Preserved Candied Jalapenos are bite-sized morsels of heat and sweet – these are highly addictive, easy to prepare, and no canning experience is needed. Makes for a great bring-along gift too!
I was never a fan of spicy food, but over the past year or so, I have been slowly increasing the amount of heat I add to my food. I feel like I have conquered dried red chili flakes, so it was time to venture into the world of jalapenos – and Preserved Candied Jalapenos was the perfect way to start!
I’ve added jalapenos to a few recipes over the years, but I would always cut back on the suggested amount, because I used to have such a fear of them burning my tongue and my insides. But, just recently, I tried adding canned, fire-roasted jalapenos to a dip recipe and it was absolutely delicious!
A few weeks ago, John.e and I were strolling through one of our favourite markets, and I saw this little girl, helping what looked like her mom and dad, sell their home-grown produce. In addition to beets, beans, and zucchini, they had bell peppers and jalapenos. I scooped up three pounds of the jalapenos and put them to the test with this Preserved Candied Jalapenos recipe.
Not having much experience with jalapenos, but a huge fan of canning and preserves, I knew this was the recipe I wanted to try! There’s a blogger that I admire, although I have never met him. He lives here in Toronto and has been blogging for a much longer time that I have.
His name is Kevin and you can find him at Closet Cooking. His recipe for Preserved Candied Jalapenos was the inspiration for this particular version. I did change the recipe just a little from the original, and I’ll explain to you why I did so.
Kevin’s recipe has garlic cloves in it. I love garlic, but I don’t like the taste of preserved garlic. A few years back, I made a pickle recipe which had garlic cloves in it, and the garlic took over the entire flavour of the condiment. Not only did I taste only garlic, but the garlic taste was a bit off. I ended up tossing the whole batch of pickles into the garbage. So, since then, I have been weary about using fresh garlic in my canning recipes.
The second change that I made was to lower the amount of sugar. I have been canning using the water bath method for over fifteen years, so I knew I could lower the sugar content and not compromise the flavour of the jalapenos, or put the batch at risk for spoiling by not having enough sugar to help with preservation.
I lowered the sugar amount from three cups to two cups. Lastly, I left out the coriander seeds. To me, coriander tastes just a little too much like cilantro. Is that just me? I left it out, because there’s not a flavour or ingredient in the entire world that I dislike more than cilantro.
What you’re left with is a very spicy and sweet, pickled jalapeno. They are so good! Top your favourite burger with these guys; or add a few slices to a hot dog. Chop them up and add them to your macaroni and cheese. Or drain them and blend them with sour cream, softened cream cheese, some finely chopped onion, and a little minced garlic. Bake at 350 until nice and bubbly – about 20 minutes. Such a great dip option!
Or, like I mentioned previously, bring these to a summer picnic. Give them as hostess gifts. Wrap them up all pretty like I have done with the jute string and the fabric skirt. There’s absolutely no use in fussing over jalapenos so much if you’re not going to put a little pride into your hard work and show them off a little.
I tend to like pretty things, so you’ll notice that most of my preserve recipes are dolled up with a fabric skirt and a bow tie made from jute. Take a look at my Trader Joe’s Copycat Cowboy Caviar, my Preserved Mustard Pickles, or my Dad’s Canned Pickled Beets for more fabric skirt inspiration!
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Preserved Candied Jalapenos
- 3 pounds jalapeno, sliced 1/4 inch thick, stems discarded
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- Once the chopping is out of the way, this recipe comes together quickly, so get your jars ready first.
- Prepare 4 250 ml jars by washing them thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Be sure to rinse the jars until the soap residue is gone. Set the jars aside. Next, boil a kettle full of water. Place the seals and jar rings into a large bowl. Pour the boiled water over top and let them sit.
- Prepare your canning pot for the water bath method. I use a large stock pot with a round metal cooling rack at the bottom so that the jars do not touch the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot half full with water and bring to full boil.
- Next, prepare the recipe by adding the vinegar, sugar, and celery seeds to a large sauce pan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a low boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the sliced jalapenos and stir to ensure the jalapenos are submerged as much as possible into the vinegar solution.
- Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Once the 5 minutes has passed, use a ladle to spoon the jalapenos into the prepared jars. I like to use a metal funnel to avoid any of them from coming into contact with the rim of the jar. This will help to create a better and safer seal. Fill the jar so that only 1/2 inch of head space remains. Once you have filled the jars, top up the jars with the leftover vinegar solution. Remove the funnel and place a hot, sterilized seal on the jar. Screw on the lid until just snug. Be careful! The jar will be hot! Use a kitchen towel to hold the jar in place as you screw on the lid.
- Using a jar lifter, place the filled jars into the large pot of boiling water. Bring the pot back to a boil and allow the jarred jalapenos to remain in the boiling water for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the jars and place on a kitchen towel where they will not be disturbed. As the jars cool, you’ll hear a popping sound. This is the hot liquid and air in the jar cooling down and contracting. This will create an air-tight seal and will allow you to store your jalapenos for future consumption.
- For best results, I recommend allowing the jars to sit undisturbed for at least 12 hours. With a damp cloth, wipe down the jars, re-tighten the lids, and store in a dark, cool place. The relish will last for 12-18 months. Lastly, if you notice that a jar has not properly sealed, simply refrigerate that particular jar, and consume within the next 5-7 days. To test whether or not the jars are sealed, lightly press down on the seal. If the seal pops downward, the sealing process did not work.
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