Cherry Habanero Jam

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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4 cups pitted and coarsely chopped sweet red cherries
1 cup finely diced red pepper
1 Scotch Bonnet Habanero pepper, finely minced **see notes
4 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
6 tablespoons Ball Real Fruit Pectin Classic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
**rubber gloves


Wash cherries then stem and pit them into a large bowl, catching as much cherry juice as possible.

Coarsely chop the pitted cherries and place them into your large canning pot.

Add the lime juice to the pot of cherries and toss well.
Dice the red pepper and place into the pot with the cherries.

** Put rubber gloves on and finely mince the habanero pepper. For a mild pepper jam remove all seeds and remove the pith. For a medium-hot jam leave the seeds in. For a hotter jam mince the entire habanero pepper with seeds and pith and place into the pot with the other ingredients.

Add pectin to the pot and heat on low, occasionally stirring until the pectin melts.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a roiling bowl.
Add sugar, stirring until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
Return to a roiling boil.

Add butter to cut down on foaming. (if using)
Boil for one minute.

Remove the pot from the stove.
Skim off any excess foam.
Fill your prepared jars leaving a 1/4 inch head space.
Wipe rim of jar with a damp paper towel, place flat lid on top of jar and place band on screwing until just hand tightened.

Process your filled jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes 6 1/2 pints.