Adapted from “Maria Zapata’s Jalapeno-Apricot Jelly” in “Dead Man’s Bones” by Susan Wittig Albert. You can use any combination of hot, red chiles to create the amount of heat.
Servings: 6 to 7 half pintsPrep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
¾ cup red jalapeno (or other ripe red) chiles, seeded and stemmed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and stemmed
2 cups cider vinegar
1¼ cup dried apricots, finely chopped
6 cups sugar
3 oz. liquid pectin
2-3 drops red food coloring, optional
Few drops Tabasco sauce, more or less, optional
Coarsely grind the chiles, bell pepper, and vinegar in a blender until in small chunks. Or chop the chiles and pepper finely and add to the vinegar.
Combine apricots, sugar, pureed mixture and small amount of butter in a large saucepan. Bring to rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, skin off foam, and cool for 2 minutes. Stir in the pectin and food coloring, if using. Taste for heat and add a few or more drops of Tabasco, if using.
Pour into prepared half-pint jars. Cover with 2-part canning lids and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Note: The original recipe calls for cutting the apricots into strips. While it looks really interesting that way, I prefer having them in smaller pieces. Also, without adding any food coloring this jam is a delightful pinkish peachy color.
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