Saturday, October 9, 2010

Accompaniments: Sweet and Sour Apple Jelly with Caramelized Onions

This summer I became a mad pickler.  I couldn't help it.  All it took was a few to many cucumbers and an extra head of cabbage from our CSA share and I couldn't stop.  I pickled radishes, peppers, red onions and jalapenos.  What can I say?  I am frugal.  I hate waste.  Didn't your mother ever tell you about the starving children in Africa?

The truth is I have more pickled cabbage in my fridge then I know what to do with.  I must admit it is nice to put homemade pickles on an appetizer plate with olives and cheese when an unexpected guest drops by.  Or maybe my guests are trying to be polite and really thinking "what's with all the pickles?"

Despite the (wait let me count them) six jars of pickles I have left in my fridge, I recently purchased a jar of red pepper jelly off my Long Island City CSA.  It did not last longer than a week.  That is a sure sign that I need to change gears in my food preservation efforts.

I started looking at different recipes for red pepper jelly. Their is definitely more than one way to achieve this sweet, hot, peppery goodness.  Being me, I came up with something a little different.  ( I have always had trouble following directions.)  This recipe focuses more on apples with just a little peppery heat.  I thought that caramelized onions would work really well with the sweetness of the apples.

I found these beauties at the Greenmarket in Maccaren Park.  How could I resist?

2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pectin
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
4 (or more depending on how hot you like this) small hot peppers such as jalapeno, chopped 
2 apples, chopped
1 red onion chopped fine

Combine cider vinegar, salt, apples and peppers in a pot and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Cover a strainer with cheese cloth and set it over a heat proof bowl.  Let the liquid seep into the bowl and then discard the apples and peppers.  In a separate bowl mix together sugar and pectin.

In the same pot add grape seed oil and slow cook onions on low heat until they are soft and golden on the edges.  Then remove the onions and set aside on a paper towel.  Add the liquid/vinegar from the bowl and return to medium heat.  Slowly stir in sugar and pectin mixture.  While this is simmering use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the liquid.  When it reaches 215 or 220 degrees it is ready.  Add your onions and stir.  Spoon a little on to a cool plate to test.  It should gel when cool.

Serve with your favorite cheese and baguette!

1 comment:

  1. I've been kind of a pickle maniac myself lately, though I only had 5 jars in my fridge. Daikon radish were by far my favorite.

    Love the pepper jelly recipe. Coincidentally, my friend LeeAnn also posted about jelly recently.