A spicy variety of jelly that is typically used as a condiment for appetizers and snacks rather than a breakfast or tea jelly. Pepper jelly is traditionally available as a red, green, amber, or golden colored jelly and may be made as a clear gel or with specks of pepper included as part of the jelled mixture. Pepper jelly is fairly simple to make and is traditionally made with ingredients such as jalapeño, habanera or Serrano peppers, sweet bell peppers, sugar, vinegar, and food coloring. However, there are many other ingredients that can be added to make the pepper jelly hot and spicy or sweet and mildly spicy. Pepper jelly can be made with fruits such as apples, mangos, plums, pineapples, and rhubarb, or herbs such as garlic and pepper, or simply vegetables such as tomatoes, chilies, or sweet peppers.
A common appetizer that is served with pepper jelly is a cracker with soft cream cheese or a slice of cheddar cheese topped with a dab of pepper jelly. Pepper jelly is also served as a condiment when used as a dip for pieces of chicken, meat, vegetables, and some shellfish such as shrimp. Pepper jelly is often used as a glaze for coating for cooked meats or poultry. And, as an ingredient in some sweet desserts, pepper jelly can be used to enhance the flavor of foods such as cheesecake.