Freezer Blackberry Pepper Jelly is an easy recipe for blackberry jelly with a little kick of jalapeno peppers. No water bath or canning needed. Just store in the freezer or refrigerator. Made with fresh blackberries and jalapenos, it only takes about 30 minutes to make!
Freezer and refrigerator jams and jellies are shortcut canning, for sure!
I love to pick wild blackberries in the summer and give jars of blackberry freezer jam and pepper jelly for Christmas presents as homemade food gifts.
This seedless blackberry jalapeno pepper jelly recipe is more of a sweet pepper jelly than a spicy pepper jelly. Even with 7 jalapeno peppers, the "kick" is more like a "love tap".
If you want to really give this homemade blackberry pepper jelly some heat, I recommend doubling the amount of minced jalapeno pepper. (The increased amount won't change the other ingredients.) You can also leave in the seeds or use a hotter pepper.
Here's a handy chart to show you the heat level of different peppers.
Another favorite recipe for jalapeno jelly is my Red & Green Freezer Jalapeno Pepper Jelly. It's made with both jalapeno peppers and red bell peppers for that red and green combination.
- Freezer versions of jams and jellies do not require sterilizing the containers (they do have to be washed and clean).
- Jars of freezer jams and jellies do not have to be canned in a pressure canner or even processed in a boiling water bath.
- Using Certo liquid pectin (made by Sure-Jell) takes away the step of boiling powdered Sure-Jell pectin in water.
- No blender needed. I prefer not to blend up the seeds before straining the juice because I think it makes it harder to extract the juice and takes much longer.
Tip: Freezer jam and jelly are stored in the freezer or refrigerator, so they are not "shelf stable".
Scroll down to printable recipe for ingredient quantities.
- Blackberries- Fresh blackberries are what I used in this recipe but frozen also works.
- Jalapeno peppers - The size of these peppers vary greatly. The end result is to get 3/4 cup minced jalapeno peppers. Banana peppers and bell peppers can be substituted.
- Apple cider vinegar - I prefer the taste of apple cider vinegar and it's what I grew up using for most recipes but white distilled vinegar can also be used.
- Granulated sugar- This is not a no- or even low-sugar jelly recipe. It needs all 5 cups of sugar to set properly.
- Pectin- I used Certo (made by Sure-Jell) liquid pectin. If you can't find it, see my substitution list a little further down in this post.
Pro Tip: Measure the sugar with a dry measuring cup not a liquid measuring cup. It makes a difference because you can't level off the top of a liquid measuring cup with a knife.
How to make freezer version of blackberry pepper jelly
Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe with detailed instructions.
- Cook blackberries and water together.
- Mash berries with a potato masher or back of large spoon as it cooks.
- Strain the cooked blackberries through a large fine metal sieve or strainer in to a bowl.
- Press the back of a large spoon against the strainer to help mash the juice through the strainer.
Pro Tip: The strainer needs to have holes small enough to prevent the seeds from pressing through.
The goal is to get 2 cups of blackberry juice. It's ok to add up to 1/4 cup water, apple juice, cranberry juice or grape juice if you don't get quite 2 cups of blackberry juice.
Cut off the stem end of the jalapeno peppers and cut them in half. With a sharp paring knife, make lengthwise cuts on either side of the seeds to remove them and the membrane.
The heat is in the seeds and membrane, so if you like it spicy, mince those, too.
Pro Tip: I recommend wearing latex or vinyl gloves when working with hot peppers.
How to mince jalapeno peppers: After removing the seeds, cut the pepper halves into thin strips. Hold a few strips together with one hand, and cut into tiny pieces with a chef's knife with the other hand. The jalapeno pepper halves can also be pulsed in the food processor to achieve almost the same size and shape.
- Combine the blackberry juice, minced jalapeno peppers, sugar and vinegar in an 8 quart pot. Bring to a rolling boil, slowly stirring often, and boil 3 minutes.
- Quickly stir in the liquid pectin and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Skim any foam from the top. Pour hot jelly into jars and seal. (See printable recipe below for exact details on this.)
- Let stand on a kitchen towel at room temperature 24 hours to set up. (See printable recipe below for more details on checking to see if jars seal.) Store jelly in the refrigerator or freezer.
Pro Tip: The pot or pan needs to be at least an 8 quart because the boiling mixture rises.
Get creative with your labels for your blackberry jelly jars or keep it simple and just write the name on the top of the canning jar lid.
Substitutions & Variations
- Serrano Pepper Jelly - For Freezer Blackberry Pepper Jelly made with serrano peppers, simply trade out the minced jalapeno pepper for serranos. They are quite a bit hotter than jalapenos, so be ready for some spicy pepper jelly or reduce the amount to 1/2 cup minced peppers.
- Blackberry Jelly or Bramble Jelly- Make easy blackberry jelly or bramble jelly without the heat of the jalapeno peppers with one step. Omit the peppers and proceed with the jelly recipe.
