Sweet and spicy, this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly is delicious on cheese trays, spooned over cream cheese or goat cheese, in grilled sandwiches and it makes a wonderful grilling glaze.
Let me RE-INTRODUCE you to this incredibly delicious Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly. I say re-introduce because we originally posted this recipe back in March of 2018. It is a fabulous recipe, perfect for cheese trays, layered in grilled cheese sandwiches, as a grilling glaze, on biscuits, as a dip for grilled sausages and so much more. It’s been super popular with well over 113,000 pins over the year and a half that it’s been out. But there was bit of an issue that made me go back to the drawing board.
Some readers had trouble with this jelly gelling properly. The results were not predictable and that’s something that’s a high priority for me when creating recipes. So I put on my scientist cap and I’ve been working on a solution for the gelling issue for the past few months. I’m happy to say, you can now make this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly with consistently successful results. YAY! 🙌
I didn’t have to change a lot, but there are a few steps that are different now. I learned that pineapple is super low in pectin, particularly pineapple that’s very ripe. So choosing a ripe but not overripe pineapple, along with draining the chopped pineapple thoroughly before measuring is important with this recipe.
I’ve also substituted one cup of finely chopped apple for one cup of the pineapple and apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar. Apples are super high in pectin and once the jelly is boiling for ten minutes, the apple seems to disappear and the flavor of the jelly is not affected by the vinegar swap. One last step to ensure a good set is a good splash of lemon juice as the finishing step since lemon is also high in pectin.
All these little changes brought about an added bonus. The original recipe called for a double dose (two pouches) of liquid pectin. With the new, improved recipe, only one pouch is needed. Another “Yay” 🙌 as pectin isn’t cheap and this makes the recipe more affordable.
Since this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly recipe has gotten a new lease on life, we decided to re-take the photos along with creating a pretty label for gifting. This jelly makes the BEST little gifts for hostesses, neighbors, hairdressers, shopkeepers, anyone you want to share a little sunshine with. Feel free to let me know in the comments below if you’d like a free printable PDF of the labels.
I love having a stash of this delicious Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly in my freezer. Yes, I did say freezer – although this is not an official “freezer jam” recipe. Being a bit lazy, I store all of my jams and jellies in the freezer, in lieu of the more traditional hot water bath canning method. That being said, this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly can definitely be put through a hot water bath as it meets the acidic requirements necessary for safe canning.
Need a quick, easy and super delicious appetizer? Just spoon this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly over a block of cream cheese or a round of goat cheese. Or serve a bowl of whipped cream cheese with some crackers and a jar of this delicious jelly. Add a nice selection of crackers and you’ve got a fabulous (and beautiful) appetizer in the blink of an eye.
What to do with pepper jelly
Other than serving over goat cheese or cream cheese (pictured above), there are lots of delicious ways to use pepper jelly. Here are a few ideas.
- Serve in a small bowl or pretty jar, along with crackers and cheese. We especially like it with smoked cheddar, but it’s also delicious with Havarti, Gouda, Fontina, Comte, Gorgonzola, hard goat cheese… For a really special treat, serve it on a cheese board with these Copycat Rosemary Pecan Rainforest Crackers.
- Spread it on Brie, then wrap the round with phyllo or puff pastry. Bake until golden and cheese is gooey.
- Spread warm cornbread with butter and a spoonful of pepper jelly.
- Use this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly as a glaze for roasted pork tenderloin.
- Make a grilled ham and cheese with a spread of Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly between the layers, yum!
- Season salmon with salt and pepper, then add a layer of pepper jelly. Broil until done.
- Use it for a salad dressing.
- Mix equal amounts of grainy or Dijon mustard with this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly for a delicious dipping sauce.
- Use it for a sweet and sour stir-fry. Saute garlic and ginger in a splash of oil then add thinly sliced chicken breast. Stir-fry for a few minutes until chicken is almost cooked. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and stir-fry veggies. Return the chicken to the pan, add a generous scoop of Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly, a tablespoon of rice vinegar and soy sauce, to taste. Serve with rice and a sprinkle of cashews.
- For a super fun and gourmet PB&J substitute this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly instead of regular jelly!
Making this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly is not difficult. Once you’ve got the pineapple diced and drained and the peppers diced, it’s simply a matter of combining them with sugar, cider vinegar, red pepper flakes and a small pat of butter in a large pot. Next, the mixture is brought to a boil and boiled for ten minutes. Add the pectin and boil one more minute and you’re ready to ladle the delicious jelly into jars.
Pick up a pineapple, a few habaneros, one orange bell pepper and a box of Certo next time you’re grocery shopping. Give this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly recipe a try. Whether you’re or long time jam/jelly maker or you’ve never attempted it, I think you’ll be thrilled with the results!
