My husband and I love peppers, so we always grow several different varieties of pepper plants in our garden. This means we usually have our hands full once it’s time to harvest, so to keep our extras from going to waste, I like to find different ways to preserve them for later use. Sometimes I’ll roast them under the broiler and stick them in the freezer, sometime I’ll dry them out in our food dehydrator, and sometimes – like today – I like to candy them in jars.
When it comes to choosing which peppers to candy, jalapeños are my personal favorite. Not only are they super spicy, but they also have a delicious flavor that compliments the sweetness. I like to use them as a garnish throughout the year, or chop them into my salsas and tacos for an added sweet and spicy component.
• 1 pound jalapeño peppers
• 2/3 cup cider vinegar
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• Juice of 2 limes
• 1 head of garlic
Sterilize three half pint jars with the lids and bands by boiling in water for 10 minutes. Allow to sit in water while preparing the ingredients.
Slice the jalapeños into ¼-inch thick rounds, and peel the garlic. Set aside. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and lime juice in a saucepan, and heat over medium. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sliced jalapeños, and bring the mixture back to a boil for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove jars from water and place on a flat surface. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeño rings into the jars. Make sure to pack them in because they will continue to reduce in volume. Place 2-3 cloves of garlic in each jar.
Return the syrup to a boil and cook for another five minutes. Remove from heat and ladle over jalapeños in jars, making sure to leave at least ¼” headspace. Wipe the rims, cover with lids, and screw on bands.
Store jars in refrigerator or process in a water bath for 10 minutes and store in a cool, dark place once jars have cooled.
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.
To package my jars as gifts, I used mint colored tags and labels in the style Swiss Dots.
More homemade gift ideas from Lindsay Jewell…
Shop Our Food/Craft Collection: