I was sure the can jam ingredient for this month would be apples — it is October after all — but it turns out that chile peppers were more what Kaela had in mind. And while I do have apples sitting on the counter waiting to be sauced, peppers — specifically jalapeño peppers — are finding their way into my larder this month.
Last week at the farmers market one of my regular produce booths gave me a whole bunch of jalapeño peppers, along with a handful of cayennes and habeñeros, to pickle. I had purchased a number of jalapeños from her a few weeks ago that we diced and pickled — perfect for nachos — and canned in quarter pints. I gave her a jar last week and she commented that it was enough for one taco but she also told me that when they get a real freeze they will pull their jalapeño plants and pick all the peppers they can so I should expect a bunch then. It sure pays to know a farmer.
We’re expecting a frost tonight and are hoping to put the garden to bed next week so after dinner we went out back and pulled the yellow jalapeño plant — the Jaloro variety — from our garden. We’re slicing ours, along with the ones from the market, because the colors will show better in slices. Plus, half of these jars will be headed back to the farm as a thanks for their generosity and they are big fans of heat.
FRUIT: 3.5 pounds jalapeños
SOURCE: farmer’s market and the garden
Wash and then slice or dice up to 6 pounds of jalapeños.
Combine 5 c. white 5% vinegar, 1 c. water, 4 tsp. salt, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and 2 cloves of garlic in a pot and heat over high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes and turn off the heat.
Pack the peppers into sterilized quarter-pint or half-pint jars leaving .5 inch headspace.
Remove the garlic and pour the hot brine over the peppers, again leaving the .5 inch headspace. Run a non-metallic utensil around the edge of the inside of the jar to get rid of any air bubbles and top off with more brine if necessary.
Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
YIELD: 14 half-pints
TASTE: so pretty and I know they’ll be great.