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success with Pineapple Habanero Jam...

I've been experimenting with my habs coming off my plants, and made some jelly with it. I guess, technically it was a jam, since I didn't strain out all the stuff... but it turned out great. Great sweet pineapple-habanero flavor, then a second later, it knocks you upside the head with a great kick. Totally awesome stuff. Here's the recipe:

* 15 habaneros, seeded and deveined
* 1 orange bell pepper (or a bell pepper the same color as the habs)
* 4 cups cubed pineapple
* 1 cup vinegar
* 5 cups sugar
* Pectin
* pinch of salt

In a blender, chop up all the chiles, bell peppers, pineapple and vinegar. Heat it all up in a saucepan with the pectin, bring to a boil, add sugar and pinch of salt, boil a bit longer, can them in sterile jars then do the boiling water bath thing.

You'll need to check your fruit/pepper/liquid to sugar ratio, which varies based on what brand of pectin you use. Also, directions may vary too, based, again, on the pectin.

Anyhow, this is great on a bagel, on toast, as a glaze on chicken or ribs, to eat with a spoon...

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  1. My first thought is that that would be fantastic smeared on chicken headed for the grill. Or as a marinade for grilled chicken.

    I once had a pineapple chicken stew with just a hint of spiciness, and it was great too!

    What brand of pectin did you use? I used SurGel with horrible results just a few weeks ago, and Candy on this board said SureGel is more like Sure Doesn't Gel.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pei

      actually... it was SureJell or however you spell it. worked well. It's what I've used for freezer jam in the past to good results as well. but I don't do a lot of canning and don't have a lot to compare it with... but it worked fine for this.

      I think next time I'll use lemon instead of the vinegar and use the lemon peel instead of the pectin. Then you can avoid the whole pectin thing altogether...

    2. When I first saw 15 Habaneros in your recipe I said HOLY S*%t, then I saw that you had deveined and seeded them, so I changed that to Ooooooh! Sounds mighty tasty.

      5 Replies
      1. re: JMF

        yeah, it actually isn't even that unbearable for the heat. Next time, I think I'll seed all of them, but leave some veins in about 5 of them. I really like that big, big heat at the end. That said, the one I made has some potent heat, but not unbearable, especially tempered with the sweetness of the pineapple.

        1. re: adamclyde

          I'm so excited to have this recipe, Adam! I've been meaning to make pepper jelly for a friend, who loves the stuff, and has a good tolerance for heat. I doubt she's tried habaneros, though. The addition of pineapple is genius. Thanks!

          1. re: Pat Hammond

            from the South, I believe, comes a jelly/jam called Jezebel sauce, which is a horseradish/pineapple preserve. It's delicious, so this would be good too, though I don't know I could take Habaneros. Maybe jalepenos?....

            1. re: toodie jane

              you can certainly use jalapenos. Though, you may want to do a different pepper jelly - not with pineapple. For some reason, pineapple and habaneros just seem to go together. Also, after cooking the jelly, and with all the pineapple and sugar, it isn't nearly as hot as it seems it would be. Plus, seeding and deveining it really takes the heat level down. Just use gloves and thoroughly wash down all surfaces well.

              I've seen other pepper jellies with jalapenos, green pepper, etc. you could do a green one that way, if you wanted.

              Anyhow, good luck!

            2. re: Pat Hammond

              Pat - one thing I'll try next time is the addition of lemon juice and lemon peel in place of the pectin and vinegar. I seem to remember you making marmalade... using a few lessons from that, I'm sure this recipe could be further improved, for sure.

              Regardless, as I mentioned in the initial recipe, I'd reevaluate the sugar-fruit levels based on the kind of pectin you use. Good luck!

        2. This is a very successful reipe over at the Cooking Forum on That Home Site. I've been given two bottles and can personally say it's a winner!

