Hot cherry pepper seeds proved to be somewhat of a challenge to find until just a couple of years ago. It seems that they’re making a comeback, though. Finally. These little red orbs of fiery deliciousness are well worth the search, in my opinion. Here’s how I preserve them – if you are familiar with the canning process, this ranks as one of the easiest recipes around. The most tedious part of this is making a slit in the top of each pepper but this helps release their hot oils into their brine as they process.
- 6 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 1/2 pounds hot cherry peppers (red or green both work!) washed. Using a sharp knife tip, make a small slit in the top (stem end) of each pepper
In a large saucepan, bring vinegar and water to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes. In the meantime, pack peppers into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Ladle hot vinegar mixture over peppers. I like to use a plastic chopstick to move the peppers around a bit after adding the liquid – this helps get all the big air bubbles out of the jar.
Place sterilized lids and bands in place and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
This usually makes around 5 pints for me.
Now, you can add garlic and spices to these if you’d like. I use this very simple brine because I make hot-stuffed cherry peppers from these at the holidays each year. I’ll be posting that recipe soon, so stay tuned.