Spicy Red Bell Pepper Jelly


You gotta try this recipe!

I try not to play favorites with the recipes on this site but sometimes I come across a recipe that’s so unique, so delicious that I have no choice. This is one of those times.


It couldn’t have come across this recipe at a better time considering it’s been a while since I have posted anything new. For the past few weeks, I’ve been focused on unpacking boxes, fighting with cable company phone reps, installing wallpaper (this alone was responsible for three or four nervous breakdowns) and building bookshelves (this was nervous breakdown number six).


One day I have to give you a photographic tour of my new digs. It’s a New York City apartment, so by photographic “tour,” I mean standing in the doorway and snapping one shot that shows the entire place. Ugh.



With all of that said, I honestly couldn’t think of a better recipe to “re-launch” with.

A few days back I came across this recipe for Spicy Red Pepper Jelly. The recipe looked unique, interesting and best of all, easy. I couldn’t pass it up.


Let me tell you, this ain’t the one note, singularly-sweet jelly that your mom slathered on PB&J sandwiches. This more mature version pacts an amazing concert of flavors: the tangy, sweetness of the red pepper; the earthy, hearty and almost smoky flavor of the fresh thyme; all finished off with a subtle push of heat from the pepper flakes. Delish!


Besides the flavor, what really sets this jelly off is its versatility. It’s a perfect condiment to put on buttered toast – the creaminess of the butter and tangy sweetness and heat of the jelly (in this post I paired it with miniature cornbread muffins).



It would also be AMAZING served as a slightly warm dipping sauce for grilled lamb chops – the tanginess, sweetness and heat would hold up well with the bold flavors of a perfectly grilled rosemary-garlic grilled lamb chop.

This jelly is seriously a must try.



Before I go, although things are great now (finally settling into my new place has done wonders), it’s been a year filled with ups and downs. I want to say thank you to all of you who have been so generous in my absence with your emails, well wishes and CeramicCanvas.com inspired posts on your own sites (example 1, example 2). They are all very much appreciated.

It feels good to be back.



WORD TO THE WISE: After you add the fruit pectin, only cook the mixture for a 1 or 2 minutes as the recipe instructs. I made the mistake of boiling the pectin for about 3 or 4 minutes. And while it still tastes amazing, when the jelly cools it becomes to set, hard and unspreadable. Which can be fixed by gently reheating the jelly to make it more pliable.




Originally Printed in Gourmet Magazine, December 2006


  • 1 1/2 lb red bell peppers (about 3), cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
  • 2 TSP dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 3 TBL Sure-Jell less- or no-sugar-needed pectin (from a 1 3/4-oz box)
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 TBL unsalted butter
  • 1 TSP fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Pulse bell peppers with red-pepper flakes in a food processor until finely chopped. (Mixture will measure about 2 1/2 cups.)
  2. Whisk together pectin and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Stir together pepper mixture, vinegar, butter, salt, and remaining 3 cups sugar in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot. Bring to a vigorous boil over high heat, then continue to boil vigorously, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add pectin mixture and chopped thyme. Return jelly to a vigorous boil, stirring constantly, and boil, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes (mixture will thicken slightly). Remove from heat.
  4. NOTE: For instructions on jarring the jelly, click here.

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