Candied Jalapenos

 

This last week, my baby brother Luke told me admiringly that I had finally done it.

“To which it do you refer?” I inquired.

“IT!” said Luke.

Luke was referring to this.

This sandwich blew my mind. It was the perfect sandwich. I do not use the phrase ‘perfect sandwich’ lightly. It is a very serious appellation to give a sandwich*. This one earned it.

*Could I possibly use the word ‘sandwich’ any more? There just doesn’t seem to be any way around it. And so I’d like every single English and composition teacher reading this to take a muscle relaxant right now to help them get through the rest of this post without cringing themselves into spasms.

Let me tell you what makes this bad boy so very bad*. The sandwich is built of naan brushed with ghee, tandoori style grilled chicken, cucumber and yogurt salsa, crunchy pickled onion rings and candied jalapenos. Un-bloody-believably delicious. The Evil Genius declared it to be ‘A Second-to-Naanwich’.

*Bad in a good way. As in phat. Not fat. It’s totally fly. I should probably stop now. Fo shizzle.

Every single component of this sandwich was made from scratch. Okay, so I didn’t grow the lettuce greens, spices or the chicken, but shy of that, all homemade. And over the next few posts, I will give you the recipes to make each component needed to reproduce this amazing sandwich in your own kitchen.

Even though this sandwich alone is worth the work of making each of these building blocks, you’re not just canning, yogurt, bread, and grilling for one purpose. Each of the ingredients can be used for multiple recipes. This is a springboard recipe. Once you’ve mastered each component, the world is your oyster. Are you ready for the first part? Here we go!

We’re starting with Candied Jalapenos for a very good reason. After being made, they need to sit for at least two weeks before you crack open the jar to start eating them. And by need, I mean it’s strictly optional, but you’ll be glad that you did. The flavors need time to meld and marry.

Candied Jalapenos. Ah. There’s a story here. A couple months ago, my friend Katie casually mentioned eating a sandwich made with candied jalapenos. She was singing the praises of what she described as an addictive jar of goodies. Then she said the magic words, “I wish I could figure out how to make these at home.” By this point, you know me enough to know what affect that statement has on me, right?  I quizzed her on the texture, flavor, and appearance of the jalapeno rings. I begged for photographs. I had her send me a picture of the ingredient list on the label. I asked her to describe the flavor to the very best of her food blogging abilities. She was game. She provided all the information and even sent a link to a recipe that she thought looked like it would come close to the benchmark for her.

After carefully examining close to thirty recipes on candied jalapenos (who KNEW there were so many people candying jalapenos?) I called my local Cooperative Extension office to pick the brain of their home food preservation specialists. Since jalapenos are a low-acid food, some precautions need to be taken when canning them. You have two choices for safely canning peppers of any kind; you can pressure can them or you can acidify (i.e. add vinegar, lemon juice, etc…) the liquid in which you pack the peck of pickled peppers.

I opted for acidifying the pepper liquid because I wanted to maintain some of the texture of the peppers through the process.  Pressure canning these would turn them to flavorful mush.  The result was gobsmackingly, head-spinningly, brain-addlingly delicious.  Sweet, spicy and savory, candied jalapeno rings are way too easy to eat on just about everything.  I’ve stashed them in sandwiches, chopped them up on baked beans, tucked them into tacos, used the syrup to brush meat on the grill, perched a couple rings on top of a cream cheese laden cracker and all sorts of other evil things.

For such a simple thing to can, these pack tons of flavor.  You’re going to want to make as many of these as you possibly can simultaneously, because once that first jar is cracked open you’re not going to be able to stop eating them.  And I mean it.

Hey!  Don’t forget to come back over the next few days to get the other components to my Second-to-Naanwich.  You will love me.  That’s a promise.

Candied Jalapenos

Scroll to the bottom for an easy-print version of this recipe!

Yield: About 9 half-pint jars of Candied Jalapenos plus additional jalapeno syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds fresh, firm, jalapeno peppers, washed
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers.  The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem.  Discard the stems.

Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds.  Set aside.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar.

Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil.  Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices to within 1/4-inch of the rim.  Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air.  Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.

*If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too.  It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or…  In short, don’t toss it out!

Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches.  Bring the water to a full rolling boil.  When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints.  When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack.  Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours.  When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.

Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Or don’t.  I won’t tell!

 

 

 

4.9 from 31 reviews
Candied Jalapenos
Author: 
Recipe type: Canning, Condiment, Ingredient
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32
 
There aren't words that exist to describe how addictive these little savoury, sweet, spicy, crunchy, garlicky pickled jalapeno rounds are. Put them on sandwiches, tacos, rice or bake them into cornbread. You'll need more and more!
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds fresh, firm, jalapeno peppers, washed
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups white granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.
  2. Slice the peppers into uniform ⅛-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within ¼ inch of the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.
  4. Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.
  5. *If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or… In short, don’t toss it out!
  6. Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.
  7. Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Or don’t. I won’t tell!
Notes
I know this sounds crazy, but double this recipe. People will beg you for jars of this and get surly if you say no. Just. Trust. Me.

 

Comments

  1. Couldn’t wait to make this and our jalapeno plants were bountiful this year. We waited 4 weeks to open our first jar and they were wonderful. I found them to be hot, but not unbearable. I canned a second batch and one of the jars didn’t seal so I refrigerated it and opened the jar a couple of days later. Those jalapenos were extremely hot. Great recipe!

  2. Chris Hale says:

    I just wanted you to know that I love this recipe. I am just getting my feet wet with the jalapenos and so I seeded the peppers but they are still spicy and flavorful. I have been making these for a while and everyone loves them. I never actually preserved them but made them more of a refrigerator pickle and they were wonderful. Thank you for this family favorite.

  3. Gregg Robinson says:

    Thanks!

  4. Just want to let you know how much we are enjoying this recipe. Everything you said about it is true. People just LOVE them! The only part we had a little trouble with was whether to let the liquid return to a boil or not before beginning the “exactly 4 minutes of simmering”. We are on our third year of making them now and we don’t let the liquid return to a boil. We begin the 4 minutes as soon as we add the peppers. Thank-you so much for sharing!!

  5. Terry Cooley says:

    I would like to try this recipe. Just finishing a jar of store-bought candied jalapenos, and I have a bountiful crop in the garden just waiting to be canned. I have a question about the ratio of sugar to vinegar. 6 cups sugar to 2 cups vinegar. Is this the correct proportion?

    Thanks…

  6. Have just finished making 1/3 of a batch as per instructions and they are delicious but screaming hot! Will definitely make a full batch next time minus the seeds. Thank you for a fun recipe. By the way, 1/3 of a batch of peppers and a half batch of syrup yielded 3 jars of peppers and 1 jar of syrup.

  7. I was curious as to whether you refrigerate your jalapenos after they are done, or if they are ok to sit out at room temp? Absolutely love the celery seed with the jalapenos, but I have also been on a celery seed kick lately =)

  8. Just finished canning them. Look forward to eating them. Will be good sitting atop a piece of Lox sitting atop a smear of cream cheese on a toasted mini bagel.

  9. Made these today with seranos and red jalapeños for Christmas gifts! Didn’t have celery seed…so I used celery salt instead. Sweet, salty, hot perfection!! The jars look amazing.

  10. Hi! Just made this recipe tonight and, being totally impatient, I just had to try one (after they’d cooled down in the fridge a few hours). So…I love hot things and all but this was the most painful taste test of all time!! Does waiting the 2 weeks mellow them significantly (hoping!!)? Thanks!

    • They really do mellow significantly in that two week time. I promise! Now, how mellow the final product will be depends greatly on how hot the peppers were to begin with. Did you nibble one of the fresh peppers before cooking them? They’ll be about that mild when done.

