Tuesday, June 19, 2012


You can make jelly out of anything and I like to.  I love to make a mint jelly and an apple cinnamon jelly and give out as gifts at Christmas.  I have an herb garden and before the last frost takes my herbs, besides drying the herbs, I like to turn some of the herbs into jelly.  Try rosemary or basil jelly.   I simply take an apple jelly recipe and steep the herbs in apple juice and then make jelly according to the jelly recipe.  It is a new way of using those last things in your garden you do not want to go to waste.  You can even make tomato and jalapeño jelly.  

I’m going to refer you to the Kerr Canning book that I use as my canning bible. It will give you great information on testing, canning, pectin, etc.  

Microwave Apple Cinnamon Jelly

This is a super simple jelly recipe you can make in the microwave and it is a beautiful bright red.  I've made it for so long, I don't know who to give the credit to.  I have it on a tacky, stained typed piece of paper in my Kerr book.

4 cups apple juice
1 package powdered pectin
4 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup red hot cinnamon candies

Combine the apple juice and pectin in a large microwave safe glass casserole dish with a cover.  Cover with the lid.  Bring to a boil on high setting (about 14 minutes).  Stir twice.  Remove from the microwave and add sugar and cinnamon candies, stirring well.  Return to microwave and cook until the mixture returns to a rolling boil (12 minutes), stirring twice more.  Make sure it boils hard for at least 1 minute.  Test to see if it is at 220 degrees F. on candy thermometer.  Remove from the microwave.  Skim foam if necessary.  Pour hot jelly into sterilized jars ¼ inch from the top.  Make sure the lip of the jar is clean so it will seal.  Cap and put on the band tightly and process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Should yield 6 half pints.

Jalapeno Jelly

12 Jalapeno peppers
2 Bell peppers
¼ lemon juice
1 ½ cup white vinegar
1 (4 oz) bottle liquid pectin
6 cups of sugar

Wear gloves while working with the Jalapeno peppers.

Clean and take out all the seeds and ribs on the inside of the peppers. Chop the peppers finely in a food processer.   Put all of the ingredients into a pan including all the pepper juices.  Slowly boil all ingredients stirring constantly for 12 minutes. (I like my jelly real clear jelly so I strain the jelly mixture before next step.  Make sure you bring the jelly back up to a boil). Add the liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 minute (secret in making jelly is using a candy thermometer and the jelly should be at 220 degrees F to be at jelly stage).  Pour into sterilized half pint jars to within ½ inch of the top.  Make sure the lip of the jar is clean for so the lid will seal.  Put on the cap, screw band firmly tight.  Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. 

To cut the heat, you may wish to serve it on top of creamed cheese and crackers.  If it is too hot, cut the number of peppers next time. 

Mint Jelly

2 cup of fresh mint leaves
7 cups of apple juice
9 cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin
Green food coloring (Optional)

Clean your mint and steep in your hot apple juice for 10 minutes. You should muddle it to get the juices out of the mint.  Strain the mint from the juice.  Mix your juice with pectin and bring to a full hard boil stirring constantly.  Add sugar to the apple juice as soon as it comes to hard boil.  Taste and if you desire more of a mint taste you can add a drop at a time of mint extract until you have reached the desired minty taste you want.   Boil the mixture to jelly stage.  Jelly stage is when the rolling boil can not be stirred down.  As it nears the jellying point it will drop from the side of a spoon in two drops.  When the drops run together and slide off in a sheet from the side of the spoon, the jelly is finished and should be removed from the heat at once. 

A candy thermometer may be used to simplify the process.  The temperature of the boiling juice should be at 220 degrees F.  Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.  If you like, you can add food coloring to get the desired green mint color you like. 

Herb Jelly

For herb jelly follow the same directions as the mint jelly, but steep and muddle in your fresh herb.  I highly recommend the rosemary, thyme and sage.  They are wonderful.  A set of these 3 jellies with a loaf of homemade bread or artisan bread will make a wonderful house warming gift. If you are having people in for brunch or coffee, it makes for beautiful and simple buffet. Bet it will raise an eyebrow and be a subject of conversation.

Try making your own jelly and see how rewarding it is.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.

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