The hot, tangy, and sweet flavors of mixed berry pepper jelly can be an acquired taste for some people but once you understand the composition of these flavors and how they tango in your mouth, then you would be longing for more.
Mixed berry pepper jelly can be a combination of different berries and peppers or just a variety of peppers in itself. It’s one of life’s most interesting preserves, capable of adding flavorful dimensions to savory dishes without overpowering dominant flavors. Try it for yourself to experience what we have talking about. TexasRealFood provides you with the best organic producers and artisan makers of Mixed Berry Pepper Jelly.
Mixed Berry Pepper Jelly Trivia
- Peppers are one of the earliest domesticated plans by humankind.
- While people think that peppers are vegetables, they are technically considered fruits.
Mixed Berry Pepper Jelly Buying Guide
Mixed berry 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 varieties contain 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.
Mixed Berry Pepper Jelly Production & Farming in Texas
Blackberries are one of the easiest berries to grow in Texas, able to thrive even in the hot summers. In fact, you can plant blackberries anywhere in the Hardiness Zones of 7, 8, and 9. Northern Texas is also the perfect place to plant blackberries which require more chilling hours. It is important to use well-drained soils with a pH of 4.5-7.5. If the soil remains moist and will not drain, then the blackberries must be planted on raised beds to dry the soil faster. Thorny and thornless varieties and the primocane-bearing varieties are the ones grown in Texas.
Blueberries mostly thrive in the United States as they are one of the fruits which are native to North America. While it is effortless to plant blueberries in other states, it can be challenging to plant blueberries in Texas due to the hot climate and the alkaline soils. Blueberries usually thrive in northern climates with humid weathers, mild summers, winter chills, and acidic soils. However, some blueberry varieties have adapted to Texas.
Southern highbush blueberries can be grown in South and East Texas. Rabbiteye blueberries growing in the Austin, Dallas, and Houston areas include Premier, Powderblue, Climax, and Tifblue.
Strawberries thrive in spring with the mild weather of Northern Texas. It’s best to plant strawberries in February and until March 17 as these planting times will yield juicer, healthier, and sweeter fruits.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Jams, jellies, and preserves have four basic ingredients including fruit, pectin, acid, and sugar
Pectin is essential to form the gel-like consistency of jams and jellies. Adding the right amount of pectin would depend on the fruit’s natural pectin content. For instance, peaches and blueberries have very low pectin content. So, an extra amount of pectin is needed to achieve the desired texture.
Acid is essential to maintain gel formation and as a natural preservative. Some fruits contain an adequate amount of natural acid. Meanwhile, others need additional acid which can be naturally derived from lemon juice. Artificial acids are discouraged since they can have harmful effects on the body.
Sugar also affects gel formation, contributes flavors, and acts as a preservative. Honey is commonly used as a natural preservative. However, commercially produced jams, jellies, and preserves are usually mixed with artificial sugars such as sucrose, glucose, sucralose, and aspartame which can have a long-term damaging impact on a person’s health.
Safely canning jams, jellies, and preserves are essential to maintain their flavors and lengthen their shelf-life. The Boiling Water Method for Blueberry Preserves 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 blueberry preserves, making them unsafe for consumption.
Enjoying Mixed Berry Pepper Jelly
Mixed berry and pepper jelly are best eaten along with savory dishes such as sandwiches, burgers, and sliders. It can even be eaten along with steaks, pot roasts, and even your traditional Texas barbecue.
Properly storing mixed berry pepper jelly is essential for its maximum shelf life. As a standard procedure, any unopened preserves, jams, and jellies can be stored at room temperature for at least a year, given that those should be put in a cool, dry place, away from the direct heat of the sunlight.
Once opened, mixed berry pepper jellies should be refrigerated and consumed within a week if made without preservatives. However, it can be consumed within two weeks or more if it is made with chemical preservatives.
DOUBLE-BERRY JALAPENO JAM
2 cups finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper (about 1 pound)
1-1/2 cups crushed strawberries (about 1 pound)
1 cup crushed blackberries (about 3/4 pound)
1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
6-2/3 cups sugar
- In a large saucepan, combine jalapenos, strawberries, and blackberries. Stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat; skim off foam. Ladle hot mixture into 8 hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding a hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
- Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.