          Habanero Gold Jelly

          1/3 cup finely sliced dried apricots
          3/4 cup white vinegar
          1/4 up finely diced red onion
          1/4 cup finely diced sweet red pepper
          1/4 cup finely diced habanero peppers, including seeds
          OR 1/4 cup diced, combined jalapeno and Scotch Bonnet peppers
          3 cups granulated sugar
          1 pouch Bernardin liquid pectin

          Cut apricots into 1/8 inch slices. Measure into a large deep stainless steel saucepan with vinegar; let stand 4 hours. Individually, cut onion and seeded peppers into 1/8 inch slices; cut slices into 1/4 inch dice. Measure each ingredient; add to apricots. Stir in sugar.
          Over high heat, bring to a full roiling boil. Stirring constantly, boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in pectin, mixing well.
          Pour jelly into hot jar, dividing solids equally among jars and filling each jar to within 1/4 inche of top rim. Wipe rims. Apply lids.
          Process 10 minutes in BWB. Cool upright, until lids pop down, about 30 minutes. When lids are concave but the jelly is still hot, carefully grasp jar without disturbing lid and invert, twist, or rotate each jar to distribute solids throughout jelly. The jar can be inverted temporarily but do not allow it to stand upside-down for prolonged periods.
          Repeat as necessary during the cooling/setting time, until solids are suspended within the jelly, not floating to the top.

          1. This sounds great and I'm going to give it a try tonight; am just having trouble with the "amount of pectin". I have Certo (I think that's the name) and they make this big deal about *exactly* this much sugar and *exactly* this much fruit and so on-- I'm planning on the refrigerator/freezer version. Of course none of their recipes is a habenero/pineapple blend! I'm figuring on using adamclyde's proportions and one packet of certo, since that seems to (pretty closely) correspond with the amount of sugar in the various recipes in the certo box. Is it really as temperamental as all that?

            1. I made Inner Beauty-type hab sauce using this recipe, subbing pineapple for the mango. It's fantastic.


              1. Made a variation of Hab-Pina jam this weekend as a glaze for pork...YUM
                and thank you!

                I brined a pork tenderloin with salt, sugar, bay leaf, star anise and chile flakes, then baked it in the glaze. I made more or less a half recipe, with 5 Habs, 15 oz crushed pineapple, and only about a cup of sugar. I used malt vinegar, but I would have used apple cider v or lemon if I had it around.
                Simmered the glaze a pretty long time (approx 30 minutes) to get rid of the raw bell pepper taste and meld everything else.

                Now I have a good bit of glaze leftover...we'll taste it today to see if it goes in the freezer for a future project, or gets more sugar to go on toast, or . . .

                For anyone else who has made this, I'm curious about what vinegar you used and how it worked out. THX!

                1. I make and sell pepper jellies. I don't use any of the store bought pectins. They are iffy at best and I am not into guessing games. I use Pomona's Pectin and buy it online. It's all natural and so much easier. I have yet to have anything not jell for me. It's a sure fire jelling pectin and the best I have used. And I think less expensive than store bought pectins and they sell in small or large quanities. Look it up.

                  1. I really am excited about this recipe... this post was a few years ago, i wanted to know if you had mastered your pectin amounts. I put 1 packet in, per the directions etc and it's went liquid on me, will it eventually set?


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kknewby

                      kknewby, thanks for reviving this thread. this stuff sounds delicious.

                      kknewby, which recipe did you use, the original one -- or some other one mentioned in the thread?

                      ahhhhh, re-reading the recipe, i wonder if the pineapple is the problem. while i am no canning expert, i do know gelatin won't gel with fresh pineapple, but is fine with canned pineapple (the canning process deactivates some enzyme, iirc.) i'm assuming pectin would behave similarly? seems so: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/ind...

                      maybe you could directly contact this blogger who is expert on canning, and ask about this problem: http://hotwaterbath.blogspot.com/2007...

                      (now i'm going to do some google research on pineapple preserves, which may shed some further light on the subject for you also, kk.


                      did you use fresh or canned pineapple?

                      googling, i'm finding recipes that use the canned pineapple, like this pineapple-jalapeno marmalade: http://www.recipezaar.com/Pineapple-J...

                      or kraft's pineapple jam: http://www.recipezaar.com/Pineapple-J...

                      on the other hand , this old recipe for a pineapple-grapefruit marmalade uses fresh, but cooked through:http://www.recipezaar.com/Grapefruit-...

                      and this too uses fresh pineapple: http://www.jellyjamrecipes.com/homema...

                      bottom line, if you want to use fresh pineapple, you must cook it for a while in its own juices to de-activate the bromelain enzyme that is preventing your jelly from setting.
                      oooh, totally unrelated, but this ginger-pear marmalade looks good: http://www.recipezaar.com/Ginger-Pear...

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Thanks for all the insight. The mix is very tasty and though it turned out to be more of a sauce than a "jam" my friends and family enjoy it. I think my acid to pectin to sugar ratios are off meaning I need to either add some lemon juice or as you mentioned cook down the pineapple or used canned.

