Jars: This recipe uses 8 oz. jars with lids and screw bands. You can buy a set of 12 for about 10 dollars. Any extras are great for kids drinking glasses, piggy banks, dressing shakers, etc.
Rubber Gloves: Habaneros are ridiculously hot peppers. If you get pepper juice on your hands and rub it on your eyes (or any other sensitive parts) or, God forbid, touch a child’s owie or eyes, you will never forgive yourself or me. Habaneros are far hotter than jalapenos. This is not a good recipe for kids, by the way. The combination of nuclear hot peppers and boiling syrup are not suitable for the small set. In fact, this is a project for a day when they are no where near your kitchen.
Pots and Pans: A large stock pot for sterilizing jars, another saucepan for boiling the jelly and a water bath canner.
Dish Towels: You will need many dish towels or paper towels for this. You will need to do a lot of tidying up after you handle the peppers. You need fresh, clean towels to dry the jars and lids. You need another one for the surface that you are using to fill and invert the jars. And you will need yet another fresh, clean towel for cleaning any sticky mess off of the finished jars.
A ladle: For dipping the jelly into the jars.
- ½ cup habanero pepper, seeds and stems removed
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 5 cups sugar
- 1½ packets liquid pectin (one pouch plus one-half pouch)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- In a large pot of simmering water, sterilize six 8 oz. jars. Leave the jars in the water until you are ready to use them. You will need tongs or other long grabbing device to remove them from the hot water.
- Place the habanero peppers and apple in a food processor. Add the vinegar and process until fine.
- In a heavy, non-aluminum saucepan, combine the processed peppers and apples, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute (it takes about 15 minutes to get it to simmering and an additional minute to get it to boiling on my stove). Take abundant care at this stage. You need to be present to adjust your stove as the syrup bubbles. It can quickly boil over which is not only exceptionally dangerous, but also very messy.
- Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the lids and screw bands in a small bowl. Leave them in the hot water until you are ready to use them.
- After the syrup has boiled for one minute, remove it from heat and stir in the pectin. Then, return to heat and boil one minute longer.
- Remove the mixture from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Using a wooden spatula or other tool, skim off any foam or white film that accumulates on top. Use a light hand when doing this, as a large proportion of the peppers tries to get stuck in the foam. Removing too much of the pepper bits will reduce the heat of the jelly. Stir in chopped rosemary.
- Ladle the jelly into sterilized jars. Wipe the rims of the jars and dry the lids and screw bands. Seal the jars then process them for 5-10 minutes in a water bath. Place sealed jars upside down on a towel. Leave them inverted for approximately 20 minutes and then turn them upright. To distribute the peppers and rosemary equally, turn the jars occasionally until the jelly sets. To learn more about canning click HERE.
Beware: If the jelly sets entirely while the jars are upside down, you have a problem. I have done this. I ran to drop off my kids at camp and left the jars upside down. By the time I returned, they were setting and I was barely able to get it all back down to the bottom of the jar. Lest you think I am a moron, you should know that the jelly can take from hours to days to set up. This batch took 3 hours flat. When you notice that the bits in the jars are not floating up and down when you turn the jar over, you may just leave them upright.