Muscadine Pepper Jelly….
If you are a fan of muscadine jelly, but have never heard of muscadine pepper jelly, this is a real treat for you. Muscadine jelly is a very light sweet jelly that is perfectly complemented by a few jalapenos, and that combination later compliments a wide assortment of flavors down the road.
Let’s go beyond cream cheese and ritz crackers, people!
Muscadine Pepper Jelly
- 5 cups muscadine juice
- 7 cups sugar (I only used 6)
- 1 package pectin
To learn how to extract the juice, please refer to instructions here: http://www.pickyourown.org/muscadinejelly.htm
(I got lucky and my neighbor’s son-in-law invested in a “juice extractor”. I might have to get one of my own!)
I had about 4 ½ pounds of muscadines that had been frozen all winter. This is from one well-packed gallon bag. The grapes do freeze well until you are ready to make the juice. The typical yield of one gallon or 4 to 5 pounds is between 4 to 5 cups of juice. Most recipes call for 5 cups of juice, and the sweetness of the juice does allow you to add water or another juice such as apple to reach the necessary 5 cups. I used cranberry juice, since that is what I had on hand. My muscadines yielded 4 1/2 cups of juice. I added 1/2 cup of cranberry juice to make 5 cups. The recipe on the package of pectin calls for 5 cups of juice to 7 cups of sugar to 1 package of pectin, but I only used 6 cups of sugar. To that I added the above mentioned peppers at the very beginning of cooking.
- Measure out 5 cups of juice and add to a large non-reactive kettle.
- Chop your peppers, with some seeds. I removed the inner membranes, as that is where the real heat is, and I did want to keep this in the mild range. Add to the juice
- Add the pectin to the juice and the peppers. Bring to a rolling boil.
- Add all the sugar at once. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and return to a rolling boil. Boil at a rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down) for 1 minute and 15 seconds.
- Remove the jelly from the heat.
- I had my jars washed and dried, and “sterilizing” keeping warm in the oven while I was making the jelly. The lids and ring were sitting in a pot of hot water, simmering, waiting to go be plopped down on the hot jelly.
- Fill the jars with the hot jelly; use the canning funnel.
- Make sure to wipe the rims with a wet towel before putting lids and rings on.
- Process in a water bath for 5 minutes to properly seal for a longer shelf life. (*So you don’t kill your friends!)
Yield: normally, this yields about 8 8-ounce jars. Since I added the pepper (and probably added my cranberry juice than I thought), I actually got 9 9-ounce jars and 2 4-ounce jars. Those were my “extras,” just in case . More to share!
To learn more about muscadines in the south: