When you think of jelly you usually think of grape or strawberry or even mixed fruit. But how many of you think of making jelly from Horseradish or a jam from Tomatoes and Basil? You can make jelly or jams from just about anything you have around your kitchen.
These jellies are not what you could consider toast and jelly foods. They are more cream cheese and a cracker or warm brie and a bagel bite or wheat thins.
When we had our canning business and traveled around the country doing shows we sampled many different products, and some of those were things you would never think of in the terms jelly or jam. We constantly had people standing with a shocked look on their face after trying one of those. I think the biggest shock was when they tried Horseradish Jelly. I told them that they had to imagine that they had a cracker with cream cheese on it before they tasted it. They eyes lite up and they all expressed a surprised look. They could not believe the flavor it had. We sampled Tomato-Basil Jam at a show and sold out of our supply in the first 2 hours of the show. We had planned on having enough for 3 days. Well now that I have told you a little background let’s get cooking. The canning process for all the things I am listing are all the same. Fill cleaned jars to within 1/4 inch of the top.
Clean the rim with a damp paper towel. Place a sterilized dome on top then tighten the ring finger-tight (that is just tight do not over do). If the ring is too tight air can’t escape during the boiling stage. If is not tight enough water leaks in and spoils your product. So just finger-tight. Boil the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Start the time when the water comes back to boil after the jars are carefully place in the pot. Make sure that the jars don’t touch the bottom, if they do they will crack. After boiling remove and place on a rack or counter top till completely cool. Check for jars that don’t seal, they must have a new dome after re-cleaning. Then reprocessed. This process is the same for almost everything I talk about so don’t get annoyed with my repeating the process. Not everybody reads the previous blogs. I don’t want them to do something wrong and spoil their work.
First I will start with Horseradish Jelly: 4 cups white vinegar. 1/3 cup fresh horseradish that has been trimmed and chopped finely. You can buy refrigerated horseradish in jars, this way you don’t have to be peeled and cut up fresh. They both work out great.r4 cups apple juice (not from concentrate). 10 cups sugar. 2 packages powder fruit pectin. 1/4 teaspoon canning salt (not table salt). Blend Horseradish with either vinegar or apple juice in a blender (not food chopper). Mix Vinegar, Horseradish, Apple Juice, Fruit Pectin, and Salt together and bring to a boil. Add Sugar and bring back to a boil. Check to make sure the jelly is getting to the stage where if sort of drips slowly from a wooden spoon. If not then more sugar, but only if necessary. Pour in jars and follow instructions above. This is a jelly that does not set up hard like you are used to, it is a semi soft jelly. So don’t be worried if yours is not firm. Serve chilled with cream cheese or warm Brie. Wonderful along side pepper jelly at a party. Make sure that you tell people the difference so they will not mix them up. We did not add food coloring so the jelly will almost be clear. Now how about a really different one
Grape-Thyme Jelly: Make a herb infusion using 1 cup dried herb, 6 cups grape juice. Bring juice to boil, then pour over herbs. Let sit overnight. Strain herbs from juice. This is your herb infusion for making the jelly with. I used Welch’s Grape Juice for the jelly. I loved the grape flavor. If you have another favorite, use that one. One of the things I like about Welch’s is that it has no added sugar so it works great. This jelly is great on a cracker but also really good with a pork roast.
Next is Onion Jelly: When you chop Vidalia onions for other uses, set the chopped onions in a strainer and let sit for a while, the juice that collects in the bottom of the container is onion juice. This is what we use to make the jelly. 1 cups white vinegar. 1 1/2 cups onion juice. 1 1/2 cups apple juice. 6 cups sugar. 1 package fruit pectin. 1/8 teaspoon canning salt. Mix all juices with powdered pectin and salt. Stir and bring to a boil add Sugar and bring back to a boil. Check to see if it is jelling add more sugar if necessary. This is another party jelly. We added yellow food coloring so they it would be different from Horseradish Jelly.
Our next one is Garlic Jelly: 1 cup garlic – minced small. 4 cups white vinegar. 3 cups apple juice. 2 packages fruit pectin. 14 cups sugar. 1 teaspoon citric acid. 1/4 teaspoon salt, kosher or canning. Put vinegar, garlic and apple juice in a blender and puree’ til hardly garlic pieces are as tiny as possible. Combine all ingredients except sugar in large pot. Bring to boil for 1 minute, add sugar and bring back to boil for 1 minute. Before you put on the lid to seal the jar, again take a plastic spoon and stir the jelly. The garlic pieces tend to float and more than likely they will be on the top of your jelly. This happens, so don’t get upset. Great with cheese, but also good to rub a chicken with before your cook it on a rotisserie. Gives skin a nice little flavor and a beautiful color.
Next is Tomato Basil Jam. This is the one we sampled and sold out in a hurry. I believe it will become a staple in your party and other events cook book. It is easy and does not cost much. Both big factors today. Tomato-Basil Jam: 3 1/2 cups tomatoes, crushed. 3 tablespoons basil, fresh or dried basil. 1/4 cup lemon juice (not from a bottle. Buy frozen juice it is sold at most grocery stores today.) 3 cups sugar. 1 package fruit pectin. Combine all ingredients, simmer til jelly stage. Notice I said simmer not boil. Boiling will lead to sticking and burning. Simmering is much easier to handle. We use this at parties, but also in cooking. Mary Lynn uses it sometimes over meat loaf. She also uses it on pork chops.
Up next is a variety of pepper jelly. I gave you the directions in an earlier blog https://canucanit.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/can-u-can-it-6/. If you go back and read, please come back for more things to make.
Kiwi Pepper Jelly: Make pepper vinegar fusion. 1 3/4 cups pepper vinegar. 1/4 cup jalapeño pepper vinegar. 2 cups apple juice. 6 cups sugar. 1/2 teaspoon canning salt. 1 package fruit pectin. 1/4 teaspoon citric acid 2 drops food color, red or green. 1/2 cup kiwis, peeled, chopped. Combine ingredients in a large pot except sugar, bring to boil for 1 minute. Add sugar, bring back to boil for 1 minute. While jars are cooling stir gently to make sure kiwi pieces are throughout the jelly. Don’t use a metal spoon or utensil. Use plastic or Teflon to keep from damaging the glass jars. Use this along side your other pepper jellies at your parties.
If you make a jalapeno’ pepper infusion the jalapeño pepper vinegar will not make the jelly hot. It just adds flavor. Another jelly that is similar is Strawberry Jalapeno‘ Pepper Jelly:
4 cups strawberries, blended. 2 cups jalapeño vinegar. 2 cups apple cider. 1 teaspoon salt, kosher or canning. 3 packages fruit pectin. Combine all ingredients except sugar in large pot. Bring to boil for 1 minute, add sugar and bring back to boil for 1 minute. Along with the other pepper jellies on your party table. This one is a party favorite. Everybody loves the mixture of flavors. It will not last long, so have refills ready.
My last will be a herb jelly. to make this you will to make a herb fusion.
Basil Jelly: Make a herb infusion using 1 cups dried herb, 6 cups apple juice. Bring juice to boil, then pour over herbs. Crush the bail leaves to get the best tasting infusion. Let sit overnight at least.
Strain herbs from juice. This is your herb infusion for use in cooking. 2 cups herb infusion. 1/4 cup white vinegar. 4 1/2 cups sugar. 1 package fruit pectin. 2 drops food color (we like green). Combine all ingredients in large pot bring to boil for 1 minute. Add sugar, bring back to boil for 1 minute. Add food color to get color you wish. Add to a nice bagel with cream cheese for breakfast.
Another hint for getting the jellies or jams from the jar. Don’t use a metal knife, it might ding the jar or maybe even chip. Use a plastic spoon and you will never have that problem. We have told people this and they think we are crazy. But if you take a moment and think about it you will agree with me. Another thing about using a metal knife or spoon to take jelly from a jar, the metal will break the jell, causing you =r jelly to get runny. Think about all those jars of jelly you have bought in your life. The first is nice and firm, but after a few sandwiches the jelly starts to get a little loose. By the time you are at the bottom part of the jar you can pour your jelly out it is so runny.
I have given you a nice variety of things to make and enjoy many different ways. I hope you will make at least one of them, but hopefully you will make more than one to have for your parties. They add such a nice variety and difference taste. Your