The following post is by Marisa McClellan, creator of the popular blog Food in Jars. Marisa is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated farmers market shopper who lives in Center City Philadelphia. She is the author of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, and most recently, Naturally Sweet Food in Jars. Find more of her jams, pickles, and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) on her website, Food in Jars.
I’m so pleased to be back, sharing another honey sweetened recipe on 100 Days of Real Food (two years ago, Lisa ran my recipe for Honey Sweetened Blueberry Jam!). This time, I’m here with a sweet and spicy recipe from my brand new cookbook, Naturally Sweet Food in Jars.
This new book is all about preserving seasonal produce using honey, maple sugar and syrup, agave, coconut sugar, fruit juice, and dried fruits in place of refined sugar. I had two goals when I set out to write this book. The first was to convert traditional favorites to use natural sweeteners and the second was to create new recipes that made the most of these highly flavored and less refined sweeteners.
This recipe for Hot Pepper Jam was one I created with that first goal in mind. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed a number of pepper jellies, but I’ve always bemoaned the amount of sugar necessary for their creation. This version uses honey in place of refined sugar and is satisfyingly sweet without being cloying.
When I’m feeling fancy, I’ll serve this pepper jam with a trio of fancy cheeses. For less elegant occasions, pairing it with a block of cream cheese (like you would traditional pepper jellies) is also a delicious and easy option. Whole wheat crackers, cucumber slices, and celery sticks are perfect vehicles to have alongside.
Any time you work with hot peppers, make sure to protect yourself and wear disposable gloves. Otherwise, the pepper oils will get all over your hands and you’ll be in for hours of discomfort. And no matter what, don’t touch your face while you’re wearing the pepper-infused gloves!
I went to high school in Portland, Oregon in the mid-1990s, in the era when the food cart culture for which it is now known was just getting started. There was a bento cart just across from my campus that served teriyaki chicken skewers perched on a bed of rice and dressed with warm teriyaki sauce and a generous pour of syrupy sweet hot chili sauce. This jam is my naturally sweetened homage to that chili sauce.
12 thoughts on “Guest Post: Honey Sweetened Pepper Jam from Naturally Sweet Food in Jars”
I found that my batch yielded much higher volume – 9 half pints. I’m concerned that my water(naturally from the peppers)/vinegar ratio was off because of this – making me less sure of my outcome acidity. Did anyone else find this to be the case? Anyone else concerned about this low-acid vegetable and relatively low acid recipe? Please share :)
You do realize after cooking honey it does lose all it’s nutritional value making it no different than white sugar. Why not use an unrefined sweetener like coconut sugar or maple syrup that holds it’s nutritional value through the cooking process. I know people are looking for healthier sweetener options but honey is not a better option when cooking or baking.
Where do you get calcium water
How long will this jelly keep because of the low sugar content? Should it be kept in the refrigerator or can it be kept in the pantry?
what happens if you don’t use the pectin or calcium water in this recipe? Can you still can the jam yourself?
If you don’t use the pectin and calcium water, this jam won’t set up. It will be runny forever.
It’s going to be finish of mine day, however before end I am
reading this wonderful piece of writing to improve my knowledge.
Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe that this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!
What is calcium water?
It is part of the Pomona’s Pectin system. Each box comes with a small packet of calcium powder and a larger packet of pectin powder. You mix 1/2 teaspoon of calcium powder with 1/2 cup of water and make a solution. All this information is also in the Pomona’s Pectin package insert.
I’m so excited to find a great pepper jelly recipe without refined sugar!! Thank you, I can’t wait to try it!!!