Red Pepper Jelly is so expensive to buy at the store for what is basically coloured, flavoured sugar water. And most home canning recipes for it are little better, if not worse.
This is made with no sugar needed pectin from Ball / Bernardin, so you can make this sugar-free using liquid stevia or Splenda, or, you can use sugar.
You can make this year round. October / November is a particularly good time to make sure that you have some on the shelf for the holiday entertaining ahead.
Jar size choices: 125 ml (¼ US pint / ½ cup / 4 oz) OR quarter-litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz)
Processing method: Either water-bath or steam canning
Yield: 4 x quarter-litre (½ US pint) jars
Headspace: 1 cm (¼ inch)
Processing time: 10 minutes either size jar
Red Pepper Jelly
Yield: 4 x quarter-litre (½ US pint) jars
- 500 g red bell peppers (2 medium / 1 pound)
- 850 ml cranberry juice (red, sugar-free. 3 ½ cups / 28 oz)
- 1 teaspoon chile flakes
- 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 box Ball / Bernardin No-Sugar Needed Pectin (49 g / 57 g / 1.75 oz)
- ½ teaspoon butter (or margarine. Optional, to reduce foaming.)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom (ground. Optional, flavouring)
- 350 g sugar (white. 1 ½ cups / 12 oz)
Line a sieve with cheese cloth, put over a large measuring jug or a saucepan, and set aside OR get a jelly bag ready.
Core and seed the red peppers, cut into large chunks, put into food processor along with 100 ml (½ cup / 4 oz ) of the cranberry juice and using the pulse button, whiz into fine chunks, but not into a paste or purée.
Empty the food processor contents into a medium-sized saucepan. Add the remaining juice (that's 775 ml / 3 cups / 24 oz, if you are tracking the math ) and the teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Bring to a rolling boil.
Remove from burner immediately.
Pour into jelly-bag or cheesecloth-lined sieve from step 1. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
Discard contents of the sieve.
From the jug or saucepan, measure out 1 litre (4 cups) of liquid.
Put liquid into another saucepan. Whisk in the cardamom (if using), the pectin, and the vinegar.
Return the saucepan to the burner. Add the margarine if using.
If using STEVIA: Bring to a full rolling boil over the heat and when it reaches that point, start timing 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add stevia to taste.
If using SPLENDA or SUGAR: Bring to a full rolling boil over the heat and when it reaches that point, start timing 1 minute. Add in Splenda, bring back to a boil that you can't stir down, and boil for 1 minute after that point. Remove from heat.
Add a few drops of red food colouring if desired for a deeper glowing colour (if you use red cranberry juice, you probably don't need it.)
Ladle into either 125 ml (½ cup) or quarter-litre (½ US pint) jars.
Leave 1 cm (¼ inch) headspace.
Debubble, adjust headspace.
Wipe jar rims.
Put lids on.
Process in a water bath or steam canner.
Process either size jar for 10 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
- Ball / Bernardin No Sugar Needed from the small boxes is the same; it’s made in the same plant and just labelled with different brand names on the packaging. Instead of the box, you can use the Ball No Sugar Needed Flex Batch pectin from a canister. You’ll want 3 level tablespoons.
- You can make this in 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz) jars or smaller size 125 ml (4 oz) jars. The smaller jars are more fiddly for sure, but are more convenient for small gatherings because they can be used up.
- The smaller size jars are also nice for small presents at Christmas. We’d recommend making up a batch or two at the end of the summer when red peppers are cheap; and that way, you’re also not trying to find time for canning at Christmas.
- You can do a green version of this by using green bell peppers, white cranberry juice or white grape juice and if you desire to take it greener, some green food colouring.
- You can make it hotter by using more chile flake.
- You can reduce the sugar, or use the same volume amount of granulated Splenda®, or use 3 teaspoons of liquid stevia. For stevia, we’d recommend Better Stevia liquid stevia.
- The purpose of the vinegar is to increase the acidity in the recipe to ensure safety. Instead of the white balsamic vinegar, which can be pricey, you could use white wine vinegar (5% or higher.) You want about 4 measuring tablespoons of vinegar; that’s 60 ml.
- Moving or shaking jellied products before at least 12 hours has elapsed can interfere with the setting.
- Refrigerate after opening. Use up within 3 to 4 weeks after opening.
Light Balsamic Cranberry Red Pepper Spread – No Sugar Needed Pectin. Bernardin Web site. Accessed July 2016.
- Increased red pepper flake.
Per 2 tablespoons, using liquid stevia
- 14 calories and 2 mg sodium.
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 1 to 3 tablespoons: 0 points; 4 to 9 tablespoons: 1 point.
Per 2 tablespoons, using Splenda
- 18 calories and 2 mg sodium (carbs 3.8, sugars 2.6)
Per 2 tablespoons, using sugar
- 42 calories and 2 mg sodium (carbs 10.4, sugars 10.1)
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.
* Pickle Crisp ® is a registered trademark of the Jarden Corporation.