How to Make Habanero Jam – Canning Recipe

by heather

Habanero Gold Jam

Are you guys sick of canning posts yet? I sure hope not, because this recipe I’m about to give you is completely amazing.

I mean, “STOP THE PRESSES!” type of amazing.

Now, I know what some of you might be thinking…

Habanero Jam? Is she kidding? It’s going to burn my mouth off.

It won’t, I promise.

Habanero jam (this particular recipe is called Habanero Gold) is meant to be paired with cheese. And let me tell you, this stuff will knock your socks off with its deliciousness. This is the kind of jam you pay $8.99 for a teeny tiny jar in those gourmet cheese shops.

But you can make it yourself with this recipe at a fraction of the cost.

Special Warning: This recipe is hot, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not uncomfortably hot. And when paired with cool cheese, it’s the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

You. Will. Love it.

Habanero Gold

This recipe is from my fast-deteriorating copy of Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. This recipe makes three, 8-ounce jars.

I doubled the recipe when I made it and trust me, you’ll want to do that too. I just made it this Sunday, and I’m now on my second jar. It’s that good.


  • 1/3 cup finely sliced dried apricots
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped and seeded red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped and seeded habanero peppers
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 pouch (3 oz.) liquid pectin

Important Note: You must be extremely careful when handling the habanero peppers. They’re extraordinarily hot, and if you rub your eyes or touch your skin you’re going to be burned. I used rubber gloves when handling and chopping the peppers. It did slow me down, but it kept the oils off my skin.


1. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine apricots and vinegar. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least four hours, or overnight.

2. Prepare canner, jars and lids.

Boiling the onion and peppers

3. Add red onion, red pepper and habanero peppers to apricots. Stir in sugar. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.

4. Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. Wipe rim, center lid, and screw band down until it’s fingertip tight.

5. Place jars in canner, making sure they’re completely covered, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and let cool.

Sidenote: This jam set faster than the strawberry jam, probably because it takes liquid pectin instead of powder. You’ll want to act fast once you skim the foam off! And as you fill the jars, keep stirring the pot to evenly distribute the peppers.

Getting It To Look Pretty

There’s a trick to getting the peppers to suspend prettily in the jam. I didn’t act fast enough on many of mine, so several jars have all the peppers packed at the top.

This is not a real problem, of course; you can always stir them up once you open the jar. But if you’re giving them as gifts (they would make awesome Thanksgiving hostess gifts) then you’ll want them to look nice.

What you have to do to get them to distribute evenly is sit and wait like a cat. You have to listen for the lid to pop, which means a true seal has been created.

Then, and ONLY then, take the jar and gently tilt it or twist it.

The key word here is gentle.

Do not turn the jar upside down, or shake it in any way!

Doing this can destroy your gel and seal, rendering the jam worthless. Not good.

What did I do wrong?

I waited too long. The Ball book said to wait 15-30 minutes. Well by then, my gel had set and that stuff wasn’t moving. The reason the jar in the picture looks so nice is because that was one of the last jars I made, so it had a ton of peppers in it.

Last Word…

This is, without a doubt, my best canning endeavor yet. I’m making another batch this weekend, and I have half a mind to start selling this stuff on the street. It’s like crack; one taste and you’re hooked. Especially if you have some excellent cheese.

Anyway, all joking aside I definitely recommend giving it a try. It’s incredibly unique, and would make fantastic gifts. That is, if you can stand to give it away and not hoard it in your basement, like I’m doing.

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