Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lemon Balm Jelly


Like I mentioned in my previous post, I have never attempted to make an herb jelly. I had some nice lemon balm so thought I would make a batch.
I read several recipes online, and for us, most of these just have too much sugar in the recipe for our use. So this was also another challenge for the no sugar pectin.
This is the recipe with Ball using the sugar, regular pectin, and apple juice as a base http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/recipe/215.php?recipe=252 I like the idea of the apple juice as a base in these herb jellys, or even white grape juice might be nice too.
and from my no sugar pectin instructions:
1. prepare the juice, or infuse herbs in boiling water
2. prepare the jars and canner
3. combine juice with lemon juice, add in the no sugar pectin, bring to a boil that can not be stirred down.( these recipes are based on 4 cups total liquid.)
4. add sugar, splenda, or honey bring back to a hard boil for one minute-can
Here is a recipe from one of the farmgirls:
http://afarminmyheart.blogspot.com/2010/06/herbal-tea-jellies.html she has been making lots of herb jellys too from her herbs.
and then online, I forgot to mark where I got the recipe, I found this one, which I went with, and adapted cause I liked the idea of also adding back in some fresh herbs to the jelly. and used the method from the no pectin box-above
Lemon Balm Jelly
1 3/4 cups fine chopped lemon balm-reserve a 1/4 cup to add back in later ( I did not do a fine chop)
1 1/2 cups water
3 1/2 cups sugar I used 5 packets of stevia in the raw
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar-I almost did not use this, and I kinda wish I didn't, but I used 1/2 cup and I would probably only add 1/4 cup or none at all next time, or I would use a wine vinegar which I did have on hand too
2 tablespoons lemon juice-I still had some organic lemons, so I zested it and added it all in, and I used all the juice from the one lemon-nice addition
1 bottle of pectin-I used my no sugar pectin
Bring water to a boil and pour over 1 1/2 cup of fresh herbs Let steep 30 minutes. (after 30 minutes I didn't think the tea was strong enough, so I brought it back to a simmer, turned off the heat, put on the lid and let steep for another half hour or so.
Strain into pan
Combine the mint liquid, vinegar, lemon and water to a boil-I measured all the liquids to total 4 cups.
This recipe says to boil for 2 minutes, stir constantly and remove from heat, stir in the pectin, add in reserved mint. and can
I followed the no pectin instructions, so I added the powedered pectin to all the liquids brought it to a boil slowly. I also had the reserved lemon balm in there and the lemon rind. This takes about 10 minutes or longer.
I then added in the stevia packets-brought it back to a hard boil-tasted it-very good actually, and canned, processed in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
I used 8 ounce jars, was just about a 1/2 inch short of jelly in the 4th jar, but canned it anyways-and will use first.
This definately is not a really pretty jelly, but I just don't want to add in food coloring. and If I use these as base in glazes for meats I wouldn't want it to have any added colors to it.
These no sugar pectin jams and jellys will take 24 to 48 hours to set up-everything I have made this year has set up really nice.

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