This bold, piquant, savory jelly is about to become your new favorite condiment! As its name suggests, it’s sharp and hot, but it’s sweet, too (and sugar-free, of course). Enjoy it with steak or veggies, or use it to top a bowl of low-carb soup. Or, make a tasty dip by adding some Fiery Jalapeño Jelly to homemade mayo. Whatever you choose to do with it, it’s a must-have on a chilly winter day!
What is this Sugar-Free Condiment About?
This sweet — yet sugar-free — and incredibly flavorful condiment will take to your main course to the next level! This simple recipe consists of jalapeños, natural sweetener like powdered erythritol, raw apple cider vinegar, onion powder, and powdered gelatin.
All other ingredients except gelatin are cooked until soft, after which the mixture is thickened with gelatin and pureéd with an immersion blender until smooth. Last, the jelly is refrigerated until it’s thick. Then, feel free to dig in and enjoy!
Tips for making the Fiery Jalapeño Jelly
This is a very quick and easy recipe to make. That is, the actual preparations and cooking don’t take much time, but you do have to let the jelly set for a few hours or overnight.
One important thing to remember is to make sure your kitchen is properly ventilated when you’re making the jelly. Jalapeños and vinegar release some very strong odors and fumes when heated, so please keep your stove’s extractor fan on high, or open the windows if you can.
While cooking, be sure to keep the saucepan’s lid closed. It not only reduces the fiery fumes, but also ensures that you’ll have enough cooking liquid. If you cook the mixture uncovered, the liquid will evaporate, leaving you with a dry result.
So, let’s take a look at how to make this Fiery Jalapeño Jelly recipe:
Take 10 medium jalapeños.
Remove the ends.
Slice the jalapeños.
Discard the seeds.
Chop the jalapeños into smaller pieces. (Be careful not to touch your eyes, and don’t forget to wash your hands properly after handling the jalapeños if you’re not wearing gloves!)
Take a saucepan and add the jalapeños…
…and the onion powder.
Simmer gently, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the jalapeños are soft.
While the jalapeño mixture is simmering, take 1 tablespoon water and add it to a small cup.
Add 1 teaspoon gelatin powder. Let bloom for 5 minutes.
Remove the softened jalapeños from the heat. Add the gelatin to the jalapeño mixture.
Stir until well dissolved.
Carefully purée the jalapeño mixture with an immersion blender (or transfer the mixture to a traditional blender and blend on high for 30 seconds)…
Let cool at room temperature until completely cool, then refrigerate for 6 hours or preferably overnight.
My Jalapeño Jelly recipe experiments
Once, while browsing recipes at Allrecipes.com, I encountered an interesting recipe called Hot Pepper Jelly that immediately caught my attention.
It contained sugar, but I thought it would be easy to make a low-carb version of it using powdered erythritol. I’d been thinking about it for a long time when, one day last April, I decided to give it a try.
However, instead of bell peppers, I wanted to use chili peppers — and maybe some onion to enhance the flavors. And instead of pectin (which I don’t have, and which isn’t that easy to get here in Finland), I decided to use gelatin to thicken the jelly.
So, without much further thought or any careful planning, I took 10 oz (280 g) fresh red chili peppers, 2 large onions, 3 cups (710 ml) water, 40 drops orange stevia (I have no idea where I got the idea to add orange stevia, but it sure sounded good!) and 1 tablespoon gelatin.
I had planned to use 1 teaspoon gelatin instead of 1 tablespoon, and realized my mistake later. But as it turned out, I don’t know if I would have gotten a stiff enough consistency with just 1 teaspoon gelatin because there was really a lot of fluid here.
First, I finely diced the chili and onion. Then I put all the ingredients (including the gelatin) into a saucepan and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes until the chili and onion were soft.
I removed the mixture from the heat and let it cool down. Once cool, I put the mixture into the fridge to set and left it overnight.
The next day, I eagerly took a look at the jelly (or Chili Onion Jam, as I wrote in my notes). Well, it had definitely set; it was really stiff. The otherwise transparent jelly was spotted with tiny cubes of chili and onion. Actually, it didn’t look very appetizing…
It was time for the taste test. I was prepared for a pretty fiery taste, so I kept some yogurt next to me to serve as a culinary fire extinguisher.
The jelly sure was fiery, but I could also taste the orange flavor from the orange stevia — and it didn’t fit in with the other flavors at all! All in all, I was very disappointed with my experiment. The texture and presentation were both unpleasant — a clear, transparent and very stiff jelly with tiny, hard spots of chili and onion. And that orange flavor wasn’t doing it any favors, either. So, back to the drawing board…
Months passed before I gave it another shot. Then last week I bought some jalapeños to try to make a slightly different version of the jelly. Finally, this week I took my notes and started thinking of making a Fiery Jalapeño Jelly instead of a Hot Pepper Jelly—or the Chili Onion Jam that was such a disaster.
After some calculations, I decided to drop the water altogether and use only the vinegar as fluid. When I was conducting my Sugar-Free Sweet Chili Sauce experiments, I realized that you need a ridiculously small amount of fluid to make a proper sauce or jelly, so vinegar alone would suffice here.
I decided to see what kind of jelly I would get if I used 10 medium jalapeños, 1/2 cup (120 ml) powdered erythritol, 1/2 cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon gelatin powder. I wanted to get some onion flavor there anyway, so I decided to use onion powder instead of whole onions.
I added all the ingredients except the gelatin to a saucepan and cooked them until the jalapeños were soft, about 20 minutes. While the jalapeño mixture was cooking, I added the gelatin powder to 1 tablespoon of water and let it bloom.
This time, I decided to avoid those nasty, tiny vegetable pieces by pureéing the jalapeño mixture until smooth. (That paid off when I saw the finished jelly: it looked so much better!)
Finally, I added the bloomed gelatin to the still piping-hot jalapeño mixture and stirred until it had dissolved completely.
I had planned to let the jelly cool down to room temperature before refrigerating it, but I was too impatient, so I simply brought the hot jelly outside where it was freezing cold. (Naturally, I wasn’t planning to let it stay there too long: otherwise it would have frozen.)
I transferred the cooled jelly to a jar and placed the jar in the fridge. I was a bit afraid that 1 teaspoon gelatin wasn’t enough, because now the jelly looked slightly runny. However, the result I’d see the following day proved that 1 teaspoon was just perfect.
So, the next day, I took the jelly out of the fridge, opened the lid of the jar and took a proper look at it. It was nicely thick, but not too stiff — just the right spoonable consistency! When I (carefully) tasted the jelly, I was pleasantly surprised: it was fiery yet flavorful and nicely sweet. This was just what I had been aiming for! I was extremely satisfied.
Who knew that a little planning could transform a pure catastrophe into a success so easily? What a great surprise!
|Per 1 tablespoon
Tips for variations
Instead of jalapeños, feel free to use other types of chili peppers in this jelly. Also, try a variety of colors: Try red, yellow, or orange chilis, according to your preferred level of heat.
You can also make this jelly milder by replacing part of the jalapeños with green bell pepper (e.g. 5 jalapeños to 1 medium green bell pepper). Or, for a kid-friendly version, use only green bell peppers.
For an elegant variation, replace the vinegar with dry white wine. I tried this when I was running out of apple cider vinegar and it tasted wonderful!
To store the jelly for longer, keep it in small, sterilized jars.