So I said on Wednesday that I had three weeks worth of peppers, and I really didn't want to throw them away, because that is kind of against the purpose of a CSA, right? Try new things and learn to love vegetables that are in season? But I hate peppers. I always have. I still remember a salad my father made when I was 5 years old with green bell peppers from his garden. YUK! I never ate another pepper.
Today I am an adult and I can tolerate peppers a little better. And I have discovered that I like chiles, just not so much bell peppers. But the summer always produces more than I have the stomach for. I got a thought this week though, Hot Pepper Jelly. This is a very southern thing, because we love to douse everything with sugar and stick it in a jar that can last all winter. Of course as I have mentioned before, I hate all the recipes for canning jams and jellies that I find on the internet because they all have 3-4 times more sugar than they need and they always stupidly include manufactured pectin. Yuk. So, I made up my own recipe. And yes, I brashly contend that it will be safe for consumption after it sits in a properly sealed mason jar for a few months. And if not, I guess I will find out in January!
Hot Pepper-Apple Jelly (Jam really...)
2 Apples with their skins on
Several Chilies or Peppers, Bell, Jalapeno, Cubanelles (thanks TQ), Hungarian Hot, etc
1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Sugar (I actually used about one and a quarter...but I didn't need that extra bit, I just wanted to empty the bag).
First off I put the cored apples and the seeded and cored peppers through the shredder attachment of my food processor. I was going for a jelly that had a uniform consistency, I wanted the little bits to be small.
Then I dumped all the bits into my three quart saucepan and added the water, cider vinegar and sugar. And I boiled the mixture for about an hour or an hour and a half, until it became very thick and syrupy. Then I filled my glass jars leaving a little head room and processed them in a good old fashion water bath for 15 minutes.
There was enough leftover to store in a tupperware and DH and I had some as a snack before dinner. You know what? I tasted the mix while it was cooking and it was quite spicy. But by the time it got all cooked and done, it wasn't spicy at all. But what an interesting flavor combination, sweet, savory, sour and a tiny bit spicy. Nearly every website I found recipes on recommended cream cheese and crackers. But EVERY cream cheese in the grocery store contained Locust Bean Gum, and the brands named after that city in Pennsylvania had alot more unidentifiable stuff in it than I cared for. So I got a little container of Quark, a light cream cheese meets creme fraiche (it was cheaper too!). And I used our 100% whole wheat crackers and some quark and some pepper jelly. It was really awesome. Tomorrow I am going to put this stuff on a turkey sandwich with munster cheese. Anybody have any other good ideas for it? I have two jars of it put up. That is more than enough for us for now! I might not swap out my CSA peppers any longer. This is a sweet vegetable redemption.