Make your own sweet fridge pickled jalapenos aka cowboy candy. This recipe will make 4 to 6 pints. These are super easy to make and since you don’t have to can them this is a great recipe for folks that are leery of canning. Just make and bottle them and then put them into the fridge. These are good on the side or on burgers or sandwiches. You can also dehydrate them once they have pickled and the dehydrated slices make a great sweet and spicy snack.
3 pounds of jalapeno peppers
6 cups sugar
2 cups distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
6 cloves of chopped garlic
Wash and sterilize your jars and lids. While this recipe usually make 4 pints it does depend on the size of the peppers. Sometimes I end up with 6 pints because the peppers I have are very large. It is better to prepare 6 or even 7 jars and lids than to be short and have to take the time out to prepare more jars at the end.
Prepare the peppers. You should wear rubber gloves to prepare the peppers, no matter how tough you think you are, preparing three pounds of peppers are going to leave your fingers full of capsaicin for a good day or so until it wears off. Its better to wear gloves and save your eyes and other vulnerable parts.
Cut the tops off of the peppers and slice the jalapenos into 1/4 inch slices. If you don’t want them to be super spicy you can remove the seeds and veins from the peppers before slicing as most of the heat resides in them. Once you have the peppers sliced it is time to create the syrup.
Add your sugar, vinegar,turmeric and garlic to a large pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium heat and still till sugar is dissolved. Then let it boil for 4 minutes. Strain the garlic out and return the brine back to the pot, bring it back to a boil. Add the pepper slices and boil for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Use a slotted spoon to add the peppers to your sterilized jars. Pack them in pretty tight leaving a quarter-inch head space. Now bring your syrup back to a roiling boil and then pour over the peppers in each jar. Use a chopstick to remove bubbles from the jar and top off with syrup. At this point your peppers are done. Screw on the lids and rings and put them in the fridge.
They will be ready to eat after about a week. When you first put them in the fridge they will still be bright green. They will mellow and turn a sort of golden color over time.
This recipe does make a lot and if you have folks to give them to you could share. They will need to stay in the fridge.
If you would rather can them then do everything the same up to screwing on the lids and rings. Then you would put them into the water bath canner and make sure there is enough water to be two inches above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a rolling boil and then process for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and use you tongs to move the jars to a rack or folded towel on the counter and let them rest for 24 hours. Any jars that did not seal will need to be refrigerated. The sealed jars can go on the pantry shelf and will be good for a year. That will be good longer but they will begin to lose flavor after a year.
If you like spicy snacks, once these have been in their jars for a couple of weeks, you can lay the slices on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate them. Takes about 24 hours to dry them, then store in a jar with lid for a sweet spicy and sort of chewy snack.
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