Discovered in 1993 in South Africa by chance the piquant sweet red cherry pepper has become renowned for its peppery, sweet and irresistible taste which have become a popular addition to antipasto platters, salads, pizza toppings and so much more. Piquant Peppers are a cultivar of chilli pepper (Capsicum Baccatam), and it is quite easy to grow your own . These beauties are pickled, and are delicious when stuffed with cheese, olives, and any other savoury foods. Be adventurous!
To grow your peppers choose from one of the exciting varieties we have :
Once you have grown and harvested your peppers you are ready to start pickling them!
I am extremely proud to share my pickling recipe with you! Here is the fairly simple method :
STEP 1 - Sterilizing and sanitizing your jars
There are various methods of sterilizing your pickling jars. It is important to keep an elevated level of cleanliness when preserving food in jars. You need to ensure that there are no bacteria that could spoil the contents. The heat of the jar is also needed to keep a good seal.
- Ensure that you clean the jars thoroughly, using soapy water and rinse well with warm water to remove any soap residue.
- Place the cleaned jars on a baking sheet in the oven and heat heated to 160°C. Leave in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes by which time the jars should be completely dry.
- Sterilize the lids at the same time, but the rubber seals will need to be removed before sterilizing. It is necessary to boil the rubber seals separately.
- Remove the jars from the oven and layer the jars with piquant peppers whilst still hot from the oven. Remove the air bubbles and seal. It is important that a good seal is formed, so ensure that the contents are still hot.
- As a last step, I like to fill a basin with boiling water and place the jars upside down and submersed in the hot water. You can leave them until the water has cooled down to room temperature.
STEP 2 - Preparing the peppers
You will need the following ingredients :
1 – 1.5kg Piquant Peppers
120g Coarse Salt
- Remove the stem side of the peppers and scrape out all the seeds. It is important to remove all the seeds.
- Dissolve the salt in the water and add the cleaned and prepared peppers to the brine. Ensure that they are immersed in the brine.
- Leave overnight at room temperature.
- This recipe will fill 6 x 250ml or 4 x 375ml jars.
STEP 3 - Cooking and bottling the peppers
You will need the following ingredients :
750ml White Grape Vinegar
600ml White Sugar
20ml Coriander seeds
Optional Ingredients :
4 – 8 Fresh peeled ginger
4 – 8 Whole peeled garlic cloves
20ml Coloured peppercorns
2 - 5ml Crushed piquant pepper seeds
NOTE : You can save the seeds removed when preparing your peppers. Alternatively, you can add 1 or 2 small hot chillies to add a little heat to your pickles. These can be chopped or kept whole. The choice is yours.
- Using a colander, drain the brine peppers and rinse off the brine in cool water. Leave the peppers in the colander to thoroughly drain.
- Add the water, vinegar sugar and dry ingredients and optional garlic and ginger to a large pot and heat at a low temperature and bring to a boil once the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the peppers and optional chillies or seeds and boil for 1 – 1.5 minutes.
- Remove the hot jars from the oven and add the piquant peppers to jars and fill the jars with the boiling liquid.
- Screw on the lids and place the jars upside down in the basin filled with hot water.
- Please note that you should hear a soft “pop” when the lid has sealed.
- Whilst you can sample your peppers once they have cooled down it is best to wait 2 days before trying them so that all the flavours have fully infused.
- Put a sticker on your bottle of the bottling date and consume within 6 months .
STEP 4 - Success!
You have now pickled and bottled your very own sweet cherry peppers. Let your imagination go wild with what you can do with these truly delectable delicacies!
About the Author
Michele Fourie is the Seeds for Africa General Manager. Michele loves growing beautiful flowers, chilli plants and is passionate about exceptional customer. service. Michele is also a fundi in the kitchen and loves creating dishes and preserves from fresh produce.