Café Tips for making this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly
- It’s a good idea to wear gloves if you will be touching the habanero peppers at all. The oils can make your hands feel burned. Also be sure not to touch your eyes after handling the peppers. Again the oils from the peppers can cause a burning sensation. I made that mistake once and it was not fun.
- This recipe calls for Certo. Certo is a liquid pectin that is available at most larger grocery stores. You’ll find it with other canning products, but I’ve found that its’ location varies from store to store. Some stores stock it in the baking aisle while others display it near the plastic wraps and food storage bags. An employee will be able to direct you to the right place. You can also find it online.
- Wondering why there’s butter in a jelly recipe? A small pat of butter keeps the jelly from getting foamy which makes for a prettier finished product.
- Habanero peppers are very hot (spicy), ranging from 100,00 to 300,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale. Jalapenos, in comparison, fall into the 2,500 to 8,000 range. Habaneros can also vary in heat from pepper to pepper, so be cautious with how many you use, depending on your heat tolerance. I like to start with one and then taste the jelly before adding the Certo. You can always add more at this point, but you can’t take away the heat!
- Can’t find habaneros? No problem. You can substitute jalapenos, but you may need more to achieve the heat level you desire.
- Be sure to drain the pineapple very well. If it still seems to have a lot of juice after being strained, you can place the pineapple in several layers of paper towels and squeeze it to extract more of the juice.
- As noted above, it’s better not to use a super ripe (on the way out) pineapple for this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly. As fruits and vegetables ripen their pectin level goes down. So on top of pineapples being low on the pectin scale, a super ripe pineapple is not a great candidate for making jam and/or jelly. Also, the riper the pineapple is, the juicier it becomes which in most cases is good but not when making this jelly as noted above.
- Jam and jelly making is an exact science. Measure the ingredients carefully and, for good results, don’t try to adjust amounts.
- The jelly won’t look thick enough at first. It needs to cool and then sit at room temperature for 24 hours and will thicken as it sets.
- That being said, this jelly is not going to thicken like jello. It’s really more of a jam than jelly (Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jam doesn’t sound quite right). Jam is thick but spoonable where jelly is very thick and scoopable as you can see in the pictures in this Blackberry Jelly recipe post.
- Sometimes the pineapple and peppers will float to the top of the jar right after being filled. Wait 15 or 20 minutes, then give each jar a stir. The solids will suspend at this point for a pretty presentation.
- A wide-mouth funnel is very helpful when making jam and jelly. It makes transferring the mixture from the pot to jars super easy and mess-free. These funnels also work for the Weck Jars shown below.
- I love these Weck Tulip Jars for jams and jelly, especially if I’m giving it as a gift.
- Feel free to use the hot water canning method with this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly if you prefer. Here is a step by step instruction guide from Ball/Kerr.
- As mentioned above in the post, feel free to let me know in the comments below if you’d like a free printable PDF for the labels. You’ll receive two sizes of labels, one that fits perfectly on the top of a Weck Jar or inside the lid of a classic Mason-type jelly jar. The other is smaller and makes a nice label for the side of a jar or to tie around the neck with a ribbon.
- The navy and white checked ribbon pictured in the post matches perfectly with the labels. It comes in a spool of 25 yards and is super inexpensive.
Thought for the day:
Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!
What we’re listening to for inspiration:
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Sweet and spicy, this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly is delicious with cheese and crackers. It also makes a wonderful grilling glaze for poultry, seafood and pork.
- 1 medium-large fresh pineapple peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup finely chopped golden delicious (or other yellow apples) 1 large apple
- 1 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper from 1 large pepper
- 1-3 orange habanero peppers seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 3 ounces Certo liquid fruit pectin 1 pouch
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Place the finely chopped fresh pineapple in a strainer set over a bowl. Press on the pineapple with the back of a spoon to release as much of the juice as possible. Allow the pineapple to drain while you're prepping the other ingredients.
Combine the sugar, vinegar, apple, bell pepper, habanero, red pepper flakes, butter and exactly 3 cups of the well-drained pineapple in a large pot. (If you have extra pineapple save it for your morning yogurt or something else. Don't try to add more than 3 cups.)
Stir until dissolved. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes. Watch the pot carefully and lower the heat a bit if the bubbling jelly rises near the top.
Add Certo and lemon juice and bring the mixture back to a rolling boil. Cook for exactly 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Remove pot from heat and skim off any foam on the surface. Ladle jelly into clean jars leaving a 1/2-inch space at the top. (this will allow for expansion in the freezer.)
Cover with lids and allow the jelly to sit for 24 hours, then place in freezer.
If using the hot water bath method, use sterilized jars and immediately proceed with the water bath canning method. Jelly may take 24 hours to set completely.
Read the Café tips above in the post for lots of important tips to ensure success when making this jelly.
Recipe adapted from Genius Kitchen.
Makes 48 ounces of jam. The Weck Tulip jars (shown above in the post) are 6-ounce jars so that would make 8 6-ounce jars of jelly.
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