These days when I'm serving family or friends any kind of creation from my kitchen, there's a question that they've come to expect...
"Is is blog-worthy?".
They know the question means "is it wonderful?", "spectacular?", "outstanding?", "Does it need any tweaking?". I appreciate that they're honest. Sometimes the response is, "it's good... but not ready for the blog yet". At times, they say "needs a bit more work" and once in a while, "definitely not blog-worthy".
This Cranberry Sriracha Pepper Jelly took a few tries but the consensus is now unanimous: "It's most absolutely-positutely, blog-worthy!"
This ruby-hued, sweet and spicy jelly is made from cranberries, fresh orange juice, jalapeños, sugar and a favorite condiment here at The Café, Sriracha. Sriracha is a fabulous hot sauce made from sun ripened chilis, and in combination with the jalapeños, adds a unique, delicious layer of heat.
Did you know that pepper jelly is a wonderful little treasure to have stashed away? There are so many fun things you can do with it...
It makes a super quick and delicious appetizer; we love it spooned over cream cheese, mascarpone or goat cheese and served with an assortment of crackers. If you're looking for a wonderful glaze for chicken, pork or salmon, this Cranberry Sriracha Pepper Jelly is perfect. Try it also as a delicious spread for dinner rolls or bagels. And my favorite? A grilled ham (or turkey) and cheese (Havarti please) sandwich on a nice whole grain bread with a thin layer of this pepper jelly- simply out of this world!
Oh and I didn't want to forget to tell you what a lovely gift this jelly can make? Find a pretty bag, a box nice crackers and a log of creamy goat cheese. Add a jar of this beautiful, crimson, sweet-spicy jelly and you'll be sure to bring smiles of delight. You might want to include the recipe because when they find out you made it, they'll be sure to request it!
P.S. Dumb me - I almost didn't let you know that this comes together so quickly and there's no canning knowledge needed - you can store it in the freezer - how cool is that!
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- 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries about 3 ½ cups
- 2 3-4- inch jalapeno peppers quartered and seeds removed and reserved*
- 1 ¼ cup orange juice I like the not-from-concentrate kind
- ¾ cup rice vinegar
- 4 ¼ cups sugar divided
- ½ teaspoon butter
- 1 3-ounce pouch CERTO Liquid Fruit Pectin
- 4 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
Combine cranberries, jalapeños, orange juice, rice vinegar and ¼ cup sugar in a medium large saucepan (at least 6 quart-size). Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover pot with lid slightly ajar. Cook for 10 minutes. Watch carefully to keep mixture simmering but not cooking up over the top of the pot.
Remove from heat and pour into a fine mesh strainer with a bowl set underneath to catch the juice. Push on solids gently with the back of a spoon to extract most of the juice. Measure juice and add enough water to equal 2 cups. You want exactly 2 cups of liquid.
Wash pot and add 4 cups of sugar, cranberry juice mixture and butter**. Stir to combine and bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down.)
Add Certo pectin and stir constantly for exactly one minute.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal teaspoon. Add jalapeño seeds and Sriracha. Immediately ladle into clean jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace at the top. Cover jars and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours then refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Makes about 4 ½ cups of jelly or 9 4-ounce jars.
Jelly can also be processed with a water bath at this point. I never do this as I'm a bit lazy and have plenty of freezer space.
*It's a good idea to use gloves when handling jalapeños or any hot peppers as they can burn your skin.
** A small amount of butter will help keep mixture from foaming up to much when it simmers.
Regarding jam and jelly - this recipe is not difficult to make but jam and jelly making are an exact science. Be sure to measure carefully and accurately for good results. Setting a timer for the 1 minute cooking time will ensure that the consistency of your jam is correct. I love to improvise in the kitchen but not with jam and jelly unless I'm creating a new recipe and then it might take me 3 or 4 tries before I get it right.