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The Best Habanero Pepper Jelly Recipe

This is my absolute favorite habanero pepper jelly recipe! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, and it’s easy to make no matter what level canner you consider yourself to be!

Jars of Habanero Pepper Jelly

Every year since I can remember I have canned with my grandpa “Pops”, canning everything from homemade jam to homemade spaghetti sauce. The whole process is the best. It all starts with growing our own vegetables and fruits and then picking everything we both have ready and turning it all into canned goods.

Sadly my Pops is no longer with us, but I have a lifetime of memories and skills learned from him, and it is something that I will forever be grateful for.

This habanero pepper jelly recipe was first made with my Pops. I can remember years ago how excited he was to try it for the first time and ever since it has been a favorite in our family!

So I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as my family has. It is a staple in our pantry and for the past week we were out! So today getting stocked back up was definitely a happy happy day!

Preparation Tips

● Before I ever begin canning, I like to have a clean kitchen. Which is really what I prefer when cooking anything, but especially during canning.

● Canning can get a little stressful if you’re doing it on your own and so by starting off with a clean kitchen with all dishes put away, it will take away some stress.

● I then prepare everything and set it aside in its own bowl or measuring cup so that when it’s time to pour in, it’s already perfectly measured.

● In this recipe for example, you will need to pre-chop dried apricots and soak them in vinegar, chop onions, bell peppers, and habaneros. Then measure out all of the sugar and set it aside.

● Then I cut open all of the pectin pouches and pour them into a measuring cup so that when it is time to add it to the jelly, the pouches are open and I only have to pour in the one measuring cup full, not three separate pouches.

● Get some disposable gloves to wear while chopping the habanero peppers, I promise it’s worth it! (especially for when you FORGET to not touch your eyes)

● I like to get a bath towel or multiple kitchen towels and lay them out on the counter next to the stove where I’ll be making the jelly. The is because once I get done sterilizing the jars the towel is there ready for the jars to be set on to dry.

● Then more importantly, once I begin pouring the jelly into the jars, if anything spills it all goes on the towel, keeping the counter and jars from a sticky mess.

Tools and Products I recommend for Canning

Vidalia Chop Wizard
Large Stock Pot
Water Bath Canner
Large Wooden Spoon
Canning Tools Set
Mason Jars

How to Make Habanero Pepper Jelly Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup, dried apricots, chopped
2 ¼ cup, white vinegar
1 cup, red onion chopped (approx. 1 medium onion)
1 cup, red bell pepper chopped (approx. 1 medium-large bell)
¾ cup, habanero peppers chopped (approx. 6 oz. peppers)
9 cups, white sugar
3 pouches, Certo liquid pectin

Steps:

1. Finely chop dried apricots with the Vidalia Chop Wizard and put them in a large bowl with white vinegar and soak for 4 hours.

Chopped Dried Apricots in a Bowl of Vinegar

2. Finely chop the bell pepper and onion in Vidalia chopper, set aside in a bowl. Put on gloves and finely chop habanero peppers in chopper. I have kept the seeds in, as well as taken the seeds out of the habaneros, and this time I chose to take the seeds out.

Chopped Red Bell Peppers in a Bowl

Chopped Red Onion

– The habanero jelly can be spicy without any seeds, so make your own call depending on how hot you can handle.

– I use the Vidalia Chop Wizard to chop everything but if you do not have it, just finely chop everything with a knife or food processor. The Vidalia Chop Wizard just makes chopping super quick and easy, and the size it chops is perfect.

3. Fill up your water bath canner with water and bring to a boil. Once the water has reached a boil, put in all of your clean mason jars and let them boil for a few minutes to ensure that they are sterilized.

Large Water Bath Canning Pot

4. Remove the jars and set them on a towel. Turn the heat down, but keep the water hot so you can quickly get the water back up to a boil when you have to process the jelly.

Mason Jars on the Kitchen Counter

5. Prepare the lids by putting them in a pot of water on the stove. I bring the water to a boil and then quickly turn it down to low heat to keep the lids hot until it is time to put them on the jars.

Canning Jar Lids in a Pot of Water

6. Once you reach the 4-hour mark, add the apricots and vinegar into a large pot. Then add in the chopped onion, habanero peppers, bell peppers, and add sugar.

A Pot of Habanero Jam on the Stove Cooking

7. Cook the mixture on high heat and stir constantly with a large wooden spoon. Continue cooking until it reaches a rolling boil and then cook for one minute stirring constantly.

8. After one minute at a rolling boil, stir in the pectin and remove from heat.

9. Ladle the habanero jelly into prepared jars leaving ¼” space from the top. Place on hot lid and screw band on evenly and firmly, just until resistance is met (fingertip tight).

10. Place the filled jars into the water bath canner with water about 2” above tops of jars, boil for ten minutes to process. Don’t start the 10 minutes until the water is at a rolling boil.

11. When processing time is complete, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let canner cool 5 minutes before removing jars. Remove jars from canner and set jars upright on towel.

12. Do not re-tighten bands, let the jars cool 12-24 hours before checking for a seal. After cooling, check to see if each jar has sealed. In order to determine if a seal has formed press the center of the lid to determine if it is concave, then remove the band and gently make sure the lid won’t lift off with your fingertips.

– If the center does not flex up and down and you cannot lift the lid off, there is a good seal.

13. The ideal temperature to store jars of jelly is between 50-70 degrees. Properly processed jars are safe for up to one year. While jars can last longer, after a year quality may lessen.

14. Serve the habanero pepper jelly over cream cheese with crackers, it is amazing!

Habanero Pepper Jelly Served on Cream Cheese

Enjoy Your Habanero Pepper Jelly

While it may seem like many steps above, the habanero pepper jelly recipe truly is simple and delicious. Plus in the end, you will have the most delicious jelly that is worth every step!

Serve the jelly over cream cheese with crackers and enjoy!

For more information on canning check out the Ball and Kerr Canning Website.

Jars of Habanero Pepper Jelly
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The Best Habanero Pepper Jelly Recipe


This habanero pepper jelly recipe is the best! Serve over cream cheese with crackers for a delicious treat! 
Course Appetizer
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 pints

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Dried Apricots, Chopped
  • 2 ¼ cup White Vinegar
  • 1 cup Red Onion, Chopped (approx. 1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup Red Bell Pepper, Chopped (approx. 1 medium-large bell)
  • ¾ cup Habanero Peppers, Chopped (approx. 6 oz. peppers)
  • 9 cup White Sugar
  • 3 pouches Certo Liquid Pectin

Instructions

  • Finely chop dried apricots with the Vidalia Chop Wizard and put them in a large bowl with white vinegar and soak for 4 hours. 
  •  Finely chop the bell pepper and onion in Vidalia chopper, set aside in a bowl. Put on gloves and finely chop habanero peppers in chopper. (removing seeds is optional)
  • Fill up your water bath canner and bring the water to a boil. Once the water has reached a boil, put in all of your clean mason jars and let them boil for a few minutes to ensure that they are sterilized. 
  • Remove the jars and set them on a towel. Turn the heat down, but keep the water hot so you can quickly get the water back up to a boil when you have to process the jelly. 
  • Prepare the lids by putting them in a pot of water on the stove. I bring the water to a boil and then quickly turn it down to low heat to keep the lids hot until it is time to put them on the jars. 
  • Once you reach the 4-hour mark, add the apricots and vinegar into a large pot. Then add in the chopped onion, habanero peppers, bell peppers, and sugar. 
  • Cook the mixture on high and stir constantly with a large wooden spoon. Continue cooking until it reaches a rolling boil and then keep at a rolling boil for 1 minute. 
  • After one minute at a rolling boil, stir in the pectin and remove from heat. 
  • Ladle the habanero jelly into prepared jars leaving ¼” space from the top. Place on hot lid and screw band on evenly and firmly, just until resistance is met (fingertip tight).
  • Place the filled jars into the water bath canner with water about 2” above tops of jars, boil for ten minutes to process. Don’t start the 10 minutes until the water is at a rolling boil. 
  • When processing time is complete, turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let canner cool 5 minutes before removing jars. Remove jars from canner and set jars upright on towel. 
  • Do not re-tighten bands, let the jars cool 12-24 hours before checking for a seal. After cooling, check to see if each jar has sealed. In order to determine if a seal has formed press the center of the lid to determine if it is concave, then remove the band and gently make sure the lid won’t lift off with your fingertips. If the center does not flex up and down and you cannot lift the lid off, there is a good seal. 
  • The ideal temperature to store jars of jelly is between 50-70 degrees. Properly processed jars are safe for up to one year. While jars can last longer, after a year quality may lessen. 

3 Comments

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I have never used purée peppers so I am not sure if it would come out quite as good. But it is always worth giving it a shot. There is only a small amount of chopped habaneros per batch though so I’d try it first with chopped peppers 🙂

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