Pepper Relish

This recipe come from Mother Crary, and was passed to us in 1968. Pepper Relish is a sweet relish made from Bell Peppers that we used on red meat- all the way from hamburgers to roasts. Because it is made with Bell Peppers, it is not the least bit hot. It is made into a jelly like substance by adding pectin in the form of Certo.

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I inquired of the Kraft Foods, which makes Certo as well as the Sure Jell products about using one of the powdered pectin instead of the liquid Certo, and they said that there is not a substitute. The good news is that Certo is now packaged in 3 ounce quantities so that it is reasonable to cut the recipe in half. At the time my Mother was making Pepper Relish, Certo came in a 6 ounce bottle, and thus the proportions in the recipe.

In fact, I was going to try to make just a half recipe, so I bought 4 red bell peppers to go with the green bell peppers I was growing in the back yard. A branch had broken off the pepper plant and I had to harvest what was there, which was one big pepper (good for stuffing) and 7 medium peppers. It turned out that the 4 red bell peppers made a full cup of processed peppers, so I had to use all my green peppers to make the second cup. I guess they are growing peppers much bigger than back in the 1960s. Thus, be careful when Mother suggest 8 red and 8 green peppers- I fear you will have way too much pepper pulp.

Pepper Relish

(Mother Crary, 1968)

  • 2 cups prepared peppers (red and green bell); (see below)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 6 ounces Certo

Open (about 16) peppers (half red, half green). Discard all seeds and cores. Put through finest knife of food chopper twice (or once with an electric grinder). Drain pulp in sieve and squeeze dry in a cloth.

Measure sugar and vinegar into a large kettle. Add prepared peppers (packed solid to measure). Mix well and bring to a full rolling boil (will not stop boiling when stirred) over hottest heat. Stir constantly while boiling. Be careful that it doesn’t boil over.

Boil hard 2 (two) minutes (too long makes it tough). Remove from fire and stir in Certo. Stir and skim foam by turns for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Pour quickly into jars and parafin or seal at once. Makes about 64 oz.

I did boil over and had to clean the stove. I also didn’t get the foam to be skimmed. Finally, I decided to make it into refrigerator jam, and not do the sealing process; I put most of it in 1 cup plastic food savers.

However, for people feeling more comfortable than I with the canning processes- either boiling or parafin- this would be an interesting gift in pretty little jars.

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