What better way to prime us for starting to get into hot & spicy jams & jellies than to start with one which was homemade by our very own Chuk Hell. We knew that Chuk makes some amazing hot sauces and salsas, but we didn’t know that he did jams as well. Would Chuk be able to marry the sweetness of jam with habanero heat? Well, there was only one real way to find out – and that’s to taste it for ourselves.
Originally posted on The Hot Pepper discussion forum, here’s what Chuk had to say about how he made this version of Habanero Jam:
Ingredients and Directions:
Removed the seeds from about 25 habs and put ‘em in the blender.
-Added 3/4 cup vinegar and gave it a good spin.
-Poured this into a sauce pan and added 3 1/2 cups sugar and brought to
-After about 20 minutes I added about 2/3 a packet of instant pectin (which may have been a bit too much) and boiled for another minute or 2.
-I ladled the stuff into half pint jars and followed canning procedure.
While that sounds simple enough, it has to be a challenge for someone like us who’s not used to canning/bottling products we have made or making jams/jellies in general. Cracking open this jar of habanero sweetness, we saw this in our jar:
It looks so innocent, doesn’t it? With no less than 25 habaneros within the mixture we knew this jam was a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing, so we we had to figure out how to try this jam in a couple of different ways aside from just eating a spoonful right out of the jar. First, we spooned out a bit to get an idea of its consistency and general looks. We saw this:
Taste: Chuk suggested trying this with a little cream cheese, so that was our first taste test. We did this two ways. First we poured a little over some cream cheese to eat with crackers and the other was a topping to an already-covered bagel. In both cases, the mixture of sweet & heat were excellent. I was concerned that the habanero bits might make it taste a little too chunky, but it melted in my mouth like all the rest. I also tried it on a sandwich with a little peanut butter. Talk about a PB&J for a chilehead!! Outstanding.
Overall recommendation: Well, Chuk Hell has done it again by making another outstanding culinary creation. If he can make some habanero jab that a professed non-jam eater will like, then odds are you may like it too. I may have limited its uses to some standard option, but the sky’s the limit for what you can do with this if you try. It’s heat level is about 6/10, which is pretty respectable for jam. Taste-wise, it clocks in much higher. Write to Chuk and see if he can make some more of this stuff. I can’t wait to see what else Chuk cooks up!