Even though this year’s 12 Days of Christmas series is over, I still have a few more ideas and recipes to share between now and Christmas Eve.
Today, I’m teaming up with my friends over at Kraft Recipes to tell you about a recipe and gift idea that’s perfect for the season. Once you’re finished here, by sure to head over to Kraft Recipes and check out their large collection of delicious recipes here.
If you’re a long-time follower of Inspired by Charm, you may remember when I was running my B&B and Gift Shop, I used to make jams and jellies to sell in the shop and include in my gift baskets. It’s been a while now, so I’ve forgotten the exact number, but I probably made a couple thousand jars of jam and jelly during those years. It’s crazy to think about. I made everything from blackberry to strawberry, and even unique concoctions like champagne ginger peach.
Of all the jams, one of my favorites was Red Pepper Jelly. I know it sounds weird, but I love it.
So, when I was looking through Kraft Recipe’s products and spotted SURE-JELL (the pectin used to thicken jams and jelly) and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I instantly knew what recipe I would share with you.
You might be wondering what cream cheese has to do with Red Pepper Jelly. While you can use this jelly in a variety of ways, the way I love it best is served on a cracker with cream cheese. Yep, that’s right. Cracker, PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, Red Pepper Jelly. Yum!
Trust me on this. You need to try it.
Even better, this makes the most perfect appetizer. Just place a block of cream cheese on a plate, spoon over your homemade jelly, add a spreader, and serve with crackers. Done. If you have last minute visitors, this is a lifesaver. With the jelly already made, it can be on the table in minutes. Plus the red and green colors of the bell peppers are so appropriate for the season. What do you think?
Now, before we get into the recipe, I want to point out one thing. People usually add jalapeño pepper to this jelly. It gives it just a little kick that works nicely with the cream cheese. For the recipe below, it’s a minimal amount of heat that most anyone can handle. Depending on your heat preference, feel free to decrease or increase the amount of jalapeños.
Also, the recipe I’m giving you takes you through the steps for preserving and sealing your jars. You can skip this part if you plan on storing the jelly in your fridge and eating it pretty quickly (in about a week or two). I do like to seal the jars because this jelly makes a great holiday gift, and any extra jars can be stored in the pantry for up to a year.
Okay, recipe time!
Makes six 8-ounce jars
Here's what you will need:
3 cups red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 (1.75 ounce ) package SURE-JELL powder pectin*
5 cups white sugar
Begin by sterilizing six 8-ounce canning jars and lids according to the manufacturer's instructions. Begin heating your water in a hot water canner for processing.
Place the red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers into a large saucepan over high heat. Mix in the apple cider vinegar and Sure-Jell pectin. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil while stirring constantly. Then, quickly stir in the sugar. Return to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.
Then, quickly ladle the jelly into your prepared jars, filling each to 1/4 inch from the top. Cover with flat lids; then screw on the bands tightly.
Place the jars into the canning rack, and slowly lower the jars into the canner. The water should cover the jars completely, and should be hot but not boiling. Bring water to a boil and process for five minutes.
Remove the jars and allow them to cool completely.
To create the Red Pepper Jelly appetizer you will also need:
1 block (8 ounces) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
Simply, place the block of PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese on a plate. Then, spoon the red pepper jelly on top of the cream cheese. Serve with crackers.
*Often times I will add an extra 1/2 pack or whole pack of powder pectin to ensure my jelly gets firm. Traditionally, this recipe only requires one package. However, you may consider adding a bit more.
Not too bad, right? Jelly making and canning are a bit of a process, but I think it’s a really fun pastime. Plus, having homemade treats on your shelf is the best.
And, as I mentioned above, they make great gifts.
Definitely give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! Or, if you’ve had and love red pepper jelly as much as I do, let me know in the comments below. I’m curious.
Thanks again to my friends over at Kraft Recipes for inspiring this walk down Jam-and-Jelly-Making Memory Lane. For more delicious recipes, be sure to visit blog.kraftrecipes.com
Until next time!