Oh, this jelly.
I’ve been making this Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly for about a decade, every Christmas, and it’s my absolute favorite thing to give as a homemade gift.
Cookies are fabulous, obviously, as a holiday treat, but it’s the most common food to receive so I figure why not bring something new to the table? Everyone is always thrilled to have a delicious spread like this on their cheeseboards during the holidays. It’s particularly good with goat cheese, and I’ve heard cream cheese makes a worthy partner as well.
When I’ve been cooking all day, be it Thanksgiving or a dinner party, I want people to come to the table HUNGRY.
This Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly is a forever holiday favorite because:
- It’s much easier to make than cookies, and requires less than 30 minutes of cooking time.
- It is always a unique gift to give, and impresses every time.
- It is the perfect balance of tart, sweet, and spicy making it an ideal holiday appetizer.
- It’s fun to make. There is something so satisfying about throwing a handful of ingredients in a pot and watching it transform into this glossy, ruby red jelly before your eyes.
“what else can I use?”
- I use these Weck jars again for this jelly, just like I did for the Feta Stuffed Marinated Olives. They are great for storage, but also look nice enough to gift to loved ones which is what I like to do with this jelly.
- I call for pectin in this recipe, which does wonders to thicken the jelly fast. It is readily available at supermarkets and on amazon. If you don’t want to be bothered, you can omit it, just know that the texture will be less consistent and looser, more of a compote than a jelly.
- I use fresno or jalapeno peppers in this since they are widely available. I deseed them since I don’t like a lot of spice in this, just a background hit of heat. Feel free to leave the seeds in if you want it to be quite hot.
- No cranberry juice? Use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice instead.
This jelly will continue to firm up as it cools, so don’t worry if it’s a bit thin when you refrigerate it. It will also keep for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator, which makes it ideal for holiday gifting and entertaining if you’re like me and start the festivities prep in early December.
Cranberry Red Pepper Jelly (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Heavy bottomed medium saucepan
- 3 red bell peppers, finely minced
- 2 Freso or jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely minced leave in seeds for extra heat
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup liquid pectin
- 1/4 cup cranberry juice or 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cups cranberries, fresh or thawed if frozen
- In a heavy bottomed, medium saucepan, combine red peppers, chiles, sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir, dissolving the sugar as it cooks.
- Add pectin and lemon juice and stir once to combine.
- Reduce heat and cook at a simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Add cranberries and continue to simmer about 10 minutes more, or until cranberries start to burst and mixture begins to thicken. The jelly will thicken further as it cools.
- Let jelly cool off the heat, then transfer to a jar and cover.
- Refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.
- This jelly will keep almost a month in the refrigerator.