My biggest experiment of the season has been my plethora of hot peppers. I thought since I planted so many varieties, some were bound to not work. Imagine my surprise when ALL OF THEM WORKED! I've had to get really creative with my canning and find and "invent" recipes to utilize my plentiful harvests. Because, really, who just snacks on hot peppers? I mean, I guess people DO, I'm just not one of them.
|One of the prettiest sights in the world. This is when you|
start feeling accomplished as a gardener!
Hot Cherry Pepper Relish
About 3 cups of diced cherry peppers (about 20 peppers, depending on size)
-Note: I threw in a couple ripe jalapenos because I had them on hand and they needed to be used. Remember - it's all about using your harvests!
1/2 Medium white onion
1 Clove garlic
2 c white vinegar
1 c water
1 T kosher salt
1/2 c sugar
2 t powdered pectin
Vinyl food service gloves (remember : hot peppers!)
4 oz glass jelly jars
Fill a canning pot with enough water so that it will cover jars. Turn on high and add jars and lids and bring to a boil. I leave jars in boiling water until ready to fill.
|Looks like a party in a bowl!|
Now put on your gloves and core the peppers and dice into small bits (seeds and ribs, too! This is HOT relish!). I did this by hand. Set
Here's a friendly side note:
If, for some reason, you either don't have gloves or are too stubborn to put them on, wash your hands with Dawn dish soap after handling the peppers. Here's why - The thing that makes your hands burn, and in turn your eyes, nose, mouth, or any other mucous membrane you may accidentally touch while handling them is the capsaicin (the thing that makes the peppers hot). Capsaicin is an OIL. And remember the Dawn dish soap commercials with the baby duckies and the oil spills and the amazing people using their product to remove the oil from the birds? Well....do the math. I've done it and it takes the oils off your hands, leaving you burn free.
|See? Onion paste.|
Add vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a small pot. Bring these to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar and salt completely.
Once these are boiling, add onion and garlic mixture and peppers. Let the mixture get back up to boiling, and boil for 2-3 minutes.
Add pectin and allow to boil for another minute or two. Back the heat down so that the relish is simmering.
|After cooking. See the difference?|
Remove jars and lids from water. Carefully fill jars with hot relish (you want to add hot relish to hot jars or you risk cracking the jars) and leave about a half inch of headspace. Wipe the rim of the jars with a damp paper towel to remove anything you may have spilled or splattered on the rim. You want to have a tight seal, and having clean jars is the way to ensure this. Place lids on the jars and then rings until finger tight. Place jars in the hot water bath, making sure there is at least an inch or two of water covering the jars. Cover and boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from water and transfer to flat surface and let cool on top of a dish towel. After the jars are COMPLETELY cooled, Unscrew rings and test for sealing. You'll want to push down on the lid and make sure it doesn't "pop" when you do. I also will pick up the can (carefully!) by the lid to ensure it doesn't come off. I store mine with the rings on, although some have said that it is not necessary. If you do, just put them on finger tight (Don't screw them down super hard because that could cause the seal to break).
And there you have it. I got eight 4 oz jars from this recipe. Easy easy easy! And so yummy! The cherry peppers are sweet and hot and have a great flavor. I can't wait to try this on a sandwich!
|Cue feeling of accomplishment!|