Friday, April 23, 2010

Pickled Jalapenos and Jalapeno Jam Fail

So, I'm getting pretty good at this pickling thing, and I love that I can use a basic 50/50 water to vinegar ratio and add whatever spices strike my fancy. I busted out these pickled jalapenos just like an old pro:

4 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings- sterilized
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1 TBSP + 1 tsp canning salt
1 TBSP sugar
4 cloves garlic
12 peppercorns
12 jalapenos, sliced

Bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil. Cover and set aside. Divide garlic, peppercorns, and jalapenos into the jars. Fill jars with brine and process 5 minutes.

The jam, however, is a very different story. All I can surmise is that I did the "cold plate" test incorrectly. I dutifully put the plate in the freezer before I began the jam. When I thought it may have reached the proper consistency, I removed the plate and placed a drop on, then pushed my finger into it. No wrinkle. Cook some more. Again, no wrinkle. Several times I did the test, as the jam was becoming more and more thick. But still no wrinkle. Finally, the jam turned brown and I ended up with what was, essentially, jalapeno hard-rock candy.
Upon recollection, I should have placed the test jam BACK into the freezer for a minute, before performing the push-through. Other things could have gone wrong, as well, and if you have any suggestions please let me know! I really want to be able to do this!
I should have thrown it out then and there, but being a stubborn Capricorn I processed it anyways. The end result (only 2 small jars by the time I cooked it down that far) was so utterly disgusting and inedible that I really would have thrown it out- jars and all. My husband, though, would not let those two jars go to waste, and decided to clean them out. I wasn't around for it, but he tells me it took three minutes in the microwave just to get the substance malleable enough to put down the drain.
No big loss, and better luck next time!


  1. Opened a jar of these the other day, great taste, but a bit soft. Maybe had them in the fridge for too long before canning?

  2. Now I know why you're intrigued with the freezer spoon method! I learned it from Rachel Saunders at Blue Chair Fruit here in the Bay Area, and I'm having the best luck with it of all the methods I've tried.

    This post made me laugh. It's a great rendition of the down-the-sink disasters that we all have. I think your blog is just great. Your writing is bang out clear, warm, and funny. Yay. Also, have to say, your Raspberry Mango jam sounds just divine!

  3. I think we just overcooked them a bit...