With the end of summer past and my herbs getting leggy, I gave them a good haircut, laying the leaves out to dry. Once dried, I grind and store them in sealed jars for use during the winter months.
One of the things I trimmed was my peppermint. Ummm! The aromatic fragrance of freshly cut mint is just beautiful. But, instead of drying, I decided to make Mint Jelly (recipe follows), which only has five ingredients.
One question that was brought to me attention was “What are you going to do with so much jelly—peppermint jelly, to be specific?” Good question! Ah! I have the perfect answer. Gifts! With a little fabric topper in a pretty fall print tied with packing twine and a little gift card attached, you have a perfect hostess gift.
Remember that mint jelly is great with lamb or over cream cheese spread over ginger snaps. Enjoy!
Here is my recipe:
1 cup mint leaves, tightly packed
1 cup boiling water
3 cups apple juice
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 package fruit pectin
3 drops green food coloring
Here is how I made my mint jelly:
1. Place torn mint leaves in small mixing bowl. Pour boiling water over leaves. Allow to steep a minimum of one hour and up to overnight, if refrigerated.
2. Drain, reserving liquid and discarding leaves.
3. Place apple juice, sugar, 1/4 cup mint syrup and fruit pectin in medium-sized sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a rapid boil, skimming foam from top as needed. Continue to boil rapidly until jelly reaches the sheeting stage, i.e., when a metal spoon at room temperature is placing in boiling mixture, the mixture slides off in a single sheet. For this jelly, allow 45 to 75 minutes.
4. While jelly is cooking, place jars in a large sauce pan over medium heat. When water begins to boil, turn to low. Place lids in a small sauce pan over medium heat; when water begins to boil, place lids in a single layer. Turn heat to low.
5. When jelly reaches sheeting stage, remove jars from water 2 to 3 at a time with a jar handler. Drain. Ladle jelly into sterile jars to within 1/4 inch of top. Place sterile lid on top secured by a rim. Repeat until all jelly has been ladled into jars. Place filled hot jars into large saucepan of boiling water. Process for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely. You should hear a characteristic "pop" as the jars begin to seal. To test, lightly press the center of each lid about 1 hour after being removed from water bath. If the center gives, the jar is not sealed and should be placed in the the refrigerator as soon as the jelly is completely cooled.
Author’s Note: Freeze the extra mint syrup for a second batch of jelly later.
Servings: 32 Yield: 2 pints (8 quarter pints)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours and 45 minutes
Nutrition (per serving): 66 calories, 1 calories from fat, 1 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.5 mg sodium, 28.4 mg potassium, 16.8 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 16.3 g sugar, 1 g protein.
Author: Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne