Canning Love: Candied Jalapenos

Reader Contribution by Sherry Leverich Tucker
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As a killing frost approaches we scramble to harvest what we can of summer vegetables that would shrivel and die after being glazed with an icy coat. Peppers that survive summer heat always seem to become prolific producers as the weather cools. With scads of peppers to preserve, this recipe for candied jalapenos that can be modified to use with a mixture of peppers is not only beautiful, but delicious!

Gotta Love Those Peppers!

Peppers are such a treat to have. We are so fortunate to have so many varieties available for us to grow. They are easy to grow and provide so many beautiful flavors, colors and textures to dishes ranging from rice to entrees, dips and casseroles. As long there is patience to let them fully ripe to their brilliant colors of reds, yellows, and oranges they can impart a bright rainbow to any recipe they are used for.

This is why I love this recipe for candied jalapenos. A jar of these peppers looks like jewels and becomes a centerpiece of appetizing appeal when brought out and sat on the table for any meal. Candied jalapenos are good on a variety of foods, but if you are a pepper eater, you might just eat a whole jar alone in one sitting!

I need to make a confession before going on any further. I’m kind of a softy, I mean, I just can’t take the heat of straight jalapenos (especially if there are seeds!). It is embarrassing to admit, but it’s true. If I eat too many jalapenos my tongue goes completely numb and I can’t taste anything. I truly love jalapeno flavor, though. My remedy for this is to cut the amount of jalapenos in the recipe and use other sweet peppers in their place. I use ripe and unripe banana peppers, Anaheims, mini-bells or whatever peppers are available and need to be used. I like my candied jalapenos to be as large of a mixture of colors as possible, but other color schemes would work just fine. 

Precaution, Please!

Please take caution when slicing and seeding any hot pepper. They can burn your skin and that essence is very hard to wash off of your skin. Just touching an eye with a finger that has hot pepper residue on it can keep it burning for hours. Also wash cutting boards, bowls and knives in very hot soapy water to remove all the hot spots.

Candied Jalapenos, from Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara

  • 3 lbs jalapeno peppers, sliced about 1/4″ thick (or for milder, at least half other varieties of sweet peppers)2 sweet onions, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

I do not remove the seeds from the jalapenos but I slice them, then put them in a colander and rinse them, using the sprayer on my sink so it has a bit of pressure.  This rinses some, but not all of the seeds away.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, and celery seed to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 7 minutes.  Add the pepper, garlic, and onions.  Once they begin to simmer again, set the timer for 5 minutes.  Once the timer goes off, using a slotted spoon, remove the peppers/onions to canning jars.  Fill to 1/2″ from top.  This should make 5 pints.

Raise the heat under the syrup and boil for 8/10 minutes.  Pour the syrup over the peppers, to within 1/4″ of the top of the jar.  Clean the tops of the jars, and use the 2 piece lids to seal.  Process in hot water bath canner for 15 minutes (for pints).

photo credits:  Sherry Tucker