- Freezer Blackberry Jam- Omit peppers and instead of running 5 cups crushed blackberries through a fine sieve to get 2 cups of juice, use 2 1/2 to 3 cups crushed, cooked berries to get 2 cups crushed berries. This will include seeds, though.
- Powdered pectin vs. liquid pectin- If you can't find Certo liquid pectin, no worries. You can use a (1.75-ounce) box of powdered pectin. Just add it to water according to package directions, bring it up to a boil and boil 1 minute. Then, add it to the recipe where it calls for liquid pectin.
It depends. If you choose to make your half pint jars of jelly shelf stable and not freeze them, not only do you have to wash them in soapy water, but you have to also process them in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. If you do not sterilize them first, process the half pint jars for 10 minutes. Timing starts when water comes back up to boiling after adding jars. Pressure canning is different than processing in a water bath.
Jam includes the flesh (or pulp) of the fruit and often seeds. Jelly is simply thickened fruit juice either by cooking it down or adding pectin.
The best way to thaw freezer jams and jellies is to place it in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before ready to serve. It is safe to eat frozen, but will be too thick to spread.
Jalapeno jelly uses
My absolute favorite way to serve (and eat) Freezer Blackberry Pepper Jelly is just spreading it over a block of cream cheese and scoop it up with buttery crackers!
Other uses for pepper jelly:
- Dipping Sauce- Melt it slightly and dip fried shrimp, catfish nuggets, or chicken strips. Stir in a little soy sauce sauce and you have a sauce for egg rolls and potstickers.
- Glaze- Stir it into the pan with a little butter with seared chicken breasts, pork chops, and ribeye steaks. When it melts, it deliciously glazes the meat. Glaze a bone-in ham.
- Biscuits!- Of course, you can spread pepper jelly on my 2 Ingredient Biscuits! It's jelly, isn't it? With a little slice of ham, it's perfect for breakfast or brunch.
- Phyllo Cup Appetizers- Spoon a little pimento cheese or goat cheese in Athens phyllo baked shells and top them with blackberry pepper jelly.
One of my favorite recipes using pepper jelly is my Instant Pot Pepper Jelly Ham. It uses my Red and Green Freezer Jalapeno Pepper Jelly as a glaze. Oh, what a beautiful color the ham would be with this Blackberry Pepper Jelly!
How to store blackberry pepper jelly
Store jars or freezer containers of the pepper jelly in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and in the freezer up to 1 year.
Since the jars are not processed in a boiling water bath or canned under pressure, they are not shelf stable.
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More Southern shortcut jams and jelly recipes
- Red and Green Freezer Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
- Small Batch Scuppernong Grape Jelly (Muscadine)
- Peach Freezer Marmalade (Peach Jam with orange peel)
- Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam
- Slow Cooker Fig Jam
Freezer Blackberry Pepper Jelly
- 5 cups fresh blackberries (about 30 ounces or five (6-ounce) containers)
- 1 cup water
- 7 large jalapeno peppers (about 3/4 cup seeded and minced)
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 (3-ounce) package liquid pectin (I used Certo)
- Wash half pint jelly jars and lids (or whatever size you choose) with hot soapy water and let dry on a kitchen towel.
- Combine the blackberries and water in an 8 quart saucepan or pot. It needs to be at least 8 quarts because the mixture rises when boiling. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
- While blackberries are cooking, seed and mince the jalapeno peppers. Cut off the stem end of the jalapeno peppers and cut them in half. With a sharp paring knife, make lengthwise cuts on either side of the seeds to remove them and the membrane.
- After removing the seeds, cut the pepper halves into thin strips. Hold a few strips together with one hand, and cut into tiny pieces with a chef's knife with the other hand.
- Mash the blackberries in the pan with a potato masher or a large spoon. Strain the cooked blackberries through a large fine metal sieve or strainer in to a bowl.
- Press the back of a large spoon against the strainer to help mash the juice through the strainer. The goal is to get 2 cups of juice. See NOTES if you don't get 2 cups.
- Combine the blackberry juice, minced jalapeno peppers, sugar and vinegar in the same 8 quart pot. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, slowly stirring often, and boil 3 full minutes. Set a timer.
- Quickly stir in the liquid pectin and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Bring back to a rolling boil that can't be stirring down and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim any foam that collects on top.
- Pour hot jelly into jars using a canning funnel if you have one. Wipe top of jars clean with wet paper towel and seal jars with lids.
- Let stand on a kitchen towel at room temperature for 24 to completely set up. I usually can't resist slathering some on a piece of toast if I have a tiny bit that won't fit in the jars!
- Label the jars with stickers or write on the lid. Store Freezer Blackberry Pepper Jelly in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Nutrition analysis on GritsAndGouda.com recipes are mostly calculated on an online nutrition calculator. I am not a dietitian and nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on products used.
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