In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Scotch Bonnet Strawberry Pepper Jelly.

It was a COLD Fall morning that I found myself at the Royal Agricultural Fair In Toronto… when I tried a sample of pepper jelly to hopefully wake myself up with the kick from the peppers. Disappointment set in as soon as it hit my taste-buds.. Yea, there wasn’t any heat. Lovely flavor, but no Heat. This son of the Caribbean came back home with one mission – Make A Pepper Jelly With HEAT! I didn’t grow up eating Pepper Jelly in the Caribbean, but I was going to OWN it.

You’ll Need…

2 quarts strawberries (prepped)
15 scotch bonnet peppers (sliced thin)
4 cups sugar
4 lemons (juice)

Important! Wear gloves and wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling such hot peppers. While you cook the jelly, I’ll recommend that you open your kitchen window and turn on the fan above your stove.

Remove the stems off the strawberries, wash, drain and slice. Set aside.

WEAR GLOVES – Thinly slice the peppers (include seeds). Remember this is a SPICY jelly (NOT your traditional bell pepper jelly), but you can definitely remove the seeds to control some of the heat.

Add the strawberries and sugar to deep sauce pan, give it a mix, then add the thinly sliced peppers.

Strain in the lemon juice to remove any seeds, turn on the stove to medium heat and bring to a boil. Mix well.

As it comes to a boil reduce the heat to a simmer, put the fan on over your stove or open your windows and let it gently cook.

After 4 minutes, turn off the stove and use a potato masher to crush things a bit. But you still need some texture.

Pour into sterilized glass containers and you’re done. Yea it’s that easy. Your basic toast will never be the same. Your charcuterie board will have that Caribbean swagger. That Salmon and cream cheese bagel will beg for a drop or two of this.

Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Cari Eaves
    November 11, 2021 / 11:28 am

    Is there a reason you omit the salt? I have never made pepper jam before.

  2. Jean Redmond
    July 13, 2021 / 4:09 pm

    This looks more like a jam than a jelly. Do you have a jelly version of the recipe ?

  3. Jonathan Frölander
    June 4, 2021 / 2:08 pm

    This one works perfectly to overnight oats. The best breakfast you can have.

  4. Trevor Martin
    March 11, 2021 / 2:38 pm

    Can i use apples instead of the strawberries? If so how many pounds of apples?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *