Last year I grew Zavory peppers, a hybrid pepper the size and shape of a Peppadew but said to have the flavor of a Jalapeno without the heat. The Zavories were tasty in and of themselves but were totally devoid of heat and tasted nothing like a Jalapeno. They did pickle nicely but were not what I was looking for.
This year I tried cherry peppers as a substitute. Cherry peppers are a bit larger and thicker walled than a Peppadew but they are similar in shape, stuffable, and small enough for finger food. They are mildly hot.
2 1/2 pounds cherry peppers
6 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons honey
5 cloves garlic
5 small bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
In a non-reactive pot, combine the vinegar, water, salt, and honey. Bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and honey. Add cherry peppers and simmer until peppers just start to soften.
Pack the peppers tightly into the jars but don't crush them, along with the garlic, bay leaves, and spices. Leave a generous 1″ headspace at the top.
Ladle the hot vinegar mixture into the jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace.
Gently tap the jars on a padded surface to remove air bubbles and readjust headspace if necessary. Wipe rims and adjust lids.
Process jars for 10 minutes (adjust time for your altitude).Cool, label and store.
This is my first time out with this recipe and really it should sit for a couple of months before tasting, but I tried a leftover pepper and I think the recipe could use more sweet. Luckily my cherry pepper plants are being more than prolific and I'm going to double the honey in the recipe on the next go round. The original Peppadews also had a smokey undertone that these are missing so maybe the addition of a few drops of liquid smoke is called for.