Wednesday, November 5, 2014

#instagrub: Homemade Cranberry Pepper Jelly (for the holidays)

homemade cranberry pepper jelly (for the holidays)
It's officially holiday season, y'all! I anxiously wait every year for Halloween to pass, so I can focus on two of my favorite days of the year... Thanksgiving (and a Friendsgiving thrown in there too) + Christmas. These two holidays are for foodie junkies, which I proudly am. I'm that person that ends up making almost every component, and way too much, so everyone should invite me over. I'll start taking bids now. But I have a hidden agenda, well it's not so hidden anymore, because the only reason I love these holidays are because of the leftover sandwiches the next day. I went crazy last year with this triple decker turducken club sandwich... then I made this thanksgiving panini on homemade pumpkin bread... and before that, I whipped up this thanksgiving leftovers tartine with french toasted dressing cake... finally, I put together my first-ever edition of the "moist maker" sandwich. So you see, we are veteran leftover-using people around this joint. And with every sandwich we've ever made, what's going on them is very, very, VERY important. Today we're talking about the condiment portion of the famous dish. We usually go two routes when making a Thanksgiving sandwich... one homemade aioli and one cranberry sauce. Most of the time you just spread whatever cranberry thing you made that year on to a slice of bread, but I have started preparing earlier on in the season by making a cranberry condiment. I want something that tart yet sweet, chunky + spreadable, and with the slightest hint of heat. This recipe for homemade cranberry pepper jelly has become that go-to condiment for us. Obviously, as Southerners, we love us some sweet + spicy pepper jelly, so why not make a version of this for holidays? It's quite brilliant actually.
reduced-down peppers + pectin with fresh cranberries about to be added in....
You start with some red bell peppers, red jalapenos (or habaneros), sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, liquid pectin, and lemon juice and simmer that down for a little bit until the juices thicken. After a little while you add in some fresh cranberries and cook them until they burst.
Mmm fresh cranberries + spicy peppers
After that has cooked down and pretty much finished, I like to add in some dried cherries or cranberries at the last minute, so they reconstitute a little bit and plump up some to give the pepper jelly some texture. It's allllllll about the texture, people.
Now for the dried cherries (or dried cranberries) for TEXTURE
Once it's all finished up and thickened up real nice, just put them into jars and they'll keep for nearly a month! I think it's a super cute holiday gift for family, friends, or neighbors. So why not pass some out, so everyone can enjoy Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches with you? You'll save them a step and give them something that they'll love... it's a win-win!! Enjoy :)
the finished product!!
For the Cranberry Pepper Jelly:
3 Red Bell Peppers, Finely Chopped
3 Red Jalapeno Peppers, Finely Chopped
1C Sugar
1 ½t Red Pepper Flakes
½t Salt
¼C Liquid Pectin
1T Fresh Lemon Juice
3C Fresh Cranberries
5oz Dried Cherries or Cranberries (one small package)

1. Put the bell peppers and jalapenos in a food processor and pulse to finely chop.
2. Combine peppers, chiles, sugar, red pepper flakes and salt in a heavy wide pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in pectin and lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
3. Stir in cranberries and simmer gently until they burst and juices thicken, about 10 minutes longer.
4. Lastly, stir in the dried cherries/cranberries and let them simmer for about 2-3 minutes until they slightly reconstitute and plump up again.
5. Transfer jelly to a jar, let cool, and cover. Will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh. ...I have to make me some of this!! Well, my hubby has to, he has become the "king" of all things pickled or jammed. This year it was green tomato pickles, relish and jam, peach/jalapeno jam, salsa, and a spicy peach mustard that wad to die for!! This would be right up his alley. I'm thinking spooning over some warmed Brie and using some bacon fat fried toast points to serve it on (Juliana inspired) when did I miss the Tur-Duc-Hen Club sammie?? Please for the love of turkey, re-post that one! When I worked at a small cafe in Kentucky a kinda mom and pop place, I made a Tur-Duc-Hen. We made one to serve for a special and it was so popular that Sunday, we had orders for them! Ten Tur-Duc-Hens laterI thought that if I ever saw so much as the word, I'd scream! Ours was a boneless rolled creation. I'd love to get the courage up to de-bone a turkey and make a whole one....but now still having nightmares of the last "up to my elbows in turkey, didnt make quite enough cornbread dressing, where is the kitchen twine" experience, I'd just order one from some fancy schmancy online shop. Thank you for once again inspiring me to bring out the foodie in me.
    Miss B.