Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pineapple Habanero Jelly - Toast Topper #83

This spicy - sweet spread is made with homegrown habaneros and canned pineapple juice - its so simple! It's low sugar too... And full of Island flavour! 

Pineapple Habanero Jelly

This is another one of those spreads that bridges the gap between sweet and savoury. Now, normally I keep my fruit all by itself - I hate chunks of apple, pear, orange or grape in salads, can't stand prosciutto and melon, and stay as far away from grilled peaches on burgers as possible.

Pineapple - at least its juice - is the one exception. Maybe it comes from being Canadian and growing up in the culture of Hawaiian pizza (you know, the pineapple and ham ones), but I loved pineapple soaked flank steak and chicken growing up and adore using the juice to make sweet and sour stir fry sauce for a quick dinner. Whenever I go for pineapple juice (I still can't deal with chunks of fruit in my dinner) I always make sure to add spice - anything from jalapenos to today's habs are a perfect counterpart to the sweet-tart pineapple juice, and depending on how long you let the mixture sit the effect can be drastically different. Used immediately, the result is one of two distinct flavours in one dish - there is definitely "pockets" of fire in a sweet ocean. Let it sit as little as an hour, though, and you get a more homogenous whole, every bite hot and sweet and sour at once. While each method is delicious in its own right, if I'm marinating or making a sauce I will try to steep the peppers ahead of time.

With all that said, this jelly has the fire from habaneros tempered with an extra jolt of sweetness thanks to sugar, and the pineapple gets a boost in the tangy department with a touch of vinegar. While you can certainly start dolloping it on cream cheese-smeared crackers or bagels as soon as it sets, I actually prefer it at least a month or so after processing in a waterbath so all the capsaicin has a chance to disperse through the jar. Of course, this ages beautifully, so if you make it with your garden's habaneros now, by the time you break it out for holiday parties it will be mellow and mild... until the kick at the end!

Pineapple Habanero Jelly
Makes 2 1/2 cups, ~40 (1 tbsp) servings
2 tsp Pomona's Pectin powder
¾ cup sugar
2 habanero peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 cups pineapple juice
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp calcium water (from the
Pomona's Pectin box)
  1. Mix pectin and sugar until well combined, set aside
  2. Combine the peppers, pineapple juice and vinegar in a pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Add calcium water and bring back to a boil.
  5. Stir in the sugar mixture.
  6. Stir vigorously until the mixture returns to a boil.
  7. Process 10 minutes in a waterbath.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 21.3
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.1 mg
Total Carbs: 5.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.0 g  

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