Appalachia Appalachian Food Preserving/Canning

Folk School Red Pepper Jam

Best ever red pepper jelly

One of the best recipes I picked up from the Mountain Flavors cooking class I co-taught back in the Spring was the John C. Campbell Folk School’s very own Red Pepper Jam. The original recipe is in the 1971 cookbook, Favorite Recipes of the John C. Campbell Folk School. It may be in more recent cookbooks published by the folk school as well.

Nanette, my co-teacher, changed up the recipe slightly from the original-she increased the amount of peppers and left the rest of the ingredients the same. The original recipe called for a bottle of Certo-which is what we used in class-however it didn’t seem to jell the mixture enough. So I made the change from using a bottle of Certo-to a box of Sure Jell. We decided the make up of Certo may have changed since the cookbook was published in 1971.

Red Pepper Jam

  • 4 cups sweet red peppers-chopped fine (I used a food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 package of sure jell

Red pepper jam

Add salt to chopped peppers and allow to sit for at least 2 hours-then drain well.

Appalachian red pepper jam

Put drained peppers in a large pot-add vinegar. (Can you see the angel and the tree in my vinegar? I didn’t notice them until I uploaded the photos-sweet!)

Stir pectin (sure jell) into mixture and bring it to a full rolling boil-boil for one minute.

Stir in sugar and bring mixture back to a full rolling boil-boil for 1 minute.

Ladle hot pepper jam into sterilized jars and seal.

Red pepper jelly

You cannot believe how good this red pepper jam is-it is beyond good! The only problem with it-as you can see by the empty jar-is we’re eating it way too fast for it to last through the winter.



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Laura @ Laura Williams Musings
    October 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    This looks delicious, Tipper! Thank you for popping over and linking this up at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I am curious. I’ve never seen any kind of pepper jam. How do you eat it? On crackers? Biscuits?

  • Reply
    August 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Bill-I add all the salt at the beginning to the peppers : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Do you half the 1 tsp. of salt when you let the peppers sit and when you add the vinegar? Here is one of my favorite’s you may wish to try. 3/4 cup of deseeded & deviened Jalopeno peppers, grated, 1 1/4 Cup Bell Peppers grated, 1 1/2 cup white vinegar, 6 1/2 cups sugar, Juice one lemon, 1 package Certo or Sure-Jell, couple drops of Food Color(green if you use green peppers or red if you use red peppers. Mix all ingredients except Certo or Sure Jell & food color. Cook over low heat for 45 min, then bring to rolling boil for 1 min. Remove from heat let stand for 5 min. add Certo of Sure-Jell and food color. Place in sterilized Jars and seal. Makes approx. 7 1/2 Pints Jars. This is great with cream cheese on a Ritz or spread lightly on a steak. Warning: When you eat with Cream Cheese on a Ritz be sure to wear a hard hat so your tongue won’t slap your brains out.

  • Reply
    August 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    B-yes I think yellow pepper jam would be good!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    August 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    This is one that I am going to have to try. It looks delicious!!

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for posting the recipe. I love this stuff!!! Nana

  • Reply
    August 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I never heard of making jelly or
    jam out of peppers, but I’ll bet
    its good. The only way I ever used
    red or green peppers is when I
    make wedges of taters, onions,
    peppers, and fry them all with a
    couple of pork chops in my big ole
    cast iron pan. Cornbread is just

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    August 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Sounds yummy. I’ve never made red pepper jam, but I think I will give this a try. Thanks, Tipper!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2012 at 10:51 am


  • Reply
    Marylou Sweat
    August 15, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Sounds good! Have to try it! I make pepper relish that is similar but not so sweet and no pectin. The juice that is drained from the peppers I use to make pepper jelly. Both are made with habanero peppers added to the regular peppers for heat. Marylou in Dover, Fla.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Red pepper jelly is my favorite, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to making some today!

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    August 15, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Oh yummmmm! Farmer’s Market (Sunday), here I come! I can see making this and some green hot pepper jelly (with a little jalapeno added) and serving both around the Christmas holidays!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    August 15, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Years ago a friend of mine made some sort of pepper jam, but it wasn’t red. It was a bit spicy. However, this recipe sounds rather good and one my palette might enjoy. Thanks for sharing. I am going to save the recipe for next year’s garden.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    August 15, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I love pepper jelly…I have never tried Red Pepper Jam…I have made Red and or Green Pepper jelly thru the years…My son can make some mean, oh so good, jelly. He makes his with a kick, and a bit of jalenpo pepper…
    At Christmas, a large lump of Creamed cheese with jam or jelly poured over and a plate of assorted crackers makes a great
    “horty’orve” (hors d”oeuves) or appetizer. LOL…or at least a very tasty plate of crackers, creamed cheese topped with pepper jam/jelly…so
    good…afterall isn’t jam just jelly with the goody part left in…..Thanks Tipper,
    Now where is that box or Ritz and pepper jam and cheese…such breakfast fair….yummmm! Now you must make some green and yellow for the holidays to go with the red…Do you think you could make yellow pepper jam?

  • Reply
    August 15, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I love pepper jellies…this sounds yummy! Also, glad to know I am not the only one having problems with Certo…will try Sure Jell. Happy Wednesday!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I’m definitely trying this recipe Tipper. I know it will be an instant hit with my hubby since he loves anything with peppers.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    August 15, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Oh, that definitely looks and sounds good. I’ll be giving that a try (even if its only one jar). 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 15, 2012 at 7:57 am

    OK, first it was yellow tomato preserves, now red pepper jam. What’s next? Onion jelly? Beet marmalade?

  • Reply
    August 15, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I’ve never made this, but have tasted it, and it’s truly yummy! Did you know it’s good with cream cheese on crackers?!

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    August 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Looks good! I do love red peppers…. !

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    August 15, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Tipper: The RED PEPPER Jam ‘sounds’ wonderful! Jim’s very first ‘professional’ job after Detroit car factories and Korean War, was MAKING JELLY/JAM for Blue Plate Foods in Atlanta. Now, maybe I can get him ‘engaged’ in trying your recipe!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    August 15, 2012 at 7:31 am

    🙂 thanks for the recipe, Tipper and we have the same ’empty jar problem’ here sometmies.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 15, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Tipper, as much as the Deer Hunter likes red peppers I know he’s putting this jam away. I made him some roasted red pepper soup and I thought he was gonna need a straw to suck it up faster. lol!
    I’ve never found Certo to work well for me so I never use it.
    I saw red peppers at the farmers market yesterday. If you had posted this yesterday before I went I would me making red pepper jam today!

  • Leave a Reply