Pepper jelly and jalapeño jam are other favourites of mine. It’s sweet and spicy, and sometimes it can even be a little vinegary. I especially love toast with a thick layer of cream cheese or a mild goat cheese, and then topped with an embarrassing amount of pepper jelly. Sometimes I add lettuce or sprouts (if I have them on hand), in an attempt to be healthy. Greens on a pepper jelly toast happen rarely at best. I just want the jelly, really.
This recipe for cranberry-pepper jelly is from the November 2011 issue of Bon Appétit. Combining two of my favourite preserves into one seemed like a genius idea to me, and boy was it ever. It’s quite spicy, loaded with cranberries, and with just a hint of sweetness. It would make a great accompaniment to a Thanksgiving turkey, or even just a simple Sunday roast chicken. Delicious! And yes, I also ate it by the spoonful, and dolloped over slices of toasted bread with some goats cheese, spread thick.
I stuck to the original Bon Appétit recipe pretty closely, and only slightly changed the method.
Spicy cranberry-pepper jelly
- 3 red bell peppers seeded and finely chopped
- 2 long red chilli peppers seeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp grey salt
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup liquid pectin I used Certo pectin
- 3 cups frozen cranberries you can use fresh of course!, thawed
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the chopped peppers, granulated sugar, pepper flakes, and salt. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so that the peppers begin to release some of their juices.
- On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Make sure all the sugar is dissolved before proceeding.
- When the sugar is dissolved, add the lemon juice and liquid pectin, and stir. Continue simmering for another 10 minutes
- Add the cranberries, and simmer gently for another 10 minutes or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Transfer jelly to sterilized jars, and let cool completely before refrigerating. Alternatively, you can seal the jars according to your jar manufacturer’s instructions.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.