Spicy Red Pepper Jelly

Having happily grown apples and pears for many years, I have always made a fruit jelly (among other things). Usually we use the jellies for spreading on toast, or for making a glaze for meats. Sometimes we serve a little bit of jelly as an accent to cheese and crackers. That said, wouldn’t it be nice to serve a spicy jelly with cheese?

I am currently harvesting peppers of all sorts. Red and green sweet peppers, habaneros, scotch bonnets and jalapenos. I will make a hot sauce next, and salsa is coming soon, but I thought why not a spicy red pepper jelly?

These should ideally be in my smallest jars – 125ml. You don’t need alot of spicy jelly in any particular serving – just a dab, and these little jars are great for a quick gift when dropping in on the neighbours. This recipe uses 2 packages of Certo Pectin and 6 cups of sugar – so it’s very firm and sweet. The spice from the pepper flakes adds some nice heat to contrast with the sweetness.


  • 2 cups chopped sweet bell peppers – I used 2 red and one yellow, discarding the centre, seeds and core
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped – I left the seeds in but discarded the top
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper flakes – this is spicy!
  • 2 pouches Certo liquid pectin
2 cups chopped bell peppers
One chopped jalapeno pepper


Sterilize jars and ring tops, by boiling in hot water for 10 full minutes. This recipe calls for 12 125ml jars, but I produced a few more – 7 125ml and 3 250ml – so the equivalent of 13 125 ml jars – I always get a few extra jars and lids ready just in case!

Set the rings and jars aside to drain. Turn the heat off but keep the water ready to warm the snap disc seal tops when ready.

Puree peppers and vinegar in blender. Pour into large stainless steel pot.

Puree peppers and vinegar

Add chili flakes and sugar, stir and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add sugar to pureed peppers
Add chili pepper flakes

Stir constantly while boiling for 10 minutes. Watch out it will foam up quite a bit, so keep on stirring and turn heat down a touch to keep it under control but still boiling.

Stir while boiling – watch the foaming!

Add two pouches of Certo Pectin. Boil for one more full minute while stirring constantly, then turn off heat.

2 pouches liquid Certo Pectin
Boil mixture for one more full minute after Certo is added.

While my version of this jelly did not produce a foamy layer – if yours does – skim off an discard the foam. Ladle the jelly into sterilized jars. I found that using the ladle helps the pepper flakes to be evenly distributed across the jars. It’s important to do this fairly quickly though before the jelly starts to set. I was a tad worried that my jelly wasn’t set by the time they were ready to be sealed up – but they all set very well once they had cooled. This recipe has A LOT of pectin and sugar, so it set quite solidly……

Ladle evenly into sterilized jars.

Wipe down the jar tops. Heat the sealing discs in the water, then apply to the top of the jar. Screw the bands over the jar – to fingertip tight.

Place the filled jars in hot water to can – boil for a full 10 minutes

Place the jars in the hot water to can, making sure they are covered by one inch of water. Bring water to a full rolling boil. Boil for 10 full minutes. Turn off heat. Remove from water – keeping upright after 5 minutes. (at higher altitudes – boil for 15 minutes).

Turn off heat. After 5 minutes, remove jars (keeping upright) from water. I use some metal kitchen tongs – but I also love my silicone oven mitt for this. It’s waterproof so I don’t burn myself.

Leave the jars alone to cool. You will gradually hear them pop as the discs seal and curve inwards. Once the jars are fully cooled you can wipe them off and store them in a cool dark place. Jars that are not properly canned should be refrigerated.


  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe. We have an abundance of a variety of peppers this year. I’ve run out of ideas and this sounds and looks wonderful. We don’t have the brand of pectin. It’s Sure Jell here but I’m sure it will work fine.
    Blessings, RaeAnn

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi RaeAnn. With 2 pouches of liquid pectin the jelly turned out quite firm – which I like, but if it ends up less firm, with another pectin that would probably be just as good. I’m not sure about the conversion between Certo and SureJell, but I think they are both from Kraft foods so perhaps they have equivalancies posted. I have lots of peppers too and made a hot pepper sauce after that, which ended up being pretty easy! Today I’m starting to deal with too many tomatoes. Enjoy your harvest!


      • I stand corrected. We do have Certo. Found it at my local rural grocer. I used it to make Jalapeno Pepper Jelly. This was my first time to make and it’s absolutely addictive!


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