Puree the chilies with a food processor or a blender. If using a blender, the vinegar may be needed to keep the blender from stalling and aide in the puree process. Either way, take care when opening the cover of the blender or food processor; the fumes are deadly. Place puree in a non-reactive sauce pan and add the powdered pectin. Add the vinegar if it has not already been used in the puree process. Stir to dissolve the pectin. Place over high heat until the mixture comes to a HARD boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down). Stir continuously as the mixture is being heated. Add all of the sugar and bring back to a full rolling boil while stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off the foam with a metal spoon. Place in hot sterilized jars and seal. Makes about 6 0.5 pint jars.
Note 1 The original recipe called for jalapenos. I have since made this jam with New Mexico chilies (after they have turned red) and a habanero type chili that I was growing. Each type of chili produces a different colored jam as well as a different heat response. The jalapenos will give a slow turn on and slow turn off of medium heat; the New Mexico chilies will get the back of the throat and the habeneros will produce a "step response" of sensation. I would be interested in other peoples experiences with other types of chilies.
Note 2 Originally, the chilies were "volume measured". All of the vinegar was placed into the blender and enough chilies were added such that the liquid reached the 2.75 cup line on the blender. I use a food processor and do not use vinegar in the puree process. To measure, I cut the chilies into the size of half a habanero and fill up a 2 cup liquid measuring container. Measurements are not too critical and the bite will vary from batch to batch as the chilies vary in heat content. I try to keep the amount of fruit at this level. If the bite is too much for people, bell peppers can be used to bring up the amount of fruit used.
Note 3 I use regular Sure-Jell pectin. Other brands should work just as well in this recipe. There has been no experience in using the low sugar recipe pectins with this recipe.
Note 4 Experiments with adding other fruits to this recipe have been tried. 1-2 ripe peaches, pureed and mixed with the chili mixture tastes good. The problem is trying to coordinate the fruit harvest with the chili harvest. I would be interested in other peoples experiments with other fruits.
From: John A. Gunterman
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