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Chilli Jelly Recipe

This recipe uses the natural pectin found in apples to set the jelly. Alternatively you could use pectin to set the jelly and leave out the apples however I prefer the more natural option.


1 kg of cooking or crab apples
500 ml of Water
500ml of cider vinegar
Sugar (1lb of sugar to each pint juice
A handful of fresh chillies (vary according to taste/variety, i use about 15).


Add the chopped apples (including the peel & core which is where most of the pectin is found!) to 500ml of cold water and 500ml of cider vinegar. Throw in about half the chopped chillies then bring to the boil then simmer for about 25 minutes.

Pour the contents of the pan through a piece of thick muslin or a jelly bag. The key here is not to force the pulp through the muslin as this can result in a cloudy jelly. Leave to drip through the bag for 5 hours.

Put the strained juice/pulp into a pan on a low heat. Measure the juice and stir in half a kg of sugar per pint of strained juice/pulp then turn the heat up for a further 10 minutes stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, as you notice it thickening up stir in some more finely chopped chillies.

Meanwhile boil some clean jars in water to sterilize. Place the jelly mixture in the sterilized jars and allow to cool fully.

This stuff is superb and is delicious served with cheese & crackers and sandwiches/toasties.

Getting The Right Setting Point

In order to avoid your jelly you need to ensure you boil the jelly to the correct setting point.Below is a simple test you should do to ensure you boil the jelly enough to avoid problems with is setting.

Before you start to make the jelly place a small plate into the freezer. Once you think the jelly is ready (after 25 mins boiling) revove the plate from the freezer and place a small amount of jelly on it and allow it to cool for a few seconds. Run your finger through the jelly, if it has formed a skin that wrinkles slightly the jelly is ready. If not continue to boil for a few more minutes before retesting.

34 comments… add one
  • Don Gallagher October 14, 2013, 7:59 pm

    I’ve made two batches of the jelly now and I’m about to do a third, my teenage son uses it on just about every sandwich he makes. I’ve given some to the family and the third batch is for us as people kegs coming back for more. I’ve trying the chilli chutney at the mo it’s on the hob just finishing off, looking forward to trying it!!

    • The Chilli King October 14, 2013, 9:39 pm

      Don – Glad you like the recipe. I hope the chutney turns out just as well!

  • rony December 1, 2011, 8:11 pm

    Hi – I would like to make this recipe; but I’m not sure what is a “thick muslin or a jelly bag” is. I went to my local grocery store and no one at the store seemed to know what I’m asking for either. Please help and let me know where I can find this material? or what is a proper substitute? maybe cheese cloth?
    Thank you.

    • The Chilli King December 5, 2011, 11:31 am

      Rony – A cheese cloth will do the job. Alternatively any decent fabric cloth should sell muslin if you can’t find a specific jely cloth.

    • Chilliphobia December 5, 2011, 3:58 pm

      I used some tights……they were clean ones though!

  • Chilliphobia November 27, 2011, 3:40 pm

    This recipe is awesome! Finshed making it today and used home grown apples, don’t know what kind they are! and overall 12 chillis and 11 tiny bird eye chillis (that smelt evil, nose burners!) I actually can’t eat spicy stuff, but tried a bit of left over jelly on crackers and it wasnt too bad, just warmed the tongue a bit but wasn’t over spicy, as the apple in it made it a bit like sweet chilli. I cheated and put a bit of red food colouring in it so it looked extra fiery! I’m putting it in Christmas hampers as something a little bit different to go with the cranberry and apple chutneys etc, everyone is excited about trying it though, hope they can hang on ’till Christmas! P.S I think you should have a photo upload bit! Because mine looked amazing- even though I cheated :p

  • claire November 23, 2011, 11:14 pm

    Made this using half crab and half coolers, but forgot crabs give much less juice! So using 10 scotch bonnets in the super concentrated pulp……and resulting jelly is SCORCHIO!!

  • chillin out man November 5, 2011, 7:13 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I am now making my second batch. First batch i used the white wine vinegar, a mixture of peter penis chillies and jalapeno chillies. This was delicious

  • Dillooney with chilli October 26, 2011, 11:03 pm

    Great recipie!!! made it today and goes great with poppadoms or a side

  • chilli queen March 28, 2011, 3:08 pm

    I have just pulped up loads of chillis and mixed it in with the jelly to give a more ‘jammy’ consistancy, heaven!!!

  • Morganzilla November 25, 2010, 7:56 pm

    Love this recipe, thanks!
    The chillis always float. Once you’ve put the jelly in jars, leave to cool for about 10 minutes then turn the jars upside down for a bit. Chillis will slowly redistribute themselves. Just remember to turn the jars the right way up before it sets completely and sticks to the lid! Also works with marmalade.
    My main tip would be to keep the windows open while you cook this, otherwise you’ll never get the vinegar smell out of the house! 🙂

  • jeni November 23, 2010, 10:31 pm

    im very excited to try this recipe, if my daughter wasn’t tucked up asleep i’d be off to the nearest 24 hr supermarket for the ingredients im missing to start a midnight jelly session.

