Monday, September 10, 2012

Tomato Jalapeno Jelly

Don't worry about the amount of sugar in this, it's jam silly; it's what makes JAM, well JAM!
I recently made Strawberry Habanero Jam which is pretty terrific, if you are interested.
But, this jam recipe came out necessity of too many leftover tomatoes on hand, so since the season is almost upon us, I thought you'd better have this recipe too.

It's such a weird jam, I made this over 6 months ago, and just now I have decided to blog about it.  It's all because I have been giving jam to my daughter and her boyfriend and they have been loving the Tomato Jalapeno Jelly. Most people look at me with a freaked out look in their eye when you add tomato+jalapeno+jam in the same sentence.
I dunno,  I can't be the only one that likes savory/spicy/sweet together!?!

Try it on cornbread...
...or as a glaze on chicken or ribs
...or with BBQ sauce as a glaze for meatballs
...or even toast!

These is something compelling about spicy tomato jalapeno jelly!
I'm down to my last jar, but no worries, it's an easy one to make whatever the season!

I've pictured it above with good ole basic cornbread, but please, use it in so many ways to spice up your life.

Makes about 6 half pints

6 cups sugar
4 cups tomatoes, skin, seeds and all
2 lemons, quartered, skin, seeds and all
4-8 jalapenos, skin, seeds and all
2-3 garlic cloves, whole
3 oz. container of liquid pectin

I sure wish I could find the pictures I took while making it the first time.. it really showed how easy this was.  I added the tomatoes, whole chopped jalapenos, lemon and sugar to one pot and cooked it for about 30 minutes.  Then I strained it and brought it back up to temperature and added the liquid pectin.

Just rough chop everything, nothing fancy here. Throw it in a large pot with the sugar and bring it up to a boil on high heat.  When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes.  With a spoon, get a look at the color of the liquid in the pot.  If it's not quite as red as you like, you could add a drop, or two, of red food color to make it an especially pretty jelly. It up to you.  My top photo doesn't have any food color, but I did add some to my next batch because it wasn't getting as red as I liked.

Remove from the heat, and let cool for a couple minutes.  This mixture is super hot and because it is sticky too, it would really, really burn you. PLEASE, be careful. 

Strain the mixture into another big stock pot (I know, I know, more pots to wash...). Be patient and let it drip through for about 15-20 minutes.  Don't press on the solids, or it will make your jelly cloudy and murky.

Here's my strained mixture.
Bring it back up to boil, then add the liquid pectin and boil for exactly one minute.

Fill into hot jars, top with lids and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Let cool.  The jelly will set overnight.
If you have a little leftover, but not enough to fill a while jar, just pour it into a small bowl and let it set up.  Use that stuff first!

Here's the box of Certo I used.  It costs about $3 and includes two packets of pectin for two different recipes. I love to make jam.

Like to make Jam and Jelly? Here' some other favorites!
Chipotle Nectarine Jam
Pepper, Peach & Rosemary Jam
Strawberry Jam (No Pectin)

Strawberry Habanero Jam
Hot and Tangy Pepper Relish


  1. Tried the jelly today. It was easy, but I covered the mixture while it was cooking (probably a no-no) and I may have trouble with the jelly setting properly. I doubled the # of jalapenos and still is very bland. I'll need to experiment with this one. Great easy idea though!

    1. Hi Gayle,
      Yes, this jelly is more subtle than expected, but you could add hotter peppers like habenaros.

      Yep, don't cover the jelly as it adds moisture back in which may effect the set of the finished product.. Plus it can boil over more easily, and yikes what a mess.

      One idea if it doesn't set up, open the jars and bring it back to boil adding another pectin. I've done that too.

  2. I have never had tomato jelly,but I want to dive right into that! And thanks for your useful advice.