St. Helena’s Hell Fire Pepper Jelly

cropped-pepper-jelly-header1.jpgIf you’re looking for a money-making fundraiser, gather some willing workers, put on a pair of surgical gloves, and start seeding habanero peppers.

St. Helena Women’s Chapter, All Saints’, Atlanta, was in search of a good way to raise money for the programs the chapter supports when one of its newer members offered the idea of selling a special pepper jelly – a popular delicacy, especially in the south.

Here’s member Micki Brown’s story:  “I was given a jelly recipe from a dear friend in the 1970’s.  Some years later my sister and I modified the recipe to what it is today and made dozens of cases of jelly and sold it at school and church festivals. When I joined St.  Helena around 1998, they were searching for a fundraiser that would allow us to be of more help to the community, especially to women and children.  So, we began this journey.”

Chapter members gather at the church kitchen in late summer and over the course of a couple of days, turn out as many as 47 cases of jelly. With help from men of Covenant Community, the peppers are seeded and made ready for the food processor. It’s a time of fellowship and collaboration as the jelly is prepared, cooked, and poured into individual jars. Sales begin in November and continue throughout Advent, or until the supply runs out.

Over the years funds from jelly sales have provided support for individual women in times of need, Literacy Action for eye exams and glasses, Mercy Care (breast cancer screening for those who can’t afford the test), and the Global Village project, as well as providing holiday meals and gifts for the men of Covenant Community.

Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding;
“Christ is nigh,” it seems to say,
“Cast away the works of darkness,
O ye children of the day.”

St. Helena’s Hell Fire Pepper Jelly
Makes approximately 12 jars of jelly


  • 3 pounds of habanero peppers cut in half and seeded (wear surgical gloves). Process the peppers in a food processor to yield approximately 3 cups of ground peppers.
  • 2 boxes of liquid pectin (two pouches in each box)
  • 12 cups of sugar
  • 4 cups of vinegar
  • 1 case of 8 oz. jelly jars

Sterilize the jars and rims in boiling water; sterilize the lid in a pan of very hot water.

Put the following ingredients in the pot:

  • 3 cups of chopped peppers
  • 12 cups of sugar
  • 4 cups of cider vinegar

Stir and bring to a boil. DO NOT LEAVE POT UNATTENDED.

Once it begins to boil, turn down to a simmer.

Stir for 30-45 minutes (peppers will become translucent)

Remove pot from stove and let stand for 5 minutes.

Add to the pot 2 boxes of pectin (2-pouch liquid pectin/each box) and stir.

Ladle into jars

Seal and wipe the jars clean.

Serve with crackers and cream cheese or use as pastry filling or ice cream topping. (Be prepared for hot!)

Submitted by: Micki Brown and St. Helena’s Chapter, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Atlanta, GA

For a downloadable/printable version of this recipe, visit:

Tomorrow: Warm up with Hmong Boiled Pork and Greens