One day this summer, my parents were lamenting that they couldn’t find red pepper jelly at their local grocery store. Also being from a small town like mine, our grocery stores are pretty similar. I was disappointed for them, and so when it was time to harvest peppers, I thought I should find a recipe for red pepper jelly to bring to them. Canning for a New Generation had the perfect recipe, and it made a few half-pint jars, so I put it together and brought it to them last month when I saw them.
Sweet Red Pepper Relish
4 c finely chopped red bell peppers
1 Tbsp kosher salt
3 c sugar
2 c white vinegar
Put the peppers in a large bowl and stir in the salt. Set aside for 2 to 3 hours.
Wash 3 half-pint jars and keep them hot in a canning pot, putting the flat lids in a heatproof bowl.
Working in batches, scoop the peppers into a sieve to drain them, squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible. Dump them out into a pan and add the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, and cook until the larger pieces of the pepper are translucent and the syrup is somewhat thick, about 35 minutes.
Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids. Using a jar lifter, remove the hot jars from the canning pot, carefully pouring the water from each one back into the pot, and place them upright on a folded towel. Drain the water off the lids.
Ladle the hot relish into the jars, leave 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars, then put a flat lid and ring on each jar. Return the jars to the water in the canning pot, making sure the water covers by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes to process. Remove the jars to a folded towel and do not disturb them for 12 hours. After 1 hour, check that the lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of each; if it can be pushed down, it hasn’t sealed, and the jar should be refrigerated immediately. Label and seal the jars and store.