“I am addicted to this jelly! I made it last year and we were ready to fight over the last jar! As soon as the cranberries showed up in the store this year, I started stocking up to make batches of this maroon gold. Extra hot is our favorite!” ~Robin
4 ingredients for hot pepper cranberry jam
- cranberries ~ either fresh or frozen
- jalapeño peppers ~ You can use other types of hot pepper in this jam, for instance cayenne or habanero pepper will also work. You can even use red pepper flakes
- apple cider vinegar
don’t save fresh cranberries just for the holidays
Buy extra to stash in the freezer for the rest of the year! Cranberries are special. They’re one of only three fruits native to North America, (along with blueberries and Concord grapes) they’re loaded with antioxidants, they have an explosive flavor, and a brilliant color— they should really have a life beyond November. This sauce can mingle with roast beef, chicken, pork, and lamb all year long. It can be the star of your next cheese plate, and it would be killer on sandwiches, brats, and burgers. Get creative with this amazing berry!
Plain cranberry sauce is about the easiest recipe on the planet, and it’s a perfect thing to assign to one of the kids. My youngest daughter has claimed simple cranberry sauce as ‘her’ dish, and every Thanksgiving she makes it and gets raves.
This is one for the adults though; it’s kicked up with fresh hot jalapeño pepper and a dash of vinegar. Hot pepper and cranberries are one of those unexpected pairings that just works, the zingy sweet tart flavor of the cranberries can stand up to the heat of the peppers and the two together make quite a party in the mouth. One word of caution — make sure you warn people before you plop this down on your Thanksgiving table!
TIP: You can’t always predict the level of heat you’re going to get because hot peppers can vary greatly, even within the same variety. One seeded pepper will usually give you a sauce with a kick, but on the tamer side. Use two peppers if you want a more pronounced heat. The high sugar content dampens the heat a bit.
Psssssst: put some on a cracker on top of cream cheese or soft goat cheese. You won’t be able to stop stuffing them in your mouth. I swear.
WECK JARS are favorites of mine, you see them over and over again on my blog. They’re glass jars from Germany, originally developed for canning, but they can be used for so much more. I have trouble keeping a supply in my kitchen because they have a tendency to ‘go missing’.
They come in lots of shapes and sizes, from the small tulip shaped ones, above, to giant 1 litre or larger bottles for juice, etc. They’re all glass, with rubber seals and cute little clamps to hold everything tight. If you’re making hot pepper jelly to serve to give away, these are the perfect jars.
TIP: I like to use smaller jars for hot pepper jelly ~ it works perfectly for adding to a cheese plate, and you can keep the rest fresh in the fridge for another day.
Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam
- Rinse the berries and put in a pot. Add the water, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. The berries will start to pop, so stand back a bit. Once the sauce has come to a boil, it will be foaming and the berries will no longer be popping, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Take off the heat and stir in the minced peppers. Let the sauce cool completely. Then transfer it to clean jars. Refrigerate until set. Cranberry sauce firms up as it cools, and eventually it will be of a spreadable consistency, perfect for sandwiches and cheese plates.
- Jam will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze for longer storage.