Preserves are a fantastic gift that works for almost any occasion: housewarming, showers, Christmas and teacher appreciation are some that come to mind. As it’s consumable, I thought it’d be the perfect gift for the bridal shower for the girl who’s got it all (plus she’s a fan of that hot pepper jelly – scroll to the bottom of the post for a recipe). I picked some of the more unusual preserves from my stock, and used these gorgeous free labels from Limeshot Design to “pretty them up.” Isn’t it cute?
Total cost: nothing out of pocket. (And yes, it was a hit!)
Monkey Butter, my new favourite, is a low-cost recipe for unique preserves you can make any time of the year (one batch makes 6 pint jars).
Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe
- 5 cups sugar
- 2 medium apples, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 4-6 hot peppers, seeded (for milder flavour) & chopped
- 6-8 drops red food coloring
- 2 pouches (3 oz each) liquid pectin
Bring sugar, apples, peppers & water to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Strain mixture. Stir in food coloring. Return to a rolling boil. Stir in pectin. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Pour into sterilized jars. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.