A little spice is nice

       I have a major sweet tooth and love jams and jellies of all kinds. I also love spicy things, put the two together and what do you get? The most delicious hot pepper jellies that’s what. I am blessed to have two good friends who are excellent jam and jelly makers; they both enjoy finding new and interesting recipes and trying them out just for fun. Once and a while, if a jelly does not seal properly, they generously offer it to me and because I couldn’t imagine such wonderful stuff going to waste I eagerly accept their gifts. I will literally eat it on anything my favorites include: crackers, toast, cheese, biscuits, tortillas, chips, right out of the jar; well you get the idea. Sometimes the jam is sooo spicy it is best served on a cracker with a little cream cheese topping the jelly to help cut the burn. This year because of all the beautiful berries around my friends and I made sure to pick as many as we could and a good portion of these were turned into lovely jams. Not all were spicy some were the usual sweet concoctions, but my favorites are the spicy creations which taste so good that even though your mouth is on fire you simply cannot stop eating till the tiny jar is ooops! gone. One of the following recipes uses berries and the other does not call for them, but berries could be added if desired. Here are a few of my favorite recipes if any of you wish to try them; don’t just take my word for it, make and devour these jams yourselves you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!



Cranberry Hot Pepper Jelly 1c. chopped jalapenos 3c. red/green peppers 1c. apple cider vinegar 1 box pectin ½ t. butter 5 c. sugar 1c. cranberries Bring to a boil. When boiling, add sugar and butter. Bring back to a boil for 1.5 min. Process for 10 minutes. For hotter jelly add more jalapenos and fewer bell peppers.


Badass Mango Jalapeño Jam

Prep time    40 mins    Cook time      45 mins     Total time    1 hour 25 mins

This is not a breakfast jam, unless you are really badass. Use it as a glaze on fish, chicken or pork. Spread it on grilled bread and top it with prosciutto, shaved Parmesan and arugula as appetizer. Or half, seed and stuff jalapenos, wrap them in bacon, grill them and slather with Mango Jalapeño Jam. You get the idea…

Author: Adapted from Ball Blue Book

Serves: 8 half pints


  • 4-6 whole ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups of crushed mango)
  • 6 whole jalapeños, seeded and stemmed (wear latex gloves!)
  • 1-½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6-½ cups sugar
  • 1-½ package powdered pectin
  • ½ teaspoon butter (optional, it helps reduce foaming)


  1. Crush the mango with a potato masher–I just set the peeled and sliced fruit in a baking pan lined with parchment and mash away. Food process the jalapeños until fine. Add the cider vinegar and process again until smooth. In a large pot combine all ingredients except the pectin and simmer for 30 minutes while sipping a bourbon. Stir in the pectin and bring it to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat immediately. Skim foam and let cool. Carefully ladle into sterilized ½ pint jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Yields about 8 half pints.

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