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Hot Pepper Jelly

We enjoy this fiery hot pepper jelly spread on crackers with cream cheese. It also makes a terrific holiday gift. For a milder flavor and different color, substitute a green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers for the habaneros and green food coloring. —Richard Harris, Kingston, Tennessee
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Process: 5 min.
  • Makes
    5 half-pints


  • 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into wedges
  • 2/3 cup chopped seeded habanero peppers
  • 6 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 pouches (3 ounces each) liquid fruit pectin
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring, optional
  • Cream cheese and crackers


  • Place vinegar and peppers in a blender; cover and puree. Add 2 cups sugar; blend well. Pour into a Dutch oven. Stir in remaining 4 cups sugar; bring to a boil. Strain mixture and return to pan. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin and food coloring if desired. Continue to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; skim off foam.
    Ladle hot mixture into hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
    Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
  • Serve with cream cheese on crackers.
Editor's Note: When cutting hot peppers, disposable gloves are recommended. Avoid touching your face. The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.
Editor's Note
The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoon: 59 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 15g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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  • Molly
    Sep 20, 2020

    In the ingredient list shouldn't the amount of pectin and food coloring be listed? I am making this right now so I am guessing. Anyone on right now that could answer. I prefer not to guess when it comes to jelly.. ?? thanks

  • kathy
    Aug 17, 2020

    1st batch I made with jalapenos the 2nd batch i made with atomic peppers both turned out great. Now the people who like mild can go green and thise that like heat can go red.

  • tammycookblogsbooks
    Apr 26, 2018

    I needed hot pepper jelly to make TOH's Jalapeno-Lime Chicken Drumstick recipe. I divided the recipe in half. I didn't strain it or process it. It still thickened up. Be sure to stay clear of the fumes as another reviewer also said.

  • krystaljoy
    Sep 25, 2017

    Love it!!!! I make it every fall with the peppers from my garden. I don't change a thing.

  • TawneeE
    Sep 20, 2015

    Just made three pints and 11 half pints. We added carrots and peaches and didn't strain it or add food coloring .

  • RC1956
    Jul 22, 2013

    We have bought this jelly at our local farmers market. So good. Put in on cream cheese in little phyllo shells topped with jelly. Went really quickly. Also saw a recipe with brie and wrapped in puff pastry. So pretty. Have found several recipes for this any plan to make my own

  • dublinlab
    Feb 17, 2013

    Proportions are al wrong. No need to strain. Instructions are terrible.

  • JMartin1265
    Jan 15, 2011

    I have made this two times now and both times I have requests for more! YUMMY! Wear gloves and a mask though when making. Fumes can be a little over whelming.

  • gvanreenen
    Dec 18, 2010

    good recipe, good flavor, the only difference I made was to use only one packet of liquid pectin per recipe. No difference in gelling so will continue to make this but with half as much pectin.

  • tombren
    Oct 17, 2009

    Have made this several times, It's Great if you like hot For parties or gatherings I mix it with cream cheese so that it just has a small bite and put it into an Accent decorator. Guests can dispense as much as they like onto a ceacker.