Inferno Wine Jelly

This hot-sweet jelly, flecked with red and green pepper, makes a beautiful gift. Spread it on crackers with cream cheese or serve it by itself on French bread.

Yield

makes about seven 4-ounce (1/4 pint) jars

Ingredients

1/2 cup minced seeded red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
3 dried hot chili peppers, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 cups sweet white wine, such as Sauternes
3 tablespoon lemon juice
3 1/2 cups granulated (white) sugar
1 (3 ounce) pouch liquid pectin

Directions

Prepare canner, jars, and lids.

In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine red pepper, jalapeño pepper, chili peppers, wine and lemon juice. Stir in sugar. Over high heat, stirring constantly bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.

Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot jelly. Clean rim. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band (ring) down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in a water bath (boiling-water) canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.

Additional Information

For a milder jelly, reduce the quantity of dried chili peppers or omit them entirely.

For best results, measure the sugar into a bowl so it can be added to the boiling jelly all at once.

Some brands of liquid pectin direct you to stir in the pectin after boiling the fruit-sugar mixture for 1 minute. It is advisable to follow the directions given by the brand you are using when preparing this recipe.

A jar lifter is very helpful for handling hot, wet jars. Because they are bulky and fit loosely, oven mitts -- even water-resistant types -- are not a wise choice. When filling jars, an all-purpose rubber glove, worn on your helper hand, will allow you to steady the jar.

When preparing jars and lids, prepare a couple extra in case your yield is larger than you expect. If you don't have enough jars, place any leftover marmalade in an airtight container; store in the refrigerator and use within a few weeks.

Before using jars, inspect them carefully for any chips, cracks or fractures. Discard any imperfect jars.

If you are canning above 1,000 feet sea level, see Canning Altitude Adjustments to find how much additional processing time is needed.

See Canning & Preserving Glossary for a description of terms used in this recipe.

Before canning each season, review canning procedures. See Canning & Preserving Basics to refresh your memory with the procedures.

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