Preserving · Recipes

Lower Sugar Pepper Jelly

There is nothing quite like handcrafted pepper jelly, spread on a sandwich in winter. It adds so much depth. Using Pomona’s Pectin, and based off their recipe, you can make a lower sugar version quickly. Pomona’s Pectin can seem at first to be a bit harder to use, but after a few canning sessions you won’t ever want to go back to the other brands. More so, one box will often do 2 batches of canning, and it lasts forever in the pantry. This pectin has no preservatives, no added sugars and you don’t need 7 cups sugar to make a small batch of jelly! (Also, you can use honey to make jam with it.) No more need to buy super sweet $7 a jar pepper jelly in delis. And you know exactly what has gone into it.

Lower Sugar Pepper Jelly


  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 to 4 Jalapeños
  • 2 2/3 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 4 tsp calcium water*
  • 4 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Pomona’s Pectin


Add 7 12-ounce mason canning into a water bath canner. Fill jars with water and the pot about halfway. Bring to a boil.

Add the bands and new lids to a small saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a simmer.

Wash the peppers. Remove seeds and discard. Finely chop all peppers. Measure 1 cup green bell, 1 cup red bell and 2/3 cup Jalapeños (How many you will need depends on size. Try to buy large ones.)

Add to a large non reactive stock pot (stainless steel is best). Add in apple cider vinegar.

Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Measure 1 cup of the sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into the cup of sugar. Set aside.

Add calcium water, and mix well

Add pectin-sugar mix, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.

Add remaining sugar once pectin is dissolved. Stir well and return to a full boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

Drain canning jars, place on a clean kitchen towel. Sterilize ladle.

Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean with a new damp paper towel. Place a drained lid on each jar, screw band on finger tight.

Place filled jars in canning pot, lower rack in. Make sure the jars are covered with water. Bring to a boil, and maintain boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level).

Remove jars from water. Let jars cool on a clean kitchen towel. Remove bands and wash, check seals on jars; lids should be sucked down.

Consume within 1 year, once opened eat within 3 weeks. Jelly should sit for a few days/week before eating, as Pomona jelly/jam can take a bit longer to fully set up.


You can use whatever size mason jars you have on hand. I had about 5¼ cups jelly to can. Your amount may vary on how much your mixture cooks down while simmering. You may get more.

*To make the calcium water, follow the directions in the Pomona package. It is the smaller of the two packets in the box. It keep nearly forever once mixed with water in your refrigerator.