pepper jelly in a jar, placed on top of a cookbook

Pepper Jam – Hot as You Like!

3 from 1 vote
Pepper Jam — Hot as You Like! is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.
This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin. She says: “While you can use any variety of bell pepper or hot pepper in this recipe, and while you can adjust the degree of spiciness in this recipe to suit your taste — it’s very important that you do not increase the overall quantity of peppers. And be sure to use standard white or apple cider vinegar with 5 percent acidity.”
Servings 5 cups


  • cups green bell pepper finely chopped
  • cups jalapeno pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cups vinegar 5 % acidity
  • 3 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin mixed with sweetener


  • Before you begin, prepare calcium water.
    To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
    Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  • Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
  • Wash the bell peppers, remove and discard seeds and finely chop. Repeat the process for the jalapeno peppers.
  • Measure the chopped bell peppers and the chopped jalapeno peppers. Combine the measured quantities in a sauce pan and add the vinegar.
  • Cover the pepper mixture and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, remove it from the heat.
  • Transfer the pepper mixture to a blender or food processor and blend the mixture. Since the mixture will be hot, be sure to vent the lid of the blender. Return the mixture to the sauce pan, then add the calcium water and stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  • Put the sauce pan back on the stove and bring the pepper mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat.
  • Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).
  • Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
  • Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then remove jars from canner.
  • Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Then confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

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14 Responses

  1. JulieM
    | Reply

    Is there a way to give these a tint of red color without an issue?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      That should be just fine Julie.

    | Reply

    So if I want to make my jelly a bit thicker can I add 4t. of pectin and 3t. calcium water? The recipe is 4 cups of veggies. I don’t want it to be watery.

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      You sure can 😊

  3. Monica Strohhaecker
    | Reply

    how can i add pineapple to this… what would i have to add/reduce?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Monica,
      Great question! THIS recipe would be a better conversion for a pineapple jam with heat 😊 Simply replace the strawberries with pineapple. Happy jamming!

      • Monica
        | Reply

        OH EXCELLENT, thank you for the recommendation!!!!

    | Reply

    So what happens if you use a 6% vinegar?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      We do not recommend it. It could result in your jam not having a safe pH for shelf storage.

  5. Dana L Bower
    | Reply

    So I can use orange, yellow, red and green bell peppers as long as I still measure out at 2 1/2 cups of bell pepper? Can I reduce the jalapeño peppers to 3/4 cup? 9 I’m a wimp with spicy stuff) If so do I need to add more bell peppers? And could I chop/pulse the bell peppers and jalapeño peppers in a food processor? Thank you.

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Yes, you can use any variety or colored peppers you’d like as long as the amount of peppers stays the same or is less. You can certainly chop your peppers in a food processor, that’s a great option!

      Happy jamming 😊

  6. Jennifer
    | Reply

    I made this and it produced much more than the recipe called for (+8oz). The recipe as printed doesn’t turn out firm jam-just much more loose product. I suspect the apple cider vinegar quantity is too much – perhaps it should be one or one and a half cups rather than two cups.

  7. Regina
    | Reply

    So we use the entire packet of pectin for this recipe?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Regina,

      No, only 3 teaspoons! Should be about 1/3 of the packet.

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