Christmas, Jam Jelly and Preserves 74 comments

Hot apple and chilli jelly recipe


Photo: Hot apple chilli jelly
Photo: Hot apple chilli jelly

Danny doesn’t like things to be too hot but strangely the combination of sweet and heat in this jelly gets the thumbs up from him. Apple chilli jelly is brilliant with sausages, pork, lamb or any rich meat. Pork chops baked with a few tablespoons of this jelly are yummy. In fact it’s a very versatile preserve and well worth making. I’ve even added a little to winter salad dressings to give them a bit of a lift. The health benefits of eating chillies are amazing.

I thought that I’d written up this recipe and spent ages looking for it on the site. Basically it’s the same as hot crab apple jelly with the addition of a little lemon juice. I’m writing it up as the left over pulp is the main ingredient for my new recipe – hot spiced apple and cranberry sauce which I will post in a couple of days.

If you are lucky enough to own a fruit steamer like me. You can extract your juice and make the jelly immediately. If not then this is a two day recipe.

Hot apple and chilli jelly recipe
• 600g of cooking apples washed and chopped
• 35g of medium red chilli peppers, washed and chopped with seeds in
• 1 litre of water
• White granulated sugar 500g to each 500ml of juice
• 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
• 5 dried birds eye chillies chopped
Put the chopped apples and chillies in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
Add 1 litre of water (they should just be floating). Bring to the boil and simmer until the apples soften and become pulpy (lid on). This took about 45 minutes.
Strain through a muslin square or jelly bag overnight. (Retain the pulp to make hot apple and chilli cheese)
Add the juice to a large heavy bottomed pan and add the sugar and the lemon juice. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the juice and sugar has come to the boil remove from the heat and skim well. Return to the heat and bring to a rolling boil until setting point is reached. This took 15 minutes.
Stir in the chopped dried chillies and pour into warm sterilised jars. Seal immediately.

These make great little Christmas or anytime presents.


  1. Hi Fiona, I’m making this at the moment but the supermarket didn’t have dried birds eye chillies so I bought chilli flakes, should I use them once the liquid is strained or just leave them out?

    PS – have made loads of the quince jelly – yum yum

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Kim

      The flakes are fine to use. Add them right at the end when the jelly has reached setting point and is removed from the heat. Stir them in and leave the pan for a good ten minutes before potting up so the chilli flakes don’t all float to the top.

  2. Fiona, Re non-setting jelly. We’d put the ‘unset’ jelly in sterilised jars, intending to follow your advice later. When we looked at it two days later: it had set. Is the ‘crinkle test’ on a cold plate the same for jellies as jams? It is clear, more of a caramel colour than straw BUT absolutely delicious. Initially the full burst of apple in the mouth and then within a second or two the amazing warmth hits. Friends who have tried it love it. THANK YOU. Fiona

  3. Hi, any idea if you could make this in a slow cooker? as I know that some slow cooker recipe books include jams.

  4. Fiona, Thanks for a swift response. We added a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice per litre first time round (ie 4 tablespoons) but we’ll try a quarter of the non jelly/juice with another tablespoon of lemon juice. We’ll let you know how we get on. Thanks again. Fiona

  5. Hello Fiona, What a fabulous site. My partner and I have just made our first attempt at Hot Apple and Chilli Jelly. We quadrupled the quantity and used Bramleys, including the skin and cores. Followed instructions to the letter. We had four litres of juice and a rolling boil for 2 hours, continuously testing for setting point. We gave up and put the still liquid juice, it tastes and looks superb, into jars. Where did we go wrong and can we turn this juice into a jelly? Please help!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Fiona

      Quarter the quantity and add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to each quarter. Then make the jelly in four batches. It’s always best to stick to small batches as it sets more easily. You had problems as you quadrupled the recipe!

      By the way are you sure that you achieved a rolling boil? Lots of tiny bubbles that rise several inches above the juice and sugar?

  6. Thank you! I tried butter and it worked well but I put it in a little too early. Reckon I should have it right next time. Anyway, great recipe to add variety to the ways of using up the apple glut. Thanks 🙂

  7. Having made a lot of jelly recently I was disappointed to have huge ‘scum’ problems with this one! I boiled then skimmed well but when setting point was reached a thick scum formed again. I tried to skim it then stir in the dry chillis but have ended up with a rather scummy jelly.

    I’ve also lost a lot of jelly in the skimming process. Is there any other way to help avoid the scum? I’ve heard a knob of butter stirred in helps but the recipe I saw did this prior to straining the juice overnight… I don’t have a jam pan so just a use a large pan – could this be making the problem worse?

    Many thanks for any help.

    • Hi Ammie-oy

      I have scaum problems to – in a large saucepan and the maslin pan. The trick with the butter is to add it when the jam has reached setting point and stir it in gently. It works a treat.

  8. After searching for a recipe to make with apples (after getting loads of freebee ones) I found this one, gave it a go this weekend and had our first taste tonight with a stir fry, gorgeous!!! I have made enough to give out as Christmas pressies and will certainly be making more when my stash runs out, love it, thank you

  9. Oooh! Thank you. I’m sooooo excited.

  10. Could I make this with tart eating apples? I just have loads and don’t know what to do with them.

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