  • Francoa October 17, 2010, 9:34 pm

    We do not have crab apples, so i used normal apples. The juice is slight brown. Would this be a problem? Would normal apples work?

    • The Chilli King October 18, 2010, 9:26 am

      Francoa – Yes, normal apples are fine as they contain natural pectin.

  • jennifer October 1, 2010, 3:54 pm

    When I was boiling the juice and the sugar a lot of sticky white stuff kept floating on the top, should this be removed. My jelly is really clear apart from this.

    • The Chilli King October 5, 2010, 3:07 pm

      jennifer – you don’t have to but for asthetics you can spoon this off before putting the jelly into jars.

      • daytona October 14, 2013, 7:15 pm

        How long will it keep for ?

        • The Chilli King October 14, 2013, 8:56 pm

          So long as you sterilise the jars it will keep for 6-12 months unopened (keep it somewhere cool and dark). Once opened, use it within 6-8 weeks and keep it in the fridge. That said it never lasts anywhere near that in our household!

  • Lucie October 1, 2010, 11:56 am


    Last year I triped your recipe and made 3 batches throughout september. each one turned out a little different. I will be making my first batch of the year tomorrow which I am excited about.
    last year I experieinced the above problems- it not settign so THANK YOU for the frozen plate tip i will use tomorrow.

    i used fresh chillies and found the bits floated to the top whether I let it cool or not- so will try cooling it more this year

    Tips I have found include:
    wear gloves when chopping large amounts of chillies- I didn’t and had to go to bed with my hands in a bowl of water to stop the burning!

    If using little crab apples the jelly will turn more red

    L x

    • Shadowchilli October 3, 2010, 6:56 am

      Just wanted to check up and see how your jelly making went, good news i hope?


  • Shadowchilli September 28, 2010, 3:11 am

    Cant wait to see / hear from you about the insane hotness of your chilli jelly.
    Maybe enter it into the competition that Chilli King is running at the moment, or at least post some photos on the Flicker site.
    Good Luck!

  • jim September 24, 2010, 2:07 pm

    I have made this recipe before and used 50 scotch bonnets it was fantastic.today i am going to use home grown naga jololika.( scorchio) let you know how it turns out!!!

  • Shaun September 23, 2010, 9:42 am

    yes we reboiled and reduced and that worked a treat , have made another batch this time we doubled the amount of water and apples , chopped apples and left to soak for an hour used this water to cook with, added 4 quinces , 20 to 25 varies types of chillies in the pan , cider vinager , and cook / simmer . drain the pulp again and add the sugar then put 10 red chopped chillies into mixture for decoration reheat then into jars , fantastic , A chiili jelly with bite and warm , everyone loves it and has taken the recipe nad half my chilli stock looks like we’ll have to grow more next year , many thank for your recipe

  • Shaun September 18, 2010, 10:58 am

    made my first batch yesterday , tasted great , looked good but has not fully set gone to the not runny but sticky stage but not set, any suggestions please

    • The Chilli King September 20, 2010, 9:32 am

      Shaun – You could try reboiling it.

  • Kate September 14, 2010, 8:39 am

    My first attempt was very runny and did not set so i put it all back on the boil and it was sorted. Its fantastic thankyou!
    Does anyone know how long this will keep?

    • The Chilli King September 15, 2010, 10:45 am

      Kate – Once opened keep it in the fridge and it should last 4-6 weeks. Unopened it should last a few months if kept in a dark cool place. Enjoy!

  • Phil September 13, 2010, 6:29 pm

    The same thing happened to me too – the top 1cm had all the chilli, the rest was pure jelly. I spoke to my mum about this (jam/chutney maker of old), and she suggests leaving the jelly to cool for about 10 mins,and stirring the mixture lightly before putting into jars.
    I’m just off to make my second batch, and will give this “improved” method a try to get a better distribution of chilli.

    • Phil September 14, 2010, 6:42 pm

      *UPDATE* the new batch seems to have a lot better distribution of chilli pieces throughout the jar- so Mum knows best!

  • Anna September 9, 2010, 9:06 am

    I made your wonderful jelly but the chilli flakes have risen to the top of the jar and set.It tastes great but where have I gone wrong?
    So thanks in advance and look forward to making fault free jelly!!!

    • The Chilli King September 10, 2010, 10:20 am

      Anna – Did you use dried chilli flakes? I always use finly chopped fresh chillies…

  • Bernie Sims August 24, 2010, 3:02 pm

    Re Chilli Jelly.
    You say, “Place in clean jars and boil to steralise”. Do I boil the juice before putting in jars, or boil the jars. Please explain.

    • The Chilli King August 25, 2010, 9:45 am

      Bernie – Apologies, that was very clear. I’ve updated the recipe now. You need to boil the jars when empty to sterilize them, then fill them up and allow to cool. Apologies for the confusion and good luck making the jelly!

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