This sweet and spicy Pineapple Jalapeño Pepper Jelly is as easy as it is delicious! Serve it with cream cheese, on a cheese board, as a dipping sauce, grilling glaze… even on ice cream – expect rave reviews!
After a long, cold (brown) winter, this time of year puts me in the mood for all things green. Beautiful green on green salads, bright, vibrant soups, healthy herb-laden salad dressings, delicious sauces and this fun new Pineapple Jalapeño Pepper Jelly – they’re all sights for winter sore eyes.
If this Pineapple Jalapeño Pepper Jelly sounds familiar, you’re very astute or perhaps it’s that you’ve already fallen in love with our Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly that’s been a big reader hit. This new recipe simply replaces the habaneros with jalapenos, the apple cider vinegar with white wine vinegar and the sunshiny, golden glow with a verdant, spring green hue.
Although these pepper jellies are both super easy to put together, you will need to set aside a little time for chopping. You’ll need to finely chop one medium size pineapple, a bell pepper, an apple and a handful of jalapeños. That being said, you can cheat a little bit to make things quick and easy. I use the small screen on my Vidalia Chop Wizard to chop up the pepper and apple super quickly.
What’s an apple doing in this pepper jelly?
Great question and to answer it we need to talk a bit about pectin. What is pectin? According to Master Class, pectin” is a polysaccharide starch found in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables.” So pectin is the ingredient in jams and jellies that helps them to thicken. And although we add pectin to jam and jelly recipes, the amount of natural pectin in a specific fruit is part of what determines how well the final product will “set”.
One of the major ingredients in this Pineapple Jalapeño Pepper Jelly is pineapple, which is very low in pectin. Apples, on the other hand, are super high in pectin. So, voila… adding one finely chopped apple to this recipe prevents problems with setting!
Freeze or can with traditional hot water bath
I love having a stash of this delicious Pineapple Jalapeño 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, instead of using 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.
How to use this Pineapple Jalapeño Pepper Jelly
Need a quick, easy and super delicious appetizer? Just spoon this Pineapple Jalapeño 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.
Other ideas for this delicious pepper jelly:
- Serve in a small bowl or pretty jar, along with crackers and cheese. We especially like it with Irish cheddar or 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.
- Serve warm cornbread with butter and a jar of this sweet and spicy pepper jelly.
- Make a grilled ham and cheese with a spread of Pineapple Jalapeño Pepper Jelly between the layers, yum!
- Season salmon with salt and pepper, then add a layer of pepper jelly. Broil until done. Top with chopped cilantro or basil.
- Use it for a salad dressing.
- Mix equal amounts of mayo with this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly for a deliciously creamy, sweet and spicy dipping sauce.
- For a super fun and gourmet PB&J substitute this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly instead of regular jelly!
A great gift!
In addition to all of the above, this pepper jelly makes a really nice gift. Include a log of goat cheese, if desired and a package of nice crackers and you’ll have a gift just about anyone would love to receive. We’re offering a free printable PDF label (in two sizes) to use for storing or gifting. Just let us know in the comments below if you like the labels and we’ll email them to you along with instructions on how to use them.
And, because this Pineapple Jalapeño Pepper Jelly is also a perfect color for the holidays, we’re also created a more Christmas-y label for festive gift-giving and entertaining enjoyment. You don’t need to ask for it separately, it will be included in the email.
This new pepper jelly is a gorgeous, delicious condiment that will be sure to bring lots of oohs and aahs! I promise, even if you’ve never made jam or jelly before, you can do this! You’ll be shocked when you discover how easy it is!
Café Tips for making this Pineapple Habanero Pepper Jelly
- It’s a good idea to wear gloves when chopping the jalapeños. The oils can make some people’s 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. I now keep a box of these disposable gloves on hand.
- 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.
- I use 3-4 drops of green food coloring in this jelly recipe. It gives the jelly a nice vibrant color but feel free to omit it if you want to keep the jelly completely natural.
- 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.
- Jalapeño peppers are not super hot (spicy), ranging from 2,500 to 8,000 range on the Scoville Heat Scale. In comparison, habaneros run 100,00 to 300,000 so you’re not dealing with a crazy hot pepper here. That being said, jalapeños can vary in heat intensity from pepper to pepper with the majority of the heat being found in the seeds and core. I use around 8 medium size jalapeños and reserve the seeds/core. After I boil the jelly for 10 minutes, I taste it and then add more peppers or some of the seeds, to taste. It’s better to be cautious as you can always add more at this point, but you can’t take away the heat!
- Be sure to drain the pineapple very well. I like to use a fine-mesh strainer to do this without much fuss.
- It’s better not to use a super ripe (on the way out) pineapple for this Pineapple Jalapeño 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. Often people as if they can reduce the sugar in jam/jelly recipes. The answer is two-fold. You can make jam and jelly with low-sugar or even no-sugar pectin but you’ll need to follow the directions on the box. Don’t try to adjust this recipe, as changing the ratios can result in the jelly not setting properly.
- The jelly won’t look thick enough at first. It needs to cool and will thicken as it sets.
- Sometimes the pineapple and peppers will float to the top of the jar right after being filled. Wait 30 minutes after filling, 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 the jelly 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.
- The navy and white checked ribbon pictured in the post matches perfectly with the (non-Christmas) labels. It comes in a spool of 25 yards and is super inexpensive. This red and white gingham ribbon looks pretty with the Christmas labels.
Thought for the day:
For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave Himself a ransom for all,
to be testified in due time.
1 Timothy 2:5&6
What we’re listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 3 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple (cored and peeled)
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup finely chopped golden delicious or other yellow or green apples, cored, no need to peel (about 1 medium apple)
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper from 1 large pepper seeded
- ½-⅔ cups finely chopped jalapeño peppers seeds and ribs removed and seeds reserved
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 3 ounces Certo liquid fruit pectin (1 pouch)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4-6 drops green liquid food coloring optional
Prepare the jars and lids by washing them in hot soapy water or in the dishwasher. You’ll need six 8-ounce jars (or the equivalent) if using other size jars. (If canning this jelly with the hot water bath method, follow instructions for sterilizing jars.)
Place the finely chopped fresh pineapple in a strainer set over a bowl while you prep the other ingredients. Allow the pineapple to drain while you're prepping the other ingredients.
Combine the sugar, vinegar, apple, bell pepper, jalapeños, 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 well, then bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that can’t be stirred down) and cook for 10 minutes. Watch the pot carefully and lower the heat a bit if the bubbling jelly rises near the top.
Remove a spoonful of the mixture and allow to cool slightly. Taste. If you prefer a spicier jelly, add some of the reserved seeds. Boil for another minute. Taste again and add more seeds, to taste.
Add the Certo and lemon juice and bring the mixture back to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Cook for exactly 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the food coloring, if using, and stir until well combined.
Remove pot from heat and skim off any foam on the surface. Ladle jelly into clean jars leaving a ½-inch space at the top. (this will allow for expansion in the freezer.)
Cover with lids and allow the jelly to sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then place in the refrigerator (or freezer for longer storage).
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.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.
Recipe yields 6 8-ounce jars of jelly.