      • Oh good! I made a jar for my friend and warned her NOT to eat them!!! But now I will retract my warning and spend the next two weeks working up my courage to taste them again. :) Or maybe I’ll get my husband to do it… We love jalapenos around here so I’m sure they’ll be wonderful!

  11. Canned for the first time with this recipe because I heard it was to die for! Though I used fresh jalapeños and only those that were crisp and crunchy…mine turned out very shriveled with barely any crunch. Any ideas as to why or what I could do to prevent this?

    • I had this same experience. I was wondering if there was a response? Mine were not crunchy at all. My peppers were known “HOT” so I seeded them, maybe that was one reason for being shriveled. I also thought the syrup was extremely thick…I can see that in the half pints. It is very, very thick, almost like jelly? ideas?? suggestion on what went wrong?

      • It sounds like you overboiled your syrup if you started with the correct measurements and it reduced down to a jelly like consistency. It should still taste good, but next time, I think perhaps you need to drop your heat even more for a simmer. How long have they been in the jars? Because they always look shrivelly for a bit then seem to replump in the syrup after a week or so.

        • Thanks for the feedback. I too suspected I had a little too much heat when it thickened up so. They were only made three days ago so I will wait a few weeks and see how they are. The good news is we have plenty of peppers for a second try!!!

  12. Kathy Marlow says:

    I have always made jalapeno jelly….they is almost the same, maybe even better. I have not tried this recipe. I bought a jar locally and fell in love.

  13. Hi – I have made 2 batches so far. The first time I did not have cayenne pepper, so I used 1/2 paprika and 1/2 chili powder. I tasted the sauce and loved it. Both times I have tons of sauce left, could I use 4 lbs of jalapenos instead of 3? Is it ok to double this recipe, or do I need to do it in batches?

    Thanks so much for the recipe, lots of requests for it.

    • I not only double the recipe, but sometimes quadruple it! Have at it! I honestly can’t tell you whether it will effect the acidity negatively to do 4 pounds instead of 3. I know that part of the reason so much liquid is left over is because the jalapenos give off liquid as they cook, so you’ll probably still end up with loads extra!

      • Thanks so much! I will definitely being doubling the recipe from now on. I will prepare a couple of extra jars for the marinade, I know people will love that as well.

  14. How many jars will I need to make this recipe? I am new to canning and don’t even have jars yet.

    • I’d say wash and sterilize about a dozen half pint or pint jars and you’ll have more than enough. It’s always better to have jars you don’t use that you’ve prepped than to have to put the canning project on hold to prep more jars.

  15. Can quart jars be used instead? How ling would quart jars need to be boiled?

    • I’m sure they can be, but I just haven’t done them that way… I’d be guessing about processing time if I gave you a time, unfortunately.

  16. Oh my dear…how I love these sweet, hot circles of deliciousness. Thank you so much for a divine hostess gift. PS The Honey Mustard? To. Die. For!

  17. Christie says:

    This is my 3rd season making this incredible recipe. Everytime I make it I am asked to share the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Mary Cherry says:

    Just tried this recipe….fantastic!!!

  19. Very addictive! My husband wants to put them on everything!

  20. Very addictive. My husband wants to put them on everything!

  21. I AM NOT SHOUTING, I JUST LIKE ALL CAPS —
    I JUST MADE MY FIRST BATCH AND HAVE TWO QUESTIONS

    1. I USED WHITE VINEGAR AS CIDER VINEGAR IS HARD TO FIND — WILL IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

    2. IF I COOKED THE PEPPERS A BIT LONGER WOULD THAT SOFTEN THE A BIT MORE — SON HAD CHEWING PROBLEMS WITH CRISPY THINGS –

    THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP —

    TONYK

    • Cider vinegar has a milder, gentler tang than white vinegar and is my pickling liquid of choice, but there will not be any safety reason to avoid swapping in white for cider… They’re about equal in acidity.

      If you cook them longer they may become mushy and lose structural integrity. If that’s what you’re going for, it should be okay!

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