Lemon Drop Jelly
We love hot pepper jellies and jams. Here is one we make using Lemon Drop peppers which we grow ourselves. Makes about 7 (1-cup) jars. This one is particularly good as a glaze or condiment for chicken or pork.
First you need some yellow bell peppers and Lemon Drop peppers. The Lemon Drop are the small ones in this photo. They are hot but have a lemon flavor to them.
Finely chop up the bell peppers. You need a cup and a half.
Finely chop up the Lemon Drops. I suggest wearing gloves. You need up to 1/4 cup but less (for milder jelly) is ok.
Either grate or zest two lemons, then squeeze the juice from them.
Add vinegar to the juice to make up 1-1/2 cups of liquid.
Place your washed jelly jars in the canner and heat them. Ok, I know it’s not a canner but it is a big stainless steel pot that works just fine.
Place the lids and rings in a pot of water and heat them. I know the lids aren’t in the pot yet, just use your imagination.
Make sure you have everything you need ready. This includes a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe the top of the jars, a funnel to used when filling the jars and the pectin so you can get it fast. The silicone mitt is handy when working with hot jars.
Combine the liquids and peppers, along with the lemon zest in a 6 to 8 quart pot and fire it up.
Add the sugar and butter. The butter helps reduce the amount of foaming.
Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Take a hot jar from the canner and drain the water. Fill the jars with jelly.
Wipe any jelly off the rims if required. A clean rim makes for a good seal.
Screw on a two piece lid and ring.
Place the jars back in the canner, return to a boil and process 10 minutes.
Remove jars and let cool. You should hear the lids pop when they seal. When cool, put a label on the jars and start enjoying the fruits of your labor.
2-3 medium yellow bell peppers, seeded, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
6 to 12 Lemon Drop peppers, seeded finely chopped (about 1/4 cup) More or less will make is hotter or milder.
Zest from two lemons. A zest tool makes nice curls, but you can also grate the zest off the lemons
1-1/2 cups Lemon juice and white vinegar (juice of about two lemons, and top off with vinegar)
6-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
1 pouch CERTO Fruit Pectin
BRING boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
PLACE peppers, zest and lemon/vinegar combination in 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. Stir in sugar. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
STIR in pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)