High Bush Cranberry and Jalapeno Jelly

 

High Bush Cranberry and Jalapeno Jelly

High Bush cranberries, or Virburnum trilobum, grow wild in New Brunswick and while aren’t actually a part of the cranberry family, their bright red berries create a stunning jelly like their buddy the low bush cranberry. I was lucky enough to harvest some ripe and ready berries from my friend April‘s country home. While one baby played in the grass, two kids chased ducks and chickens and with one baby on my back, we yanked and pulled and snipped those berries off the tree!

Thanks to some very helpful blogs and websites, I was able to put it all together to create a superb sweet and spicy jelly. Akin to a pepper jelly, it’s is incredible on a cracker with cheese, slathered on your grilled cheese or melted and used as a glaze for meat.

While this recipe is a bit time consuming with two different straining mixtures, the results and delicious and you have plenty of jars to show for your effort. The juice yield from your cranberries will vary on the ripeness of your berries. Any extra juice can be stored in your freezer or added to another fruit for a multi-fruit jam. Or, if you’d love to give this jelly a try but aren’t in a high bush cranberry growing zone, stop by our Etsy shop where this and other preserves are available for purchase.

Etsy---High-Bush-Cranberrie

High Bush Cranberry and Jalapeno Jelly

Yields: 6x250mL jars

Recipe inspired by: The Kitchen Magpie and Taste of Home

8 cups high bush cranberries, picked over and cleaned

3 cups water

3 chopped jalapenos, seeded and ribs removed (or not, if you like it really spicy)

1 cup vinegar

7 cups sugar

2 pouches liquid pectin

 

1. In a large pot, gently boil cranberries and water together for about 15 minutes, crushing with a potato masher to release the juice. Pour mixture in a jelly bag and measure out 3 cups of juice. Clean out your large pot.

2. In your clean pot, pour your 3 cups of juice and diced jalapenos. Bring to a gentle simmer until jalapenos have softened. Pour through cleaned out jelly bag or through a double-lined cheesecloth in a colander and measure out 3 cups of juice.

3. In your pot (no need to clean it out), add cranberry-jalapeno mixture, vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add in two pouches of pectin and return to heat, giving it a hard boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into sterilized jars with 1/4″ headspace and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

Enjoy!

 

 

High Bush Cranberry and Jalapeno Jelly on Punk Domestics
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Thinking Outside the Jar: Pepper Jelly Glazed Cheddar Scones

Pepper Jelly Glazed Cheddar Scones

I make a lot of preserves. I love selling at the Sackville Farmer’s Market and catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. There really is no better place to be on a Saturday morning. Each year, I make 20-30 different types of preserves and almost 400 jars of preserves. You’d think that I’d finally figure some things out, like, how to make a great jelly (strain, strain, strain!) or that if you don’t add enough underripe strawberries, you’ll never get a great set on a pectin-free strawberry jam. So, I continue to plod on, making rookie mistakes and plunking those jars of unsellable preserves in my pantry.

Well, I have almost 100 jars in my pantry. Too many. Way too many! Apparently, some lessons need to be learned over and over again.

Like jelly, especially pepper jelly. Maybe it’s just me, but when it’s hot and humid, I have the worst time getting a jelly to set properly. I’ve opened windows, I’ve closed windows and brought up a dehumidifier, I’ve tried canning first thing in the morning or really late at night and still, it can be endless jars of jelly that either set too quickly before I could gently tilt the jars and distribute the little bits or it’s a runny syrup. Often times, if it’s not a problem with the set, it’s a problem because I’m neither paying enough attention nor thinking through the steps and so another batch of preserves gets shipped off to the pantry.

This recipe utilizes one of those jars of unsellable jelly – a beautiful apple cider jelly and jalapeno jelly that is perfect and tasty but oh so cloudy. Natural apple cider has sediment and needs to be strained, preferably in a coffee filter, to make the jelly a beautiful amber hue. Since there is only so much pepper jelly one can eat on crackers, enter scones.

I’m a sucker for a sweet scone, but I had no idea a savoury scone could be so incredible. I made these for the end-of-the-year book club meeting with the additional jelly stirred into some cream cheese and ready to be slathered on the warm scones. They were flakey and rich and all the flavours worked well together. Even better that a lonely, neglected jar of jelly got a new life.

Pepper Jelly Glazed Cheddar Scones

Barely adapted from Canadian Living’s Green Onion and Cheddar Scones

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

1 cup shredded extra old cheddar

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 tsp assorted fresh herbs – I used lemon thyme and chives

1/4 cup jalapeno apple cider pepper jelly, melted over low heat

Mix together dry ingredients and with a pastry knife, cut in the cold, cubed butter until it’s a coarse and crumbly mixture. Add in the cheese and herbs and stir.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg and milk together and pour over the dry mixture. Stir until barely combined and turn onto a lightly floured board and knead 10 times (Canadian Living is very specific on this and I’ve heard from other expert scone makers that ten is the magic number here). Roll or pat to about 3/4″ thick and cut out with a cookie cutter. I often use a 2″ round cutter as it seems the best size, or cut into fours for a traditional wedge shape. Place scones on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Glaze scones with melted jelly and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let cool before tucking in (that jelly is really hot and can scorch the roof of your mouth. Trust me on this.)

Enjoy!