Red pepper jam

Guys, I’m stuck in a series of disappointing cooking experiences!

I love peaches, and Texas happens to grow a lot of peaches in the Hill Country area. Grocery stores are full of them. With all these peaches around, I thought maybe I will find a recipe for a good peach cake? To me, a good cake means that eating the cake must be better than eating the peach on its owm.
I am sad to say that I have not yet found this recipe. As a matter of fact, I’d be honoured and happy if you wish to share yours with me.

I tried to replicate the almond biscuits that they make in southern Italy and that I’ve always loved too much, but discovered that my food processor is not powerful enough to grind the almonds into a fine flour… so the biscuits I got were decent in taste, tough unarguably ugly, but in any case they were very different from the real thing!

Finally, I saw a bunch of red chiles at the Central Market and I decided to try and make a hot peppers’ jam. I thought that I’d better put in some red bell peppers as well, in order to mitigate the hotness of the chiles… So imagine my disappointment when I tasted the jam and it was not hot at all!

I slipped into that depressive phase where avocado toast in the only thing you dare to cook.
It took me some time to accept it, but eventually, I reconsidered the jam: though not at all hot, it is not at all bland! Quite the contrary: it’s quite good, and it has an amazing colour!
It makes a perfect starter, once it’s paired with cheese, especially the strong tasting ones, like blue cheese.


Ingredients, yield 6 6oz jars:
14 red Fresno peppers (about 2/3 lbs)
12 red Cayenne peppers (about 2/3 lbs)
30 red hot cherry peppers (about 0,4 lbs)
2,5 lbs red bell peppers
1/4 cup vinegar

After washing and drying the hot peppers, wear your latex gloves. Remove the seeds, then cut the peppers.
Do the same for the bell peppers.
Weigh the peppers and add half of that weight of sugar: I had some 60 oz of peppers, so I took 30 oz of sugar.
Gather the peppers and sugar in a saucepan, then add one pinch salt and the vinegar.
Bring to the boil, then cook for one hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
Pulse the mixture until smooth, then put it back on the stove and cook until the jam has the desired density. It took me 1 more hour.
Fill the jars with the jam, then sterilise: put the jars in a pot large enough to contain them, then fill it with enough water to submerge them. Bring to the boil and let them go for at least 25 minutes. Let cool in the water: when done, check that the jar lid is pulled downwards by the vacuum inside.

I think that the jam was not hot because I removed the seeds from the chiles. Besides, the seeds had to be removed… or they had not?
Next time, I think I’ll try and use just bell peppers, adding powdered dry hot chiles to the jam just before filling the jars. Stay tuned!



Orecchiette / Comments

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