ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we learn the art of jam making with two guys who threw in an added twist.

Jim and Hazzy have been making jam for about three years, but it's the odd combination of the jam that has gotten attention.

"When we were making jam we noticed there was a recipe for jalapeno jam and we thought that's interesting, let's try habenaro jam," says Jim Hofmann.

Hofman says after several attempts there Tropical Habenaro Jam was created.

"After about ten different recipes we came up with what we have now and gave those away as Christmas presents and then people wanted to start buying them," says Hofmann.

The jam making process begins by cutting up about 14 pounds of fresh fruit and peppers.

"I use a little over 10 pounds of pineapple, 10 pounds of oranges, about 4 pounds of mango's and then I'm doing a hot batch with is 18 ounces of habenaro peppers," says Hofmann.

Once the fruit is cut up a large pot with vinegar and water is set to boil as the fruit is blended then dumped into the pot.

"You just got to watch it, once I put in the sugar in there then you got to keep stirring it cause that sugar will start caramelizing," says Hofmann.

After the final ingredients are added and brought to a boil again. Before carefully poured into jars.

"Because it's so hot and these glass jars are not hot yet I don't want them to crack by pouring in this hot stuff too fast," says Hofmann.

The jars are then sealed, cooled, labeled and ready to be put on the shelves. Hofman says just making two batches can some time.

"When I come in here and do two batches I'm here for about four hours," says Hofmann.

The jam can be found in several stores (Coborn's, Byerly's) and restaurants (The White Horse, Pickled Loon) in St. Cloud.

While Hofmann has thought of new jam ideas, for now he will stick with what he has.


Jim and Hazzy's Tropical Habenaro Jam is put into jars before they hit the shelves. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)