Don’t forget to check out Day One for basic canning tips, hints, and safety procedures: http://islandtearoom.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/the-basics-of-canning/ and days 2 and 3 for more great canning recipes!
My herbs drying in my kitchen.
This is an unusual but very tasty jelly. Adds a nice sweet but savoury touch to a sandwich or use as a glaze over meats while cooking. You know how people take that pepper jelly and put it, along with some cream cheese, on a Ritz cracker? Well, this is really delicious the same way…or try it over some goat cheese on crostini. YUM!
2-3 oz. assorted mixed fresh herbs and/or edible flowers (I used some out of my garden – made some with assortments of geranium petals, rosemary, basil, lavender, thyme, lemon balm, mint, chocolate basil….also went to an organic farmer to get some rose petals that weren’t treated by pesticides) I’ve heard that pineapple sage is delicious in this recipe but alas, mine didn’t survive the scorching temperatures this summer. 🙁
3 cups apple juice (you might need a bit more)
1/4 cup lemon juice (NOT fresh)
1 – 1.75 oz pkg regular powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
optional: you might want a few drops of yellow food colouring to add to enhance the colour
Instructions: Prepare 5 half pint jars, lids, and rings. Wash the herbs and/or petals gently in plain water. Lay them out on paper towels and pat gently to dry. Chop up the herbs (stems too). Put a cup to a cup and a half of herbs/flower petals into a large pan with the apple juice. Bring this to a boil giving it a stir a few times while cooking. Take off the heat, cover, and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Strain the herbs out of the liquid through a colander that as been lined with cheesecloth – it’s the liquid you’ll be using for the jelly. Be sure to use something like a wooden spoon and press the herbs so that you get all the juices out of it. Measure out 3 cups of juice and put back in the pan with the lemon juice (and food colouring if using). If you don’t have quite enough juice there, add more apple juice to make up the difference (I didn’t need to do this but it’s possible).
Stir in the pectin and bring mixture back to a boil, stirring. Boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir. Add the sugar. Bring mixture back up to a boil and boil for 1 more minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and skim off the foam (I like to use a metal spoon for best skimming). Ladle into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims and put on lids and rings. Put jars on rack in canner, bring water to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
Mint Orange Jelly
Honestly, I’m not always much of a mint person. It’s one of those things that I would have on rare occasions, usually combined with chocolate, and then I’d be sick of it again. That is, I wasn’t a mint person until I discovered 2 things this summer: mojitos and this recipe. Good thing too – we had a huge mint crop in our garden!
Our mint at its peak this summer
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves (mine was a mixture of 3 different kinds of mint)
2 cups orange juice
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cider or white wine vinegar or lemon juice (NOT fresh lemon juice)
1/2 of a 6 oz pkg of liquid pectin
Instructions: Prepare 4 half-pint jars. Place mint in a large bowl. In a large pan, bring the orange juice to a boil and pour over the mint in the bowl. Let this sit for about half an hour. Line a colander with paper coffee filters (the mesh in cheesecloth is too big) and strain out the mint, pressing with something like a wooden spoon to be sure to get all the liquid. Put the liquid back in the pan and add the sugar and vinegar/lemon juice. Bring up to a boil, stirring. Once sugar has dissolved, add in the pectin. Return to a boil, boil for 1 minute, stirring. Take off the heat and skim off the foam. Ladle into prepared jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims, put on lids and rings. Put jars on a rack in the canner, bring water to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Take the jars out of the canner and cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
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