Spicy Red Pepper Jam combines fiery fresno peppers with red bell peppers in a jam that’s sweet yet has some heat on the back end! Perfect with cream cheese!
There’s something really delicious and addictive about spicy pepper jam (and jelly, too). I’ll admit, I’m a fan of almost every kind of jam.
But spicy red pepper jam is perhaps one of my favorites. Balance out the spice with cream cheese and eat with crackers or on top of toasted sourdough… it literally can be the perfect meal.
Next time you’re in the mood to whip up some new jam, give this one a try. By making a small batch, you’ll have enough for your family and a jar or two extra for friends (or to give as gifts at the holidays!)
What are Fresno Peppers?
Fresno peppers are red peppers that look similar to a red jalapeño pepper. They are often times seasonal peppers – here in Arizona, they are available for a brief period of time in the summer months (June – August).
These Fresno peppers, above, were used to make a really delicious Fermented Fresno Pepper Hot Sauce.
If you can’t find Fresno peppers in your area, feel free to use red jalapeño peppers.
Spicy Red Pepper Jam
While most recipes for jam follow instructions that almost lead it to be ‘jelly’ and not jam, this recipe is effortless and fool-proof.
Start this recipe by removing the pulp and seeds from inside of 4 red bell peppers. Then remove the stem and slice the Fresno peppers and discard those seeds too.
Then toss the sliced peppers into the blender and pulse until they are well chopped (almost a puree). Dump those chopped peppers in your deep stock pot along with the rest of the ingredients.
A tall stock pot is a necessity when making jam. The jam will boil up and a deep pot ensures that it doesn’t boil over and burn your stove top range.
Crank that heat and bring the mixture to a boil. You want the mixture to reach 220 degrees F for the jam to result in a good “set”.
While you are working on the jam, take the time to toss the water bath canner on the stove and heat that water to boiling so that’s ready to go when your jam is done. Then wash your jars and place the jars, lids and bands in a 200 degree F oven to sterilize. Pull them out just before you are ready to fill.
FILL THE STERILIZED JARS
Once the jam has reached the setting point (220 degrees F), allow it to continue to boil for 4-5 minutes.
Then carefully remove from heat and ladle into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims thoroughly and then apply lids and bands (finger tight).
PROCESS IN A WATER BATH CANNER
Lower the filled jars into a hot water bath, cover with 2 inches of water. Carefully place the lid on the water bath canner, and bring water to a steady boil.
Process the jars for 10 minutes (half pints), adjusting for altitude. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and allow the jars to rest for 5 minutes. Then remove the jars entirely and allow to cool. Check lids for a good seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Store jars in a cool place for up to one year.
HOW TO SERVE SPICY RED PEPPER JAM
This jam is great when spread on fresh sourdough bread, toast, or even served as an appetizer on crackers with a little cream cheese. Want it even spicier? Add 2-3 extra Fresno peppers for more heat.
TIPS TO ENSURE A GOOD SET
This recipe uses a full box of pectin a specific amount of sugar. Should you choose to double the recipe, or lessen the sugar, you’ll want to adjust the pectin accordingly to ensure the jam sets.
Jam can take up to 24 hours to properly set. Please don’t panic if you see that your jam isn’t starting to set – as the jars cool, the pectin will kick in and the transformation will happen.
A Personal Note from Me
This is, by far, one of my favorite recipes to make around the holidays because it makes a really beautiful yet functional gift. I have never met anyone who didn’t love this jam – even those who can’t tolerate spicy peppers can eat this jam without problems.
If you love giving jams and jellies at the holidays, check out this Candy Apple Jelly, too! That’s another personal favorite.
Spicy Red Pepper Jam
- 6 half pint canning jars
- deep stock pot
- Water Bath Canner
- 4 ea red bell peppers stem, and seeds removed, cut into slices
- 6 ea Fresno peppers stem and seeds removed, cut into pieces
- 4.5 C granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 C vinegar
- 1 box powdered pectin
- Fill the water bath canner with water on a separate stove burner to prepare the jam for the water bath.
- Wash the canning jars. Place the canning jars, lids and bands in the oven at 200 degrees F to sterilize while you are making the jam (it helps to have them all in an 13x9 dish to keep them all together).
- Add the sliced peppers (seeds and pith removed), to your blender and pulse until they are finely chopped.
- Add the peppers, sugar, pectin, vinegar and lemon juice to your deep stock pot. Give it a stir to combine.
- Crank the heat to high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Stir frequently, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F. Once the mixture reaches 220 degrees F, continue to boil for 4-5 minutes.
- Carefully remove the pot from the stove.
- Remove from heat and ladle into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims thoroughly and then apply lids and bands (finger tight).
- Placed filled jars in a hot water bath, ensuring that they are covered by 2 inches of water. Place lid on water bath canner, and bring water to a steady boil.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes (half pint), adjusting for altitude. Boil 10 minutes at altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Boil one additional minute for every 1,000 feet elevation.
- Turn off the heat, remove the lid and allow the jars to rest for 5 minutes. Then remove the jars entirely and allow to cool.
- Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store jars in a cool place for up to 1 year.
Did you make this recipe? Please rate the recipe & share a comment with me to let me know how your jam turned out. I’d ask you to tag me on social media but I have been social-media “free” for several years (and LOVE it!). Leave a comment though – I do read them regularly and will reply accordingly!