                        I would really like to get this recipe right because it's so good.

                        the ginger pear looks good I was thinking of making a marmalade next!

                    2. Regarding Pectin, there are several store brands that leave you soft... Or Hard... Or somewhere in between... You need to experiment with them on untried recipes and that can be very frustrating... This is because the store bought pectins are only designed for the recipes that come with them...

                      I make jams and jellies from numerous fruits and vegetables, including cactus, habaneros, jalapenos, stone fruits, seed fruits including pomegranates, etc... I have had many frustrating experiences and have thrown out many batches... UNTIL I found the only pectin I will ever use again...

                      Pomona Pectin is the way to go... Google them... You will have to buy their pectin in bulk by the pound (approx $43), BUT, and this is a very big but... Pomona Pectin is all about the science of pectin and their product works all the time, every time... AND for $43, you will get enough pectin to make you wonder why you ever paid $2.50 plus for enough pectin for 6 jars... My pectin costs have dropped substantially and my jams and jellies have improved in quality... It stores indefinately also, so if you don't use it this year, just keep it till next year... Or the next year, etc..

                      With Pomona Pectin, you will learn about Calcium and use a mixture of Calcium in your recipes... You cannot taste this ingredient at all, but it is the key ingredient in making pectin work... Occasionally, I have a mix that obviously is not thickening properly, and all I have to do is pour a dollop of Calcium Water into the mix and watch it thicken instantly... (You will learn how to do this when you receive your pectin from them...

                      You probably think I have a connection to Pomona Pectin, but all I do is buy it from them and use it... Check them out and good luck!!!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: StudioDon

                        I will certainly look into this. pectin is tricky business as I am learning. Thank you so much. Is calcium hard to find?

                        1. re: StudioDon

                          I'll have to look into this as well; I tried again this year making the pineapple habenero jam and had *so* much trouble getting it to set. It was really an exercise in frustration.

                          1. re: StudioDon

                            I know this is old thread.... someone down thread I have not gotten too yet must have revived it.

                            just wanted to insert that Pomona Pectin is available commercially in individual boxes at the natural foods store here in SEA and has been since at least 2006, for about $3.00 a package!

                            No need to buy in bulk and invest $43 bucks.

                            indeed the calcium water is the best, especially if you want to make your own recipe up, and have it turn out the first time. Sometimes things can over-jell, and be too firm, but if you follow their guidlines, pretty easy to avoid.

                            I taught canning here for several years, and I would always reccomend Pomona to students over Certo or Sure-Jell.

                          2. the culprit is the fresh pineapple -- its enzymes that prevent setting must be deactivated by cooking the pineapple / juice, as indicated in my post.

                            just up the pectin if that doesn't work sufficiently to get the jelling firmness you want. i don't have problems with store-bought pectin, unlike penumbra (aka "shadow") and studio don, both one-time posters.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: alkapal

                              interesting observation alkapal-- but I certainly did have lots of trouble with my jelly setting this summer; I kept having to "redo" it with more pectin and sugar (as suggested on the box). Have no comment on "Pomona" as I haven't tried it.

                              1. re: DGresh

                                I just wrapped up making a batch of this... for the 3rd time. This time it set up perfectly. A few things I did differently.... 1) canned pineapple 2) Low Sugar/No Sugar SurGel pectin (1 box plus 3-4 Tbl from another box) 3) 4 cups of sugar not 5 (5) I added 2 TBL's of fresh lemon juice 6) the last cup of sugar I mixed with the dry pectin and tossed it in to the mixture when it started boiling.

                                1. re: kknewby

                                  kknewby, good going! thanks for the update.

                            2. ooooo if I missed this forgive my question. I've been wanting to make pepper jelly forever. I've had a really really nice habanero&peach jam before and have wanted to try something similar and your recipe sounds delicious. However, what has stopped me from making jelly or jam with peppers is the botulism thing. Do you have to use the pressure cooker with the peppers??? Would a water bath do?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                Water bath yes; pressure cooker no, but do find a reliable recipe with sterilization instructions and directions for the water bath.

                              2. Just wanted to thank the original poster. I bought some habs at the farmer's market this weekend and went looking for something to do with them. Had never made jam before but this recipe intrigued me. I made it and it came out fantastic. I plan to use it to glaze a chicken. It also strikes me that this would be good as a topping or mix-in to ice-cream.

