Sunday, October 21, 2018

Cowboy Candy Pepper Relish

Jalapeño peppers on my plant.
I follow the Safe Canning Recipes Facebook page and have been inspired to try new things. On their blog there are tested recipes, including one for something called Cowboy Candy, sweet pickled jalapeño peppers.

Last year I made traditional Cowboy Candy. Then I read a Facebook post about someone who diced her peppers to make it into a relish. This week I gave it a try with the last of my jalapeño and Anaheim chili crop.

Cowboy Candy Pepper Relish


3 pounds jalapeño peppers
2 cups 5% cider vinegar
6 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


You can use any variety of pepper from mild to hot. Since I was using up my crop, I didn't have 3 pounds. The end result was three half pints rather than nine.

The last of my pepper crop ready to be diced.

Using gloves to protect your hands, slice off and discard the stem ends. To make the relish version, dice the peppers.

Use gloves, it really helps.

Bring the vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Bring syrup to a boil.

Add the diced peppers and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer peppers to clean, hot jars. Fill to 1/4 inch from the rim.

Bring the syrup back to a full boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes. Ladle the boiling syrup into the jars over the diced peppers. Insert a knife to remove any air pockets. Add more syrup if needed to maintain a 1/4 inch headspace.

Spoon the diced peppers into hot jars and boil the syrup.

Wipe the rims with a damp paper towel and cover with two-piece lids to finger tightness. Process half-pints or pints for 10 minutes in a water bath canner. Begin timing after the water reaches a full boil. After the time has expired, turn off the heat and let the jars rest in the canner for 10 minutes.

Remove jars with canning tongs and let them rest undisturbed for 24 hours on a cooling rack. Then check seals, clean the jars with a damp cloth, remove the rings and label.

Three half pints of Cowboy Candy relish and one jar of sauce.

If you like hot condiments, this is the one for you. If you have extra syrup, you can process that as well. It’s good brushed on BBQ meats.

Have you ever made Cowboy Candy? What do you think about making it like a relish? They say it's easier to serve that way with crackers and cream cheese. I can't wait to try mine after a few weeks of letting the flavours mellow. -- Margy

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Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy