Hotter Than the Hinges of Hell Habanero Jelly
- 2 pounds fresh habanero peppers
- 5 cups granulated sugar (measured into a separate bowl before starting)
- 1 box powdered pectin
- 1 cup cider vinegar
Wear gloves! Wear gloves! Trust me. Even if you think you’re impervious to capsaicin you have no idea how painful it can be to deal with two pounds of habaneros without gloves. Cut the stem off each pepper and cut in half. If you want face-meltingly hot pepper jelly you can leave the seeds and membranes intact in the peppers. If you want a milder jelly (in which case WHY are you making Habanero Jelly?) you can use the tip of a spoon to dislodge the seeds and as much of the membrane as possible.
Add half the peppers to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a stainless steel blade. Pulse until the peppers are minced but not liquified. Now. BE CAREFUL WHEN REMOVING THE LID! When you pulse the peppers you are atomizing some of the oils they contain. Stand with your face well away from the bowl when you remove the lid. Scrape the minced peppers into an 8 quart stainless steel pot. Repeat with the remaining peppers.
Stir the cider vinegar and powdered pectin into the minced peppers and place over ‘HIGH’ heat. Do NOT, I repeat, do not put your face over the pan while it is boiling. It will hurt. It will make you cough. It will make your eyes water uncontrollably. You don’t want to breathe the fumes in on this. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that does not stop when stirred) stirring constantly. When the mixture reaches a full boil dump in all the sugar at once and stir quickly. Bring the mixture again to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Again, be careful. Don’t breathe in too deeply near the boiling pot.
As soon as it reaches a full boil, begin timing it and allow to boil hard for exactly one minute. After the minute has passed, remove from heat and ladle quickly into clean, sterile jars (for instructions on how to do this, click here!) For the love of all that is holy, BE CAREFUL! Now you’re not only dealing with hot pepper oils, you’re dealing with BOILING hot pepper oils and hot jelly. It sticks on your skin and hurts like a son of a gun!
Wipe the rims, add clean lids and gently screw rings onto the jars. Process for 10 minutes at a full rolling boil. (For instructions on how to do THIS, click here!)
When the jars are done processing, carefully remove from the water bath and place on a cooling rack positioned over a tea towel. If you pull the jars straight up and out jelly will not leak and endanger the seal. Don’t worry about the water on top, it will seep out under the rings and onto the towel.