                                Thanks again for the suggestion.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: avandelay

                                  great as a sauce for bacon wrapped shrimp

                                  1. re: avandelay

                                    Thanks! I'd almost forgotten about this. I've got a few hab plans about ready to harvest. I'll probably do this again, as I ran out of this a long time ago.

                                    This time though I'm thinking of using lemon peel in place of commercial pectin. I've heard it does wonders for setting jelly. Anyone have experience on that?

                                  2. Yes, this thread is old but I felt the need to revive it with a precise recipe based on adamclyde’s and with precise measurements and methods.

                                    I’ve been juggling with the idea of making Pineapple-Habanero jam for a year, since I’ve seen this post actually, and I finally got to business a few weeks ago. I have to say one thing adamclyde, unless you were using duds, 15 habanero is way too much. I mean, I can heat crazy strong. I can handle fully ripened scotch bonnets and habaneros chewed for 30 seconds, seeds and all, before swallowing and yes, it’s uncomfortable but that’s about my level of tolerance on the hot n’ raw chilli scale, which is exceptionally hot for the majority. 15 good habs = too much.

                                    I did the original recipe from this post and I found out that 15 habs were not only too hot but the flavour was very unbalanced. It tasted like sweet strong habaneros, which sounds quite good for my fellow chilli heads out there when I put it that way, but the flavour of the pepper was too predominant.

                                    Also, the lack of pectin measurement in the original recipe made it difficult to get the right ratio of fruits/pectin/sugar and obtain a good jellification with the product… So I felt the need to “fix” the original recipe. This post deserved to be revived because believe me, a proper homemade Pineapple-Habanero jam is just heavenly good.

                                    NOTE ON EQUIPMENT– For 50$ at Canadian Tire (I’m in Montreal) I bought the Bernardin canning starter kit which includes everything you’ll need for most types of canning. Aside from the kit, I bought another pack of pectin (same brand and type)and a dozen of 250ml jars for 10$, perfect size for jams and they’re perfect for friends and family gifts :). Very cheap considering all the canning to come. The kit includes:

                                    1x 21 quarts canner with the lid

                                    1x canning rack

                                    1x Bubble remover and head space gauge

                                    1x Jar funnel

                                    1x Magnetic lid lifter

                                    1x Jar lifter

                                    1x pack of Bernardin original pectin

                                    4x decorative 236ml jars

                                    Seasonal recipes

                                    How to’s DVD guide

                                    HERE'S THE RECIPE. It gave me 9x250ml + 1x236ml jars.

                                    IMPORTANT – Use measuring cups for dry ingredients to calculate the sugar. Measuring cups for liquids are… for liquids only. They aren’t the same measurement in the end and the sugar to pectin ratio is critical for the jam to set properly. Also, get some rubber gloves to handle the chopped habaneros. The oil and juice from the pepper on your skin is quite irritating, no jokes.

                                    -3x 14 ounces cans of crushed pineapples

                                    -5 ripened habaneros (These must not be over ripened. They must have a waxy orange color and the flesh must be kinda firm to the touch. Not wrinkly and soft.)

                                    -1 orange bell pepper

                                    -1 cup of lemon juice. I use bottled ReaLemon brand, natural and made from concentrate.

                                    -1 2/3 pack of Bernardin original pectin (powder). Use one pack and 2/3 of another.

                                    -7 cups of granulated white sugar

                                    1. Wash everything in hot soapy water; canner, rack, bubble remover, funnel, jars, 2 piece lids (lids and rings).

                                    2. Make sure all the jars and lids are perfect. No cracks and chips, especially around the rim of the jars. Check that the rubber on the lids is flawless too. Any damage may prevent the jars from being air tight and they won’t seal properly.

                                    3. Fill the canner with hot water and bring to a rolling boil. There must be enough water to cover the jars with at least 2 inches of water when they are lowered in. Place the jars on the canning rack and lower them in the boiling water for 5 minutes to sterilize them. Once done, just hang up the rack on the canner and leave them hot over the boiling water. Place the lid on the canner so the water doesn’t evaporate out and reduce the heat a little. Meanwhile, place the jar lids in a small pan of hot (not boiling) water to clean them out and to soften the rubber seal.

                                    4. Strain the crushed pineapples. You can do it straight from the can with the lid on. No need to strain them too much until it doesn’t drop anymore; you’ll need a little bit of juice in there. You should strain about 1/3 cup of juice out of each can. Drink it! Don’t throw that away.

