, , , ,

I have died and gone to spicy heaven.

This last weekend we were in Whistler B.C. and our friends Steve and Carol brought up a super spicy habanero jelly they got from Costco. It made a great pairing with cheese and crackers. The more you ate, the more the spice grew, until we all were batting at our mouth and looking for something to drink.I enjoy that sort of culinary torture, which is why I decided to make my own habanero jelly today.

I had never made jelly before, so I started with a recipe I found on Food.com. I was really intimidated by the thought of canning, so I cut the recipe down to make only one jar. That way I could bypass the whole sanitizing, boiling, sealing fiasco and just eat it before it went bad. That said if you are comfortable with canning, multiply the recipe by 6 or more and these would make a phenomenal gift for a spice loving friend.

This jelly is great with cream cheese on a rye cracker. It also works well in tacos, burritos and eggs.


  • 1 habanero pepper (2 if you want it spicier, 3 if you want it fiery)
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBLS white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBLS fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 1/2 TSP powdered pectin
Put habaneros, bell pepper, & garlic in a food processor and process until they are finely minced – be careful not to turn it into mush.
Put the minced vegetables into a large pot and add the sugar, vinegar, and lime juice. Mix well, and bring to a boil, stirring often.
Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, keeping any eye on the mixture to make sure it does not boil over the top of the pan.
Remove from heat and stir in food coloring (if using) and butter
Add the pectin and stir briskly with a whisk for 3 minutes – this helps to evenly distribute the bits of pepper and garlic throughout the jelly.
Ladle the jelly into sterilized half-pint jar(s), leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with damp paper towels to remove any jelly which got on the rims or the threads. Place the lids and the bands on the jars, just tightening the bands fingertip tight.
Continue with the canning process if they won’t be consumed within 7 days.