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Crab Apple-Hot Pepper Jelly

2 pounds crab apples
1 1/2 cups water
red wine vinegar
3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sweet green peppers
1/3 cup hot peppers - (to 1 cup) -- see * Note


* Note: Recipe recommends 1/3 cup if using fiery variety -- up to 1 cup of piquant to medium-hot peppers may be used.

Crab apple pectin gives a good set to this hot pepper jelly. Mix and match hot peppers for colour and degree of heat. Banana peppers range from piquant to medium-hot. Cherry peppers and long, skinny green chili peppers are fiery. When chopping hot peppers, wear gloves and don't touch your face or eyes. In Dutch oven, combine apples with water. Cover and bring slowly to simmer; cook until apples are very soft. Pour into colander lined with square of dampened muslin and placed over deep bowl. Weight down with saucer and heavy can. Let stand until dripping stops. Discard pulp. Pour collected juice into liquid measure; add enough vinegar to make 3 cups. Combine in saucepan with sugar. Bring to boil, stirring. Add peppers; boil briskly for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. (To test for set: remove pan from heat, dip cold metal spoon into liquid and hold well above steam. Turn spoon sideways and let liquid run off; when it forms two drops that run together and drip from edge of spoon, jelling point is reached.) Stir for several minutes to prevent floating peppers. Pour jelly into hot, sterilized 8-ounce preserving jars. Seal with two-piece canning lids. Let cool and refrigerate. For long-term unrefrigerated storage, process in boiling-water bath for 5 minutes immediately after sealing jars. This recipe yields 6 half-pint jars.


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