                                    5. Put the pectin in a bowl and mix in about ¼ cup from the total amount of sugar in it. Set aside.

                                    6. Deseed and devein the habs and bell peppers and chop into fine strips.

                                    7. Put the pepper mix in a blender with the lemon juice and blend to almost a purée but do not liquefy it. Pour in a large cooking pot (about 8 quarts). Note - A good quality pot with a thick bottom is preferred for even heat distribution and will also prevent the jam from sticking on the bottom. It has to be large because if the level of jam in the pot is too high, it will take too long to heat up and you will overcook your jam or the bottom will burn.

                                    8. Turn the heat up to medium high.

                                    9. Add in the pineapples and the pectin preparation. Stir to dissolve the pectin and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. It may take about 10 minutes to reach that temperature. While it’s cooking, turn the canner’s heat back up.

                                    10. Add the remaining sugar. Stir to dissolve and bring to a rolling boil (the kind of boil you can’t stop by stirring in) for one minute. Stir constantly so the mixture doesn’t stick. Remove from heat. Remove any excess foam.

                                    11. Using a jar lifter, empty the hot jars from the canner rack and place them on your work surface. Fill them up using a jar funnel, leaving a ¼ - ½ inch head space. Clean the rim and screw band with a warm wet cloth.

                                    12. Pick the lids from the hot water with a lid lifter and place on jars. Make sure they are aligned.

                                    13. Place the rings on the jars and tighten them snuggly. Don’t over tighten or they may break.

                                    14. Replace the jars on the canning rack inside the canner without tilting them. You don’t want the jam to make contact with the lid. It may prevent the jars from sealing.

                                    15. Lower the rack into boiling water. Following the instructions inside the pectin box, the processing time will vary depending on you altitude. For me, at an altitude under 1000ft, I had to boil the jars for 5 minutes at a rolling boil, then lift the canning rack back up on the canner and leave them for another 5 minute.

                                    16. Using the jar lifter, place the jars (without tilting) on a towel or rack at about an inch away from each other and leave to cool down UNDISTURBED for 24 hours. Do not press on the lids; they will be sucked in during the cooling process. You will hear small popping sounds when this happens, the sound of success :). Also to not tighten the rings even more.

                                    17. It’s done, after the cooling process, you may clean the jars, remove the rings if you want (they may get rusty after a while) and store them for about 18 months, unrefregirated. They will be good for a few weeks after opening.

                                    If you have some jars that didn’t sealed in (lid was not sucked in and pops when pressed on), you can reprocess the same way but in a new jar/lid or refrigerate and use immediately.

                                    I hope it will help and that you will enjoy this recipe. Credits to adamclyde for the original recipe. All I did was reworking it and provide precise measurements and the methods.

                                    Another thing, you can test for jell thickness during the process. Place a small plate in the fridge before starting the whole process. After step 10, take a teaspoon of the mixture and put in on the plate and back in the fridge for 5 minutes. You’ll see about how thick it will become. If this is not thick enough for your taste, add a bit more pectin (not too much to unbalance your pectin/sugar ratio) and return to a rolling boil for 45-60 seconds, not more and continue to step 11.

                                    ENJOY !!!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: PistolPete074

                                      Thanks for the update! I've played with this myself (with varying success) and have spent a lot of time trying to jell "unjelled" jam. Thanks for your tips!

                                    2. So I have been lurking on the boards on this site for....well, ...years. I have saved this thread in my bookmarks so I could make this pineapple heat.

                                      I finally joined the group so I could make a comment here.

                                      I have made the jam and made it my own with a few little tweaks that are in the Habanero Gold recipe in the comments.

                                      I haven't tried it yet...I am pleased as I listen to the POPS of my jars sealing! :)

                                      I plan on serving it over a block of cream cheese with crackers....mmmmmmmmmmm!

                                      I am excited, though; the bit I licked was really good!

                                      1. adamclyde, that recipe sounds like it'd be just plain wonderful all the way around.

                                        I just got done with David Rocco's Dolce Vita TV show recipe for red pepper jam.

                                        Thing is, I don't know where to get those really red Tuscan chili's so I got a couple of habs/serrano's/tiny skinny very firm green chili's and then green/red/orange/yellow peppers.

                                        Here's my question, how long do I leave the jars in the boiled water after turning the water off?

                                        It's been about 20 minutes since I turned the water off. Wonder if there's a time for you to remove the jars after they've been in there boiling. Any kind of jam for that matter. It's been a long time since I made jam.