3 ORANGE bell peppers, large, fleshy
5-10 chiles habaneros, ripe (original comment: "10 makes this stuff DEADLY")
1.5 C. vinegar, white, distilled
7 C. sugar
1 pkg liquid fruit pectin (Certo or equivalent)
1. Remove stems, seeds, and membranes from bell peppers. Remove stems from habaneros (and seeds too, if you want to take the trouble, but if you do you run the risk of removing membranes, too, which will reduce hotness of the end product).
2. Put bell peppers, habaneros, and the vinegar in a blender and process until smooth.
3. Combine pepper-vinegar puree and all the sugar in a non-corrosive pan.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth into another pan. Add pectin and bring to a full rolling boil while stirring. Boil about one minute, remove from heat and ladle into sterile jars.
Yield: about 7 half-pint jars.
1) ORANGE bell peppers are EXTREMELY expensive. YELLOW bell peppers are expensive but much cheaper and just as suitable, since it turns out the orange color doesn't really show very well anyway -- the yellow ends up clearer and more appealing, whereas the orange ends up looking a bit like a murky yellow. And RED bells are cheapest of all, not to mention giving perhaps the best color. I got the best flavor jelly when I used a good tasting mild chile for "filler" instead of regular old bell peppers (namely, "Szentesi", a Hungarian paprika type, but just substitute your favorite choice).
2) Actually, the best jelly of all came by using rocotos instead of habaneros. I still used bell pepper and/or Szentesi for "filler", used about 10-15 rocotos or so, de-seeded and de-veined them as original recipe directed, and even so these batches turned out hot and delicious flavor. But next time I will leave all membranes, removing only seeds. Who cares if the jelly's so hot you have to use a bit less on your toast/bagel?
3) The batch I made with 8 habaneros, de-seeded and de-veined per original recipe, was not very hot at all, hence my modification to no longer de-seed nor especially de-vein. I suppose an alternative would be to still de-seed and de-vein, but use many more (20-30?) habaneros to get more of that distinctive hab flavor/aroma without making it deadly for non-chile-heads.
4) A standard pepper jelly variant is to add at the end some bits of chopped pepper for visual/texture appeal, which could be green and/or ripe colored chiles. I would use a mild chile for this like jalapeno or bell pepper, not habanero, since pieces of the latter could be an unpleasant surprise for non-chile-heads.