Over a millennia ago, the only form of food preservation was by drying, salting or brining. It wasn’t until the 1809 that Nicholas Appert invented canning as a new way for Napoléon to feed his troops. Revolutionary for its time, canning was considered a military secret. Commercial canning arrived in the USA in the mid 1800’s but it wasn’t until the Civil War and the invention of the Mason jar that home canning took off. Great for preserving fruit, vegetables, meats and making jams and jellies.
Here are the items you will need:
1. A stainless steel double boiler is best. A ceramic coated aluminum pot can be used, if there are no scratches in the coating.
2. 4 qt. stainless steel or coated sauce pan
3. A candy thermometer.
4. A wide mouth canning funnel.
5. A jar tong, for lifting jars out of the processing pot
6. Mason or Ball jars with lids.
1 c. seeded green bell pepper, finely chopped or ground
1/4 c. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped or ground, seeded if desired ( or more to taste
4 c. sugar
1 c. cider vinegar
1 6 oz. packet liquid fruit pectin
3 -5 drops green food coloring (optional)
Mix peppers, sugar, and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, to 220° on the candy thermometer. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Add pectin and optional food coloring. Return to heat, and bring to a full rolling boil for 1 minute. Ladle mixture into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars with the canning funnel to within 1/2" of top. Wipe tops of jars. Center lids on top of jars, and screw on bands firmly. Half fill the double boiler (or large pot with bottom rack) with water, and bring water to a full boil.
The boiling water should cover jars by at least 1". Reduce heat to a gentle boil, cover, and process for 10 minutes. After processed, carefully remove jars from water using tongs or a jar-lifter. Place upside-down on a rack or thick towels, and let cool without moving for 12-24 hours. Jars will make popping sounds while cooling, if sealed properly. Check seal on each jar by pressing down on lid; if it doesn't push, it's sealed. If it does push down, store in refrigerator until used. Properly canned, you can store this jelly in a cupboard for six to eight months. Refrigerate after opening. Enjoy - JW