Simple Ingredients Make for an Amazing Cranberry-Pepper Jelly

I have been slightly obsessed with this Spicy Cranberry-Pepper Jelly since I first made it back in 2011…which is funny because until that point I was a die-hard canned cranberry sauce girl. Gasp!  I know, I know, but it reminds me of childhood and I do still love it. But now, I look forward to this Spicy Cranberry-Pepper Jelly more than almost anything else at Thanksgiving.  And the great thing is that this condiment is so yummy and versatile that it lives well past Turkey Day. Fantastic on turkey sandwiches of course, but also great with baked brie or really paired with any cheese. It also makes a nice cracker dip along with some cream cheese.

This cranberry-pepper jelly knows no bounds and it’s super easy to make as well. I’m posting it nice and early because I always make a triple batch the week before Thanksgiving and give out jars of it to all of my direct reports at work as a nice little holiday gift. The recipe is from the 2011 Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appétit with only a couple of very minor SavoryGirl adaptions included below.

So first things first…the ingredients. Super simple ingredients here along with a heavy-bottomed pan and you’re ready to go:

3 red bell peppers, finely chopped
2 Fresno or red jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 ¾ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup liquid pectin (found in the baking aisle in most grocery stores)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
3 cups fresh cranberries (~1 bag, found in the produce section)

Combine peppers, chiles, sugar, red pepper flakes and salt in a heavy wide pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in pectin, lemon zest and lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Stir in cranberries and simmer gently until they burst and juices thicken, about 20 minutes longer.

Transfer jelly to a jar, let cool, and cover. Bon Appètit indicates that this will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, but we were eating ours for closer to 6 weeks (I think I doubled the recipe last year) and it seemed fine to me. But I’m no scientist here and I tend to be a bit riskier with leftovers than I probably should be so use your own judgment…and when in doubt, throw it out! But really, it’s so good you won’t want to…so instead just eat it up in a timely manner.

Do you have a favorite cranberry jelly or sauce that you make every year? If so, I’d love to hear about it so leave a comment below. This is the first homemade cranberry sauce that has ever swayed me away from my stand-by canned cranberry sauce (I know blasphemous!)…so much so that I didn’t even touch the canned stuff on the table this year! But if you have a recipe that will stand up to my picky ways about cranberry sauce, do share!