Monday, May 23, 2011

MInt Jelly

I love herbs.  There are so many different kinds and varieties.  Out of all the different herbs out there, mint is my favorite.  I have always loved mint.  Even as a child I loved peppermint and mint flavored candy.  The mint family has about 30 different species.  Many more can be counted with all the hybridization going on out there.  In Ohio spearmint grows wild.  I remember walking up and down the road when I was little so we could pick spearmint along the road side.  We would walk through pastures and smell the spearmint in the summer.  Some of my best memories were of mint jelly and minted pears.  Since it is not pear season yet I settled for mint jelly.  So I picked some spearmint on the farm and made up a batch of mint jelly.  We used it for rolls, biscuits, PB&J, and Christmas cookies!  Here are the steps to make mint jelly

First pick your mint.  Any type will do.  Depending on the variety you will get a slightly different flavor.  I stick to the spearmint of my childhood.  Wash the mint in a sink of water.

Next pick the leaves from the stem and measure out 2 cups of leaves.  Pack them in tightly. 

Chop the mint and put in a saucepan with 4 1/2 cups of water.  Bring the water to a boil and then cover with a lid.  Turn off the heat and let sit and infuse for 10 minutes. 

Next strain the mint infusion through a jelly bag.  I use an old pillow case.  Let the leaves sit until all the liquid stops dripping.  Don't squeeze the bag.  The key to clear jelly is not to squeeze the bag. 

Now measure out your ingredients.  You will need 4 cups of the mint infusion, 5 cups sugar, 1 package of powdered pectin, and green food coloring (optional, but I always use it).  I buy pectin in bulk so 1/4 cup is equal to one package. 

Before you start cooking your jelly get your jars ready.  Sterilize your jelly jars by either running through your dishwasher or putting in your sink in very hot water. 

To cook the jelly first pour the mint infusion into a jelly pan or tall pan. 

Add the powdered pectin and stir until dissolved.  Cook and stir on high heat until the mixture begins to boil.  Once it has come to a full rolling boil add in the sugar. 

Once the sugar has been dissolved add the food coloring.  When you get the color you want continue stirring and bring to a boil.  Start your timer and cook and stir for 1 minute.  Then take off the heat.

With a spoon skim off the foam.

Ladle the jelly into your prepared jars.  Fill to within a 1/4 inch from the top. 

Wipe the lip of your jars clean with a clean dish rag. 

Boil your new lids to activate the gum on the lids.  This helps create a better seal. 

Using a lid lifter, put your lids on your jars and screw on your rings.  Hand tighten your rings. 

Here are six jars waiting to go into a water bath.  Notice I have a little left over in a plastic container.  That will go into the fridge to use.

Using jar lifters put the jars of mint jelly into a canner filled with enough water to cover the jars by one inch.  Bring the water to about 180 degrees Fahrenheit before you put the jars in.  Put the jars in and bring to a boil.  Once the water comes to a boil set your timer and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove your jars and let sit to cool.

Let the jars sit on your counter until completely cool.  Within a few minutes you will begin hearing the "ping" and your jars are sealing.  Once sealed and cooled put in you pantry for later use or for Christmas presents!

Recipe for Mint Jelly

4 cups of mint infusion
5 cups sugar
1 package of powdered pectin
green food coloring (optional)



ELP said...

WOW you have been busy. I made strawberry jam on Saturday. I just love making my own jams and things. It is so empowering.

Amanda said...

Is this a really strong mint flavor? And what would you eat it with?

Creations by Dina said...

Depending on the mint you use the flavor will be different. Spearmint has a nice minty flavor but is not real strong. If you used peppermint it would be really strong. Eat it wih bread, rolls, meat like lamb, and cookies such as thumbprint, lindzer, and sandwich cookies.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

All right you talked me into it. I've been thinking about making mint jelly for awhile. You gave me the push I needed.

Ann said...

I have a lot of spearmint and am going to make some jelly....but I would like it a little stronger....could I add a drop of peppermint extract, and where in the process would I do that?

Creations by Dina said...

Yes you can add a few drops of peppermint extract. Add it after you take it off the stove. If you add flavoring while it is still cooking it will evaporate out. You could also use peppermint if you have that. We have all varieties of mint.