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Habanero Jelly


  • 2 lbs of tart apples (e.g. Granny Smith), unpeeled, chopped into big pieces, including the cores
  • 2 bright orange peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, the seeds and ribs removed from 3 of them (for mildly hot jelly. If you want a hotter jelly leave the seeds and ribs in all of them.)
  • 1 orange bell pepper , seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar (7/8 cup for each cup of juice)
  1. Combine habaneros, bell pepper, and vinegar in food processor or blender process until well mixed, pour mix into large pot. Add the apple pieces, apple cores (needed for their pectin content), cranberries , and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for about 20 minutes, or until the apples, cranberries, and peppers are soft. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan where it might burn.
  2. Spoon the mash into a fine mesh sieve, muslin cloth, or a couple layers of cheesecloth, suspended over a large bowl. Leave to strain for several hours (even overnight). If you want a clear jelly, do not squeeze or force through the mesh. Just let it drip. If you want a fuller flavor jelly and don’t mind that the result won’t be clear, you can force some of the pulp through the mesh. If your pulp is too thick, and nothing is coming out, you can add an extra 1/2 cup or cup of water to it. You want to end up with about 4 cups of juice.
  3. Measure the juice, then pour into a large, wide, thick-bottomed pot. Add the sugar (7/8 a cup for each cup of juice). Heat gently, stirring to make sure the sugar gets dissolved and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
  4. Bring to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, using a spoon to skim off the surface scum. Continue to boil until a candy thermometer shows that the temperature has reached 220-222°F (8-10°F above the boiling point at your altitude). Additional time needed for cooking can be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or longer, depending on the amount of water, sugar, and apple pectin in the mix.
  5. Pour jelly into sterilized jars* to within 1/4″ from the top and seal.

    Makes approx. 4 half-pint jars.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Anonymous, the tart apples and the cranberries supply the pectin. I have no idea what the shelf life is of the jelly. I think it depends upon how you store it, since I haven’t seen any canning jars here, I refrigerated it, some I gave away and the rest I used up pretty quickly.

  2. I don’t see the use of pectin in this recipe. How long is the shelf life of finished product?

  3. Mark, you are welcome. Please come back and tell me how it worked out for you.

  4. We’ve always had to buy hot pepper or habanero jelly so finding this recipe is awesome! Thanks!

    Mark Garso

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