So I was delighted to find some bright red poblanos mixed in with the green at one of my favourite markets and couldn’t resist grabbing a bagful of them. A quick google search led me to rickbayless.com where the Mexican cooking guru enthuses about the red poblano.
Poblanos take a long time to ripen to red so most are plucked from the vine whilst still green, hence their limited availability. I tried his recipe for “fettucine with butternut squash and red poblano crema” and can heartily recommend it.
The rest of my pepper haul was destined to make a batch of red poblano pepper jelly, jelly being one of the options for March’s Food in Jars Mastery Challenge. Pepper jelly is one of my preserving staples in the summer when peppers of all shades are abundant in our CSA box, but making it with red poblanos would be a first for me. They are slightly hotter than their green counterparts , with a sweeter, more fruity flavour and, as I discovered, make a fantastic jelly.
I’ve already served it in the classic pairing of goats cheese and pepper jelly but it would also make a great glaze for meat or vegetables, be the perfect condiment for a grilled cheese sandwich, or add a kick when whisked into a salad dressing.
The recipe is based on one for “Sparkling Sweet Pepper Jelly” from “The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving”. As the name suggests, this recipe leaves you with small jewel like pieces of pepper suspended in a bright, glowing jelly, making it visually appealing for the table as well as delicious. It also means that you have quite a bit of chopping to do to get the tiny pepper pieces but the result is worth it and once that bit of prep is done it is a pretty simple recipe.
Red Poblano Pepper Jelly
1.5 cups finely chopped red poblano peppers
0.75 cup white wine vinegar
3 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin (I used a 3oz pouch of Certo liquid fruit pectin)
Combine the chopped peppers, vinegar and sugar in a non reactive saucepan (stainless steel or enamel).
Bring to the boil over high heat and boil hard for a minute, stirring constantly.
Add the liquid fruit pectin, bring to the boil again and boil hard for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Ladle the jelly into sterilised jars, leaving half an inch of headspace.
Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
Yield: 3.5 cups