Field Notes

Pepper Jelly

There are plenty of jarred pepper jellies available for purchase (we like Inna Jam’s Hungarian Pepper Jelly), but it’s worth having your own recipe on hand too. Pepper jelly is an amazing way to use up a glut of summer peppers, and it keeps for weeks in the fridge. Plus, there’s no better ingredient to have on hand when you need to whip up a quick appetizer.

Pepper Jelly

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 ½  pounds fresh hot red peppers, cored
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

In a food processor, pulse the peppers until finely minced. Wrap in cheesecloth and squeeze tightly to drain excess moisture. Transfer to a medium sauce pot and add the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of a thin syrup. Pour into lidded jars and let cool; store in the refrigerator or seal using the boiling-water method.

Pepper Jelly (Dried Chili Variation)

Fresh peppers are required to give pepper jelly its preserve-like consistency. But dried chilies can be added to give definition to your jelly. This technique is particularly useful in the colder months, when fresh chilies are harder to come by.

  • 1 ½ pounds red bell peppers (about 4), cored
  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried chili (see suggestions below)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

In a food processor, pulse the fresh peppers until finely minced. Wrap in cheesecloth and squeeze tightly to drain excess moisture.Transfer to a medium sauce pot and add the dried chili, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to the consistency of a thin syrup. Pour into lidded jars and let cool; store in the refrigerator or seal using the boiling-water method.


These popsicles are just what we crave during the summer months. Not overly sweet, they are highly refreshing, like a quick dip in tropical waters.

Pepper Jelly and Coconut Popsicles

Makes 6 popsicles

  • ¼ cup pepper jelly
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, mix together the pepper jelly and the boiling water (thinning the jelly helps it freeze better).

In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk, honey and salt. Fill 6 popsicle molds ⅔ full with the coconut milk mixture and transfer to the freezer for 1 hour to set. Divide the pepper jelly between the molds, filling each to the top of the rim, then insert the popsicle sticks and return to the freezer; freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm.