Pepper Jam — Hot as You Like!

Pepper Jam on crackers

Pepper Jam on Crackers — Yum!

Pepper Jam — Hot as You Like! is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin. She says: “While you can use any variety of bell pepper or hot pepper in this recipe, and while you can adjust the degree of spiciness in this recipe to suit your taste — it’s very important that you do not increase the overall quantity of peppers. And be sure to use standard white or apple cider vinegar with 5 percent acidity.”

Read Allison’s complete blog post with all of her tips for varying this recipe here.

Yield: 4 to 5 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Pepper Jam Ingredients

Pepper Jam Ingredients

Pepper Jam Ingredients

2½ cups finely chopped green bell pepper
1½ cups finely chopped jalapeno pepper
2 cups vinegar
3 teaspoons calcium water
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Pepper Jam Directions

1. Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.

2. Wash the bell peppers, remove and discard seeds and finely chop. Repeat the process for the jalapeno peppers.

Chopped peppers

3. Measure the chopped bell peppers and the chopped jalapeno peppers. Combine the measured quantities in a sauce pan and add the vinegar.

4. Cover the pepper mixture and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, remove it from the heat.

5. Transfer the pepper mixture to a blender or food processor and blend the mixture. Since the mixture will be hot, be sure to vent the lid of the blender. Return the mixture to the sauce pan, then add the calcium water and stir to combine.

6. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

7. Put the sauce pan back on the stove and bring the pepper mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat.

8. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).

9. Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)

10. Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then remove jars from canner.

11. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Then confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

Recipe and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

Read Allison’s complete blog post here.

You may also like: Peach-Jalapeno Jam, Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam, Raspberry-Habanero Jam, or Pepper Jelly with Sugar or Honey.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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28 thoughts on “Pepper Jam — Hot as You Like!

  1. I have a bottles of apple cider vinegar I would like to use for this recipe. It’s the correct acidity, but I noticed that it is organic “with the mother”. Is this OK to use in canning, or should I buy some regular vinegar that is more filtered?

      • I’ve been making a pepper jam with the identical quantities of ingredients and a different pectin. The recipe I have calls for half the vinegar. (1 cup instead of 2.)
        Based on my reading, I would gather that you don’t recommend using only one cup of vinegar. Why? Just curious.

        • Hello Jim,

          Our recipes are developed to be safe for canning. Using two cups of vinegar gives ensures that your jelly has a safe pH level.

      • My preference would be to use liquid stevia concentrate or possibly Splenda. My goal. Is to make it diabetic-friendly so no juice.

        • Wonderful! The directions for using liquid sweetener concentrate can be found on our direction sheet, in the top left-hand corner on the backside.

          Happy jamming!

    • Hello Shelvy,

      Great question! We are recommending that you do not increase the amount of just the peppers, to try and achieve a more spicy jam, due to that changing the pH of the mixture and throwing off the safety of the jam.
      It is TOTALLY fine to double your recipe, as your are doubling ALL of the ingredients, not just the peppers.

      Happy jamming!

    • Hello Sandra,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to us here at Pomona’s. You may add alcohol (tequila) to this jelly recipe, we do recommend that you only use 1/4 cup of alcohol PER 4 cups of mashed fruit/juice. You will also need to decrease the amount of mashed fruit/juice by 1/4 cup. For this recipe, I would use 1 3/4 cup vinegar with 1/4 cup tequila.

      Let us know how it turns out!

  2. Hi, is it necessary to blend the cooked pepper-vinegar mixture? I have always seen hot pepper jelly with clear jel and colorful bits of pepper suspended in it. Thanks!

  3. Can i replace the bell peppers with more jalapenos? Is there a significant reason why bell peppers are an ingredient in this recipe?
    Thank you
    Suzanne

  4. Can I replace sugar with honey in this hot pepper jam recipe? If so, what amount? Like others I was stunned at the amount of sugar in traditional recipes when I started canning last month. Just couldn’t bring myself to use that much. I’m so grateful to have quickly discovered Pomona Pectin. Please bring on more recipes for jams and marmalade using honey.

    • Hello Marja,

      Thanks so much for choosing Pomona’s Pectin! You can convert any of our recipes to be sweetened with honey instead of sugar. As a guideline, you will use 1/2 the measurement of the called for sugar when you are using honey. (If the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you will use 1/2 cup of honey).

      Have a wonderful day!

      Kindly,
      Shelby

  5. Can you use hatch peppers instead of the jalapeno’s.? i would dice them the same as the recipe states for pepper jam… Thank you . I am so happy I have found your site i have been using another brand of pectin and never could wrap my mind around all the sugar in the recipes never felt happy having to use so much sugar…. I feel now when i give my jelly and jams to family they will be healthier and taste better.

    • Hello Colleen,
      It should be no problem at all to exchange the jalapenos for hatch peppers. The key is to make sure your final product’s pH level is in the 3’s.

      Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with!

      Have a wonderful day and happy jamming!

      Kindly,
      Shelby

    • Hello Vicki,
      We would recommend using our Rhubarb Jam recipe, here and adding:

      4 Tablespoons seeded, finely-diced yellow bell pepper
      4 Tablespoons seeded, finely-diced habanero pepper
      **simmered in the sauce pan alongside the rhubarb**

      1/3 cup lemon juice
      **added at the time you are adding the calcium water**

      Please let me know if there is anything else we can help you with!

      Kindly,
      Shelby

  6. I have made pepper jelly for years using liquid pectin and have been doing all recent jellies with Pomona pectin. I want to try the pepper jelly, but am concerned about the admonition not to use more than the designated amoung of pepper in total. I understand the reasoning, but since I always chop my peppers in the food processor, not a tiny dice, I am concerned this may cause me to use too much pepper. What do you recommend? I await your answer to make the jam. Thanks.

    • Hi, Laurinda. It is okay to use your food processor to chop the peppers in this recipe. Just make sure to process to the point of a “tiny dice”. In other words, do not process to the point of liquifying the peppers or creating a mash.

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