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Apricot-Jalapeno Jelly

From the Kitchen of Pat and Jim.

This makes a nice food gift tied with a pretty ribbon.

Source: Chili Pepper Magazine.

Notes from author Nancy Gerlach: This recipe calls for dried apricots, but peaches, nectarines and pears work equally well. Any fresh green chile can be substituted for the jalapenos, depending on your taste and heat preference. Serranos will make it hotter; roasted peeled New Mexico chilies will tame it down.

1/2 cup fresh jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded, cut up
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, cut up
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups dried apricots, chopped
6 cups granulated sugar
1 (3 ounce) package liquid pectin
4 drops red food coloring, optional (Pat's note: I didn't use)

Put jalapenos, red bell pepper and vinegar in a blender of food processor. Puree or pulse until coarsely ground with some small chunks remaining.

Combine apricots, sugar and pepper/vinegar mixture in a large saucepan (at least 6 quarts). Bring to a boil; boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; skim off any foam that forms. Allow mixture to cool for 2 minutes. Mix in pectin and food coloring if using it. Pour into sterilized jars, seal and cool. (I processed the jars in a water-bath for 10 minutes.) Makes about 7 half pint jars.

Serving Ideas: With grilled meats or on cream cheese with crackers (I like using the Mini Stoned Wheat Thins).

Pat's notes: I solved the problem of the fruit/veggies all floating to the top of the jar when the jelly was set by turning the jars over every 5 or 10 minutes when the jars were cooling after being removed from the hot water bath. The turning helps to suspend the fruit/veggies more throughout the jelly, otherwise you need to stir up the jelly when you open the jar to distribute all the goodies.

REVIEW: from Tammie Hutcherson - I had looked all over for a recipe for Apricot Jalapeno Jelly and I was not disappointed with this one. It was easy and a hit with all my family members. This year I will be giving it as gifts. I served it over cream cheese with crackers and it got raves. Thank you. Tammie.

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