Wear thick rubber gloves
to handle these fun-to-grow scorchers,
and make a fiery hot jam to give as
1½ C. apple cider vinegar
6½ C. granulated sugar
1 C. shredded carrot
½ C. minced red bell pepper (into tiny cubes)
15 habañero peppers, seeded, cut up,
and run through a food processor 'til
Two 3-oz. pouches liquid pectin
Note: this will take about an hour.
You will need quality rubber gloves, a
grater/shredder, a food processor, rubber spatula, cutting board and knife
(with adult supervision),large pan, large and small measuring cups, a big
spoon, a ladle, and 6 glass jelly jars with rings and lids
below for further important instructions to protect your skin from being burned
by this hot pepper - starting with wearing gloves and even then trying to let
the knife and other tools touch the peppers instead of your gloved hand -- but
here's how to make it:
and sugar in a large pan over medium-high heat. Stir in carrot and red bell
pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
habañeros, scraping them from the food processor container into the pan with a
rubber scraper. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour in the
pectin. Increase heat to medium-high and stir. Bring it to a boil and boil for
1 minute, stirring constantly.
With a big
spoon, skim off any foam and throw it away.
Pour into jelly
jars, leaving a half-inch at the top. Then either can, or let cool, put lid on,
and refrigerate for up to a month. You also can freeze this jelly
Habañero peppers are the hottest peppers of all, according to many gardeners.
The plant is easy to grow and takes up only about three square feet. Water the
plant's base every two or three days all summer long for best results. One
plant should yield about 50 of these beautiful, orange peppers. They may not
mature until September and you can often be harvesting them right up until the
first frost. The little orange peppers make the plant look like a mini pumpkin
your habañeros have turned from green to bright orange or red, harvest them
with scissors or clippers, cutting each pepper off with about an inch of stem
attached. If you rip the stem off, the extremely hot juice may get on your skin,
and that would NOT be good.
are safe to handle as long as the stem is still on, so gently wash them with
cold, running water to get all dirt off. Then put on one or two layers of
rubber gloves to protect your hands while preparing the habañeros. It's a good
idea to let your knife and other kitchen tools make contact with these hot
peppers, and let your gloved fingers touch them as little as possible. The
juice is powerful enough to seep through gloves, so work quickly. Remember to
rinse the gloves later, and rinse off every place that your hands touched,
because that juice is extremely hot. Cut off the stem and throw it straight
into the garbage or compost. Then cut the habañero in half. With the tip of the
knife, scrape the seeds and white pulp away and immediately discard. Then chop
into four or five pieces to get it ready for the food processor.
note: pectin, the substance that makes this mixture jell, is usually sold in
the canning department of most grocery and hardware stores. You can buy jelly
jars there, too. If you are canning this jam, process for 6 minutes. Otherwise,
just pour the jam into the jars, let cool, put the lid on, screw on the ring,
and refrigerate. Makes a great gift with a label on the jar and a ribbon around
the lid. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
suggestion: blob some cream cheese on your favorite kind of cracker (Triscuit?)
and then blob some of this ridiculously hot and tasty pepper on top of the
cream cheese. Makes a great appetizer or tailgate party treat.