We are continuing the Jelly theme this week. Mainly because I have an overabundance of mint (who woulda thunk such a thing could ever happen!), anyone who has ever grown mint can attest to the virility of the fragrant herb.
I used to have mint planted IN the garden. Then it tried to take over the world. I dug it up in the Fall a few years ago, then spent a couple Spring’s digging/chopping out runners that were popping up all over. After 3 years, it has been eradicated from the garden. Until last year when I started one from a cutting and kept it confined to a pot.
Much easier to manage that way. Saves you from running out every other day to rescue your other garden plants from being strangled by wayward mint.
This is a very basic mint jelly recipe, all you need is mint, lemon juice, sugar and pectin…oh, and a few drops of green food colouring to liven up the colour. Mint has a tendency to steep into a pale yellow shade that when placed in cute little canning jars, resemble medical specimen bottle contents…..not at all the desired effect.
You can use mint jelly in a variety of ways, most notably being used as a condiment for lamb and pork. But it can also liven up marinades for most any red meat. How about a slightly melted spoonful over vanilla ice cream? or letting it dissolve in a steaming bowl of fresh peas or new potatoes? But I think probably the best match in the world with mint would be chocolate…so why not dabbing a tich on a square of 80% dark chocolate? Mental note – I must go buy some dark chocolate tomorrow…..
1 1/2 Cups Packed Fresh Mint Leaves
2 1/4 Cups Water
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Pouch Liquid Fruit Pectin (Certo)
Green Food Colouring
Wash mint leaves in cold water and pat dry on paper towels. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of tightly packed leaves; place in a medium saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
Strain in a jelly bag or several layers of 100% cotton cheesecloth. You should have 1 3/4 cups of mint liquid.
Prepare canning jars and lids and keep at the ready.
In a large saucepan, combine the mint liquid, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil. Add pectin all at once, stirring constantly, bring back to a full rolling boil and boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon. Add food colouring to desired shade, stirring constantly to settle any remaining foam.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, wipe rims, center lids and screw bands down until fingertip tight.
Process in a hot water canning bath for 10 minutes. Start timing when water returns to a full boil. After 10 minutes, remove lid of canner, shut off heat and let sit inside the canner for another 5 minutes.
Remove to cool undisturbed for 24 hours.
Makes 4 half-pint jars (I used 4 ounce jars and filled 8 of them).