Thursday, August 18, 2016

Nectarine-Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

Whenever I find myself with excess fruit, I either gather the items needed for freezing or the canning supplies.  Grandma taught me never to waste anything and that nagging still lives in me so I try to utilize all the fruit! Recently I was gifted a big box of nectarines, far too much to use before they went bad. This time I decided to experiment and make them into a jalapeno pepper jelly.  We love jalapeno pepper jelly.  The combination sweet and savory blend pairs well, as a glaze, with grilled chicken or pork.  It's sinful poured over cream cheese and served with crackers or on top of baked Brie.   My favorite jalapeno jelly is made with dried apricots (recipe can be found here).

The experiment was a success!  The jelly is bright and colorful.  The combination of sweet and spicy is just right for my palate. I've already passed out a few jars and am getting favorable comments so know I will make this again in the future.

So much color!

Nectarine-Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

3 1/2 pounds nectarines (or peaches), pitted, and chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed **, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
6 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, optional
2 3-ounce pouches liquid pectin

**The seeds is where the heat comes from, if you like more heat leave some seeds in.

Combine the nectarines, jalapenos, bell pepper, sugar, and lemon juice in a dutch oven. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes until the nectarines are completely softened.  Stir periodically throughout the cooking time.  If the mixture starts to foam, add the butter.

Once the nectarines are soft, add the liquid pectin.  Stir and bring to a full rolling boil.  Boil for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.

Skim any remaining foam from the top and fill your jars leaving a 1/4-inch head space.  Process according to USDA instructions.

My Hubbers and I are empty nesters.  Many nights find us not hungry for a big meal. With no children at home, there is no need to make a meal (or a mess in the kitchen!) On those nights we'll often have some cheese and crackers, salami or fruit, and a glass of wine. I've been making these little puff pastry bites for years.  They are so easy and make a nice tidbit on those nights I don't cook. Any jelly can be used but they are especially good with a spicy jelly. The nectarine-jalapeno jelly worked quite nicely for these!

To make these, I lightly roll out a sheet of thawed puff pastry (I always have some in the freezer!) and cut into circles or squares then place in a mini-muffin tin.  A small cube of Brie cheese goes inside.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.  Carefully remove from oven and put a small "dollop" of jelly atop the cheese.  Bake for another 5 minutes, or until pastry is a golden brown.  Remove from muffin pans (the jelly is quite hot so be careful!) and serve immediately. 

1 comment:

  1. The color of the jelly is beautiful and the recipe sounds amazing.