We have been having just the most beautiful weather these past few days. I would use about 10 exclamation points but that might be redundant. We had low humidity and cooler temps. The highs for at least 4 days was in the 80s. Combine that with a reduction of humidity and it was wondermous! We had guests for a cookout Saturday evening and we even lit a campfire and the kids roasted marshmallows. Thank you, God, for a delightful gift. May it come again next week when we have VBS.
And what’s more amazing is that the northeastern states are having hotter weather than we are. Right now it’s 84° and feels like 90°. Meanwhile, in Mystic, CT, it’s 94° and feels like 101°. Once in a while life is fair.
In honor of all 12 raspberries
that I have harvested from my newly transplanted-from-SC vine,
I shall share 2 recipes with you.
As I blogged about, many moons ago, I love the Hot Pepper Raspberry Preserves that does get expensive to buy. Last year I managed to get some black raspberries from our friend Beat K’s mom when we were in PA for a weekend. I googled until I found 2 recipes to try. And oooh la la! It changes the face of cream cheese and crackers forever.
Here are the 2 recipes that I used and it bums me out that I didn’t make any notes. The bell pepper flavor was slightly stronger than I prefer so I would tweak that a little. Also, next time I make some, I will strain the seeds out of both. I do not enjoy getting them stuck in my teeth.
Raspberry Jalapeno Jelly
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
1 c. frozen or fresh raspberries
1/4 c. jalapeno peppers, chopped
3 c. sugar
3/4 c. cider vinegar
3 oz. pectin
Remove seeds from the jalapenos, unless you want fairly hot jelly.
Place the raspberries, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in pectin. Strain mixture through a fine strainer to remove pieces of pepper and seeds. Pour strained liquid into hot jars. Cover with new lids that have been boiling tightly and store in a cool place for up to 6 months (if it lasts that long). Yield is about 2 cups.
Raspberry Pepper Jam
5 c. fresh raspberries
2 jalapeno peppers
1 bell pepper
4 c. sugar
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 package powdered pectin
Wash raspberries and place 1 cup in the bottom of a large sauce pan. Crush them and then add the remaining berries. In a food processor, chop the jalapenos and bell pepper. Add the chopped peppers to the sauce pan along with the sugar and vinegar. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring often. Simmer for 15 minutes until all the berries are broken apart. This concentrates the berry flavor and boils off some of the liquid content. At this point, stir in the powered pectin. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle into hot 1/2 pint jars and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Makes about 5 half pint jars.
This second recipe is not nearly as spicy and next time I think I will double the jalapenos.
Some notes: be careful when handling the jalapeno peppers. The fumes can kind of burn your lungs and the oils can be painful to your skin and eyes if it comes in contact with them. I usually use gloves if I’m handling more than a couple of jalapenos. I’ve had some painful hands because I didn’t do that.
Also, the first recipe does not tell you to process in water after you close the jars. I can’t remember if I did or not. It probably wouldn’t hurt to do that.
We like it best with cream cheese and crackers but I think it would be good on some kind of meat as well.