Edibles: Goods from the Garden with Kris

APR 29

Our gardens are a bountiful source of rewards, especially if you plan to include edibles. Our guest blogger, and Stadler Nurseries sales associate, Kris, shares a family favorite recipe with us here!

One of the many pleasures of gardening is growing your own produce.  In my own garden most of the space is devoted to trees, shrubs and flowering perennials.  However, I have reserved a sunny corner for raspberry and blackberry canes, blueberry bushes and a small vegetable garden. I must confess that I have never been very adventurous in my choice of vegetable plants; some bush or pole beans, a couple of tomatoes and, of course, a zucchini.  Then my friend and co-worker Manoella introduced me to Raspberry Habanero Pepper Jelly.  I was already growing raspberries so why not try growing some habanero peppers in my otherwise conventional garden?  To my delight habanero peppers turned out to be incredibly easy to grow.  They are not too fussy about soil and water and withstand our hot humid summers well.  The rest, as they say, is history!

My Raspberry Habanero Pepper Jelly has been a big hit with family and friends.  I love telling people that both the raspberries and peppers are home grown.   It's a wonderful accompaniment to cheese and crackers.  It can also be used as a meat glaze or sandwich spread.  My niece adds a dollop to her poached eggs. The ultimate compliment to my Raspberry Habanero Pepper Jelly came when my daughter asked me to make it to give as favors for her wedding last summer.  Her colors were orange and purple.  I made the jelly using golden raspberries and orange habaneros.  The result was a jar or orange jelly tied with a purple ribbon.  Just call me 'Martha!'

When you plan your next vegetable garden leave room for something less conventional.  It might just turn you into a 'Martha'.

Raspberry Habanero Pepper Jelly
The recipe is one that Manoella found on the internet.  I have tweaked it a bit to suit my taste.

3-5 habanero peppers, deseeded and membranes removed.  Be sure to wear gloves and don't touch your eyes or mouth.  Hot!
2 sweet red peppers
1 sweet orange pepper
12 ounces fresh raspberries, (golden or red) put through a food mill with fine disc
2 ¼ cups water
1 cup Sure-Jell dry pectin (powder not liquid)
4 cups sugar

Chop peppers in a processor until they are chopped fine.  Put all but ¼ cup peppers in a saucepan with raspberries and water.  Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Press through a fine sieve.  You should have 2 cups of juice.  Any extra can be frozen for later use.

Return juice to a clean pot.  Add vinegar and reserved chopped peppers.  Cool 15 minutes.

Add pectin.  Bring to a boil; add sugar.  Bring back to a boil and boil hard for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and ladle into hot ½ pint jars leaving 1/8" headspace.