducing the sugar with that. It doesn't call for commercial pectin, so there's more latitude as the thickening comes naturally from the long cooking down. However, as sugar is cut in those traditional recipes, the preserve loses its gloss and sheen; mouthfeel changes and the longevity of the product once opened is reduced.

However, you mentioned preferring that tarter taste, so it's a possibility. You could also try a mixture of re-constituted dried apricots and peaches with the peppers for something akin to the Habanero Gold. I'm sure once Forum members start playing with that recipe they'll come up with all kinds of intriguing permutations.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 1:28PM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

I finally made this tonight (Carol's version of the original). It is wonderful looking and smelling and I can't wait to finish it in the morning. I have to say though, I pride myself on being comfortable with hot foods - this may test my taste buds!

I was very careful to wear gloves and clean up after cutting the habs, but I still can feel it beside my eyes. I am very nervous of hot peppers because I wear contacts and one time after cutting jalapenos (without gloves) I got pepper juice on my contacts even though I washed my hands multiple times. Boy, was THAT fun!! Anyway, even though I was careful, I am a bit nervous about the results of this adventure.

Also, I had picked habs of various colors - red, orange, yellow. I was planning to have a mixture in the jelly. But, every single red one I cut had mold in the middle. The oranges and yellows were fine. Has anyone else ever seen this? Are they really not supposed to go to red - are those ones over ripe?


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 11:56PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

My habs have never ripened beyond deep orange, but here it takes to the end of the growing season to get habs ripe and ready to use.

Last year I found mold in a number of those I planned to dry, and they were orange. I do know habs are particularly susceptible to mold.

We had a neighborhood get-together this weekend. I took a block of cream cheese and whipped it with 1/4 cup sour cream to add a bit of tang and loosen the texture. I spread it in a Pyrex pie plate, and brought the edges all around up just slightly so the cream cheese mixture was "cupped" then took a jar of HG, stirred to loosen it and spread in the center. It made a very pretty presentation that way. All the little confetti bits floating in the jell really sparkled. I wasn't planning on making more this season, but Saturday I ended up giving away 3 jars of the hot stuff, so it looks as if I'd better do a batch myself or there's none for the holidays.

I'm with you on the gloves, having had my own very nasty experience with hot peppers and a contact lens.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 12:10AM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

I made a trial batch of the peach pepper relish. I didn't bother with draining the liquid since at that quantity it wasn't that much. It tasted good. My jalapenos must not have been very hot because I thought it needed more heat, and I am a little on the wimpy side. I got distracted and it cooked down too far, which I didn't realized until the next day. I had to pry it out of the jar and warm it back up with some a little water. I think because I cooked it too long, it ended up looking like chutney, a little brownish. Like I said, tasted good, though. Next time I'm going back to the H and D one. Since I have trouble locating good tomatoes, I'm thinking about using a little tomato paste in it. I had toyed with the idea of dried tomatoes (not in oil) but I think paste would be easier and still give me tomato flavor. I'll probably add it about a tablespoon at a time until I think it tastes right.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 2:58AM
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prairie_love(z3/4 ND)

Yes, Carol, sometimes I'm not the fastest learner in the world, but it only took ONCE with the hot peppers and contacts to learn that lesson!

How do you all "agitate" the jars after processing? I thought I saw on one thread that jars should not be inverted. In the Habanero Gold recipe above it says they can be temporarily inverted. I understand that we want to disperse the confetti (I love that term for the good stuff in there), I'm just not sure the best way to do it. I tried swirling right as the jars came out and some that had already "popped" then unpopped, although they seemed to then pop back pretty quickly.

Ann, who really needs someone standing here holdng her hand as she learns.....

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 11:09AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

One reason I modified the recipe (aside from wanting to increase the yield but not the pectin) was to reduce the necessity for "agitating." The long sitting period in my version helps distribute the weights.

It also helps to let the jelly sit in the jars a bit before applying lids (about 5 minutes) and stir the contents of the jars to distribute. Then wipe rims and apply lids. This may eliminate the need to shift contents after sealing.

To answer your question, you just grab the jar by the ring and twist it back and forth like a washing machine agitator. You'll see the solids spiraling down.

You can also follow the original instructions and invert briefly once the jars have sealed. The seals may "pop" but with the rings on they will seal again.

I usually do a combination of the two.

But lately I've decided I have a different take on this whole issue. Usually I'm very, very picky about appearance, but in this case I've decided what the Jamlady says makes sense - if stuff floats just stir it when you open the jar.

Generally I end up with the "bits" fairly well-distributed, but if you get a stiff set with the pectin it's darned near impossible because by the time the jars seal it's too firm.

So if it happens it happens and if it doesn't, so what? I give the pretty jars for gifts and keep the other ones. Once it's on the dip no one knows the difference anyway.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 12:27PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Melly, our jalapenos this year are super-hot, the hottest I can ever remember, which is why I reduced the number for my batch. I'm no wimp when it comes to peppers, but I knew if I included the full amount it would be way over the top.

I was very happy with the Peach and Pepper relish but suspicious of cooking it to 230, which is candy, so I stopped at 223. That turned out just perfect for us, with a really nice set and deep ruby background color. I don't think I'll ever go above that temperature despite what the recipe says.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 12:34PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

Carol, I was suspicious of 230. I'll pencil a note into the book that says 223 worked for you. I didn't get out the thermometer because the batch was so small I didn't think it was deep enough for the thermometer to work properly. Now I know better.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 5:49AM
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