Pepper Jelly and Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Butter, Oh My!

There are a few recipe variations from my basic jam/jelly/marmalade formula.  Apple Pepper Jelly has always been a huge hit at parties.  It is blissful on crackers with cream cheese, and I’ve heard of some people spreading it on sandwiches in lieu of mayonnaise or mustard.  My Cranberry Sauce is a holiday favorite, and leftovers are wonderful on turkey sandwiches throughout the year.  And my Pumpkin Butter…don’t even get me started.  It’s so good on everything, and it’s a vegetable, so that means it’s healthy, right?  Yes, let’s go with that.

 

 

Apple Pepper Jelly

2 15oz cans apple sauce
6 red jalapeño peppers
3 green jalapeño peppers
2 habanero peppers
18 dried chili peppers
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 box pectin
7 cups sugar

Remove stems and seeds from all peppers.  In blender, combine prepared peppers, apple sauce, lemon juice, butter, and pectin.  Pour into stockpot and heat on high to boiling.  At the first boiling point, add sugar and stir until all sugar is dissolved.  Continue to stir until mixture reaches a rolling boil.  Let mixture boil for 90 seconds (this is critical).  Remove from heat and ladle into sanitized jars.  Seal.  Boil sealed jars in water bath for 10 minutes.  Set out on counter to cool for 24 hours.  Some pepper jelly batches may take several days to congeal.

Yields: 9 cups (9 half pint jars or 4.5 pint jars)

Note: Please wear gloves and don’t touch your face during or after cooking it (my eyes!).  I don’t recommend leaning over the stock pot either – steam opens pores, and peppery steam burns like a mother.

 

 

Cranberry Sauce

1 12oz bag cranberries
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 granny smith apple
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Peel, core, and chop apple.  Cook cranberries, sugar, juice, and water on low heat until the skins pop.  Add apple and cook for 15 minutes or until apples soften.  Remove from heat and ladle into sanitized jars.  Seal.  Boil sealed jars in water bath for 10 minutes.  Set out on counter to cool for 24 hours.

Yields: 4 cups (4 half pint jars or 2 pint jars)

Note: Raisins and candied nuts are fantastic with the cranberry sauce, so I serve them on the side and let people mix as they like.  This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa on Food Network.

 

 

Pumpkin Butter (or Apple Butter)

5 15oz cans pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a large crockpot, cover, and cook for 24 hours (high heat during the day, low heat at night), stirring every few hours.  Remove from heat and ladle into sanitized jars.  Seal.  Boil sealed jars in water bath for 15 minutes.  Set out on counter to cool for 24 hours.

Yields: 9 cups (9 half pint jars or 4.5 pint jars)

Note: Apple sauce can be substituted for pumpkin, just reduce cook time from 24 hours to 8-12 hours.  Also, Pumpkin Butter has a very short shelf life, so I recommend just eating the whole jar in one day.  It is a vegetable, after all.  Enjoy your house smelling like pumpkin spice while this is cooking!  Maybe have some mulled wine while you wait for it to cook.  Eat it on everything!

Enjoy!  And please let me know how your batches turn out!