Jalapeno jam gives your crackers, cheeses, sandwiches, breads and meats a peppery kick and sweet flavor. Make use of your extra jalapenos by turning them into a sweet and spicy jam, which can last up to a year when stored in a cool, dry cabinet. All you need to make your jam are some fresh, frozen or pickled jalapenos along with a few simple ingredients to produce this gourmet treat.
Things You'll Need
- Food processor
- Jalapeno peppers
- Green, yellow or red peppers (optional)
- Vinegar or lemon juice
- Large pot
- Liquid pectin
- Jars, lids and rings
- Boiling-water canner
Wash your jalapenos and remove their seeds and stems. The seeds contain most of the peppers' heat, so if you want to make a spicier jam, leave some of the seeds.
Chop the jalapeno peppers in your food processor to a fine, but not pureed, texture.
Add in one or two green, yellow or red peppers to your food processor, if desired, and finely chop them. The mild peppers will help to dilute the spiciness of the jalapenos.
Place the diced peppers into a large pot and pour in an acid like vinegar or lemon juice at a ratio of around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid for each cup of diced peppers. Peppers are a low-acid food, so the acid will help the pectin you add properly set the jam.
Stir your sugar into the pot. You'll need to add approximately the same amount of sugar as the amount of peppers and liquid you have in the pot. For example, if you've used 4 cups of chopped peppers and 2 cups of vinegar, you'll need about 6 cups of sugar. The sugar acts as a preservative and helps to absorb the liquid in the jam, allowing it to set with the addition of pectin.
Boil the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Stir in liquid pectin to the hot pepper mixture. Use around one 3-ounce package of liquid pectin for every 5 to 6 cups of sugar used. Liquid pectin will give the pepper jam a firmer set.
Boil the pepper jam for 1 minute over high heat.
Skim the foam off the top of the hot jam with a spoon and discard it.
Pour the jam into clean half-pint or pint-sized jars that you've sterilized in boiling water for 10 minutes. Leave 1/4-inch head space at the top and wipe excess jam from the rims.
Seal jars with lids and rings.
Process jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes or for 15 minutes in altitudes above 6,000 feet.
Remove the jars with tongs and allow them to cool for 24 hours.
Unscrew the rings from the jars and store them in the pantry for up to 1 year. Refrigerate your jam after opening it at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, where it will last for up to a month, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
- PickYourOwn.org: How to Make Homemade Pepper Jelly
- University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Pepper Jelly
- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Making Jams and Jellies
- Well Preserved: A Jam Making Hymnal; Joan Hassol
- Jam Lover’s Cookbook; Larry Randle
- University of Guelph, Kemptville Campus: Jam Making: Why All the Sugar?
- Kraft: Sure Jell Hot Pepper Jelly
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Let's Preserve: Jams, Jellies, and Preserves
- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Frequently Asked Jam and Jelly Questions