Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let's can, man

Because we can! Alright, I'll stop.

One of the MIL's favorite Sunday dinners at our house is rack of lamb, and she likes a little mint jelly with her lamb. However, when I went to the grocery to buy some, all I could find was that lurid green stuff—green for absolutely no good reason. The green has nothing to do with the flavor; it's just food coloring. So I learned to make my own, which comes out the lovely golden color of the apple juice I use for the base.

Yeah, I've done that thing where I grated apples, strain them through a cloth, blahblahblah. It seemed so unnecessarily labor intensive when good apple juice can be purchased (and it's not as if I have an apple tree in my yard).

This is so easy, and the jelly cooks while the water in your canning pot heats.

A few pieces of equipment are needed.

A big canning pot like this is also good for boiling crab or lobster (alas, we have only the former) or huge batches of corn on the cob. Oh yeah, and you need a rack to go inside it.

Most hardware stores have these dandy little kits that include a funnel that fits on top of your jars

and these tongs for lifting jars out of the hot water. Well worth the investment.

Ready? Here we go.

3 cups apple juice, unsweetened

1 package powdered pectin

several sprigs of fresh mint

4 1/2 cups sugar

Prepare jars and lids by boiling for 10 minutes to sterilize.

Heat apple juice and pectin in a large sauce pan. When pectin is dissolved, add mint. Bring to boil over high heat.

Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for one minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove mint and skim foam if necessary. Pour into jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Jars should be covered with a few inches of water on top and not touching each other or the sides of the pot.

I leave to meet Sophie down at my parents' tomorrow, but I did get a few things done around the house. I got my vin de peche bottled, did a little gardening, made a big pot of chili for Husband, baked my dad's favorite cookies, and there's still time for a P.T.A. officers' planning meeting cocktail summit this evening. We've found a drink or two facilitates decision making.


Monica said...

PTA? PTA?? Didn't we have that conversation already?

(ok, so I'm involved with ours again, too. I know--just shoot me now)

Sabina said...

did we get to the planning part? i don't recall, the libations were so very distracting from the business.

have fun with the mickey.


Jennifer H said...

Your labels are so pretty!

My husband wouldn't know what to think if I started canning. His joy would know no bounds. So I probably won't. (Kidding...)

miss edgar said...

Oh THANK YOU for this ... my hubby adores homemade mint jelly ...

(said hello to your Dad too ... great pics!)

Angelina said...

The label is did you do it?

Is there anything a vegetarian can put mint jelly on?

Mo said...

You continue to amaze me with your culinary talents!

preppy little dress said...

looks like fun, i bet it tastes yummy!!!