Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mint Jelly



There are many recipes out there for mint jelly.  This one is mine.

This recipe is different in that it calls for powdered pectin vs. liquid because I don't HAVE liquid pectin around, so I decided to wing it and hope for the best with powdered, being careful to keep my liquid ratios somewhat low to accommodate the fact that mint doesn't have any natural pectin of it's own.  And hey, it worked great.  I can turn the jars upside down and the jelly stays put.  That, my friends, is a good set.

So, here you go, one recipe for mint jelly!
Mint Jelly

Ingredients:
  • 3 Cups densely packed fresh mint leaves, cleaned (I used chocolate mint)
  • 3 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 4 Cups sugar
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  • Peppermint extract (optional)

Procedure:
Place mint leaves in a large saucepan with water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn off heat under pan and let mint steep in water for 20 minutes.

Place a wire mesh over a catch bowl (or a regular colander with a layer of cheesecloth) and strain mint juice.  Measure out 3 cups of mint juice (if you don't have enough, add water to make 3 cups).

Prepare canner, jars and lids.

Pour mint juice into a large stockpot and if using green food coloring add until the juice is the shade of green you want.  Combine mint juice, pectin and lemon juice.  Whisk until pectin is completely dissolved.  Bring mixture to a boil.

Add sugar all at once.  Whisk to incorporate sugar until sugar is completely dissolved.  Bring mixture back to a boil that can not be stirred down.  Boil for one full minute.

If using, add 1 tsp. peppermint extract at this point (mixture will bubble) and mix to combine (if you add this too soon it will just boil off and be no good to you, so add it last).

Ladle jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove lid from canner.  Let sit an additional 5 minutes.

Remove jars from canner to a couple of tea towels to seal.  Let cool completely.  Test seals and use any jars that didn't seal properly immediately and store in fridge.  Makes approximately 5, 1/2 pint jars (I used up every little bit and made a cute little quarter pint jar too).
I admit, I did add a couple of drops of green food coloring to my mixture to get the lovely green color.  But, I did go against conventional wisdom and squeezed every bit of mint juice out of my mint leaves over my catch bowl.  I still ended up with a nice clear jelly doing that, despite the warnings that the jelly would come out cloudy if I did it, so hey bonus!

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