I've been making pepper jelly for 30 years. I love serving it on top of cream cheese spread on a Ritz cracker. I also like it with pork and cabbage as well.
This particular recipe came from a co-worker named Beulah Allen. A few years ago a friend and I decided to experiment with this pepper jelly recipe. We wanted to duplicate some bought pepper jelly we had tried at a specialty shop that had pineapple & pumpkin in it. Much to our surprise it turned out great!
NOTE: You can actually leave out the pineapple and/or pumpkin and make the regular pepper jelly if you want.
Wearing gloves, split hot peppers, remove seeds (or leave some in for more heat) then chop; split bell peppers, remove seeds then chop. Put peppers into food processor or blender along with the 1/2 cup vinegar, lemon juice* (if using). Now put in pumpkin (if using), replace lid and liquify. (Sometimes I only use 1 1/2 c of bell peppers). **IMPORTANT: If you are only using peppers and not the pineapple & pumpkin you may need to add more vinegar. You should have almost a quart of mixture in the blender so just add enough vinegar to equal that if needed. *Note: I have used both white and apple cider vinegar with great results. You can omit the lemon juice. I use it only if I have some on hand.
Remove lid and add "drained" pineapple chunks if you are using it. Replace lid and only blend but do not liquify.
Pour pepper mixture into large pot and add 1 cup vinegar and the 6 1/2 cups of sugar. Cook on medium heat to a full rolling boil. Once you have a full rolling boil, let boil for an additional 4 minutes and then remove from heat. KEEP A VERY CLOSE EYE ON THIS! It will boil over in a heartbeat and clean up is no fun. I have found by using a deep pot will prevent this.
Add both pouches of Certo to hot mixture and stir well. Bring back to a full rolling boil and let boil an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid a boil over. KEEP A VERY CLOSE EYE ON THIS! It will boil over in a heartbeat and clean up is no fun. You can only imagine how I know...LOL!
Remove from heat and let stand for approximatey 3 minutes. Skim off foam and add coloring (if using); stir well. Fill sterilized jars and put lids on to seal. It's really not necessary to put them in a water bath but you can if you want.
Also, once you seal them tight you can turn them upside down for five minutes or so then turn them back over. Some people says this makes them seal quicker. I can't tell that it does but do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
*Sometimes I save small glass jars, such as: baby food jars, cherry jars, etc. to use for this. I then place them in the fridge and it lasts indefinitely without having to be sealed.
**As far as the peppers, you can use Jalapeno peppers, Hobanaro peppers , chili peppers or any hot pepper you like. I like using the regular hot slender peppers myself. You also can just use crushed red pepper from the bottle. You can also mix a little crushed red pepper with your fresh peppers. If you like it really hot use hotter peppers or just add some crushed red pepper with whatever kind of peppers you're using. It's hard to mess up really.
*** You can also use only red peppers (bell & hot) and a few drops of liquid red food coloring if you want red jelly. Or use green peppers with green coloring for green jelly. You can even use orange bell peppers with orange coloring (or yellow and red mixed) for orange jelly for Thanksgiving. If you do use the coloring put it in once you take it off the heat and skim the foam off. Stir well then fill jars.
TIP: I sterilize my jars in the dishwasher on the rinse cycle.