As soon as I ate the last candied jalapeno from the jar I found at an out-of-the way Italian deli, I knew I had to recreate the recipe. I had enjoyed every single slice of those sweet, hot, and tart peppers so much that I couldn’t stand the thought of not having them to stuff into paninis, to use like chutney beside Indian curries, and to top an ordinary hot dog.
The peppers were gone, but I kept the empty jar as a reminder of the simple ingredient list: jalapeno peppers, vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Because I had a nice crop of jalapenos growing in the patio garden and I’ve had good luck pickling jalapeno peppers, I decided to experiment with recipes. I figured all I had to do was make a simple sugar syrup and simmer the sliced peppers in it. It would be similar to making other kinds of candied fruit.
The end result is close to the original jar, but the syrup isn’t quite as heavy and the peppers are a whole lot hotter.
This recipe makes about two pints of peppers.
- 1 pound fresh jalapeno peppers
- 2 cups white vinegar (use less if you want a thicker syrup)
- 3 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
Be sure to wear kitchen gloves while working with hot peppers, and don’t touch your eyes until the gloves are off.
- Wash peppers thoroughly and remove stems; discard peppers with soft spots or damage.
- Remove seeds if you prefer seed-free peppers. (I left seeds in.)
- Slice into rounds about ¼-inch thick.
- Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil and reduce heat.
- Simmer mixture for about 6 minutes or until syrup starts to thicken; stir occasionally.
- Raise temperature to medium, add pepper slices and cook, stirring, for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat and cool.
- Spoon peppers into jars, top with syrup, and fasten lids tightly.
Keep jars refrigerated. Peppers will keep in the fridge almost indefinitely, but they’re so tasty they probably won’t last that long.