Blackberry pepper jelly is another unique recipe derived from the divine flavor pairings of sweet and tart blackberries along with the sweet, spicy, and hot notes of peppers. One cannot deny that it is a bold, flavor pairing that having a taste of these flavors is one of life’s enigmatic, culinary experiences – the taster will either love it or hate it. But, once is enough to remind the person of its flavorful charms. It will leave them longing for savory dishes to cook along with blackberry pepper jellies.
Blackberry Pepper Jelly Trivia
- National Blackberry Day is celebrated every September 12.
- Blackberries were used as herbal medicine to treat cancer, sore throats, mouth ulcers, toothache, colitis, and diarrhea, among others.
- Blackberries are indeed a superfood. Native Americans enjoyed these berries and used them in many recipes including pies, cakes, and juices. Blueberries were also dried for winter.
Blackberry Pepper Jelly Buying Guide
Blackberry pepper jelly can be purchased in grocery stores, department stores, or even online. However, check the label to identify the ingredients used in the production. Commercially produced strawberry pepper jam contains preservatives, chemicals, and additives that can harm a person’s health.
If you want to purchase homemade, natural, or artisan-made products, then check your local farmer’s markets or check the nearest artisan food stalls available in your area.
Blackberry Pepper Jelly Production & Farming in Texas
Sweet and juicy blackberries can be grown in Texas because they can tolerate the hot summers. They are commonly grown in smaller households for a small, private consumption but are also commercially grown in blackberry farms across the Lone Star State. Blackberries can either be classified as primocanes or floricanes. Primocanes are current season blackberries while Floricanes are flower-bearing canes that immediately wilt after being harvested. The thorny varieties of blackberries in Texas include Brazos, Rosborough, Kiowa, Womack, Choctaw, Shawnee, Chickasaw, and Brison. Meanwhile, the thornless varieties include Arapaho, Natchez, Ouachita, and Apache.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Jams, jellies, and preserves are made with four basic ingredients: fruit, pectin, acid, and sugar.
Fruit is the base for any jams, jellies, or preserves. It is essential to use firm and ripe fruit for jams as over-ripe fruits will result in a liquidy set. Meanwhile, an under-ripe fruit will have fewer juices and under-developed flavors. Taste the fruits first before using them on your jam.
Pectin is essential to achieve the gel-like consistency of the jam. In simpler terms, pectin is necessary to set the jam. It is important to know the difference between pectin and gelatin. Pectin is a natural starchy substance usually found in fruits while gelatin is derived from animals. Certain types of fruits have different pectin levels. Strawberries, blueberries, and peaches are low in pectin meanwhile blackberries, currants, cranberries, and eastern concord grapes have a high pectin content.
Sugar is another essential ingredient in jams, jellies, and preserves. While people think sugar is just a sweetener, it is much more than that. Sugar is essential in retaining the shape and texture of the fruit. In the case of low-sugar jams, they have a shorter shelf-life because of their consistency. Low-sugar jams should also be paired with low-sugar pectin to successfully achieve the texture. Otherwise, the unsuccessful chemical reaction would result in a less desirable texture.
Citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid are commonly used in jams and jellies. Acids are essential to bind and form the pectin. Most people can easily purchase powdered forms of acid, but the acid of lemon juice or other citrus fruits would suffice.
Safely canning jams, jellies, and preserves are essential to maintain their flavors and lengthen their shelf-life. The Boiling Water Method for Strawberry Pepper Jelly is one of the most reliable. To do this, prepare the canning jars filled with food and completely submerge them in boiling water at 212°F.
Certain measures should be done before doing the boiling water method. Check the cans to ensure they are safe for food packaging and consumption. Look for cracks, chipped edges, and even tiny scratches. Discard the jars if you can find any of these inconsistencies. This is an essential step since any small cracks or chips can be triggered by heat during the boiling process.
Also, check the rubber lid to ensure that there are no mold growths since any mold could spoil an entire glass. Never use the metal covers if there are patches or specks of rust since it can also contaminate the blackberry pepper jellies, making them unsafe for consumption.
Enjoying Blackberry Pepper Jelly
Blackberry pepper jelly can be a great accompaniment to savory dishes. It can be used as a marinade for barbecues or even as an ingredient to dipping sauces or glazes for roast beef or pork. When consumed on its own, blackberry jelly can be an accompaniment to other jams, preserves, and cheeses in charcuterie boards or grazing tables. Grilled meat or grilled cheese sandwiches would complement the tart and mildly spicy flavors of the blackberry pepper jelly.
Properly storing either commercially-produced or homemade blackberry pepper jelly will determine how long you can keep the flavor quality and shelf-life. All unopened artisan-made jams should be stored in a cool, dark place, and should be consumed within a year. although, you can consume it for a maximum of three to six months to enjoy the flavors as time will modify the flavors, colors, and textures of the jam.
Once opened, always refrigerate the blackberry pepper jelly and consume it within two to three weeks since the jams will deteriorate faster once opened and exposed to varying temperatures.
Always check for signs of spoilage before eating the jam. Those with mold or yeast growth in the lids or the glass wall and having fermented or yeasty odors should be immediately discarded.
BLACKBERRY JALAPENO JELLY
1 (1.75 ounces) package powdered pectin
½ cup white sugar
4 cups blackberry juice
1 green jalapeno pepper, minced
1 red jalapeno pepper, minced
3 ½ cups white sugar
5 half-pint canning jars with lids and rings
- Mix the pectin crystals with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Stir the blackberry juice, pectin mixture, green jalapeno, and red jalapeno together in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil for 1 full minute. Add the 3 1/2 cups sugar and return to a rolling boil until the sugar has fully dissolved about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir while off heat to remove bubbles and foam for about 5 minutes.
- Ladle into sterile jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal jars in a hot water bath. Refrigerate jelly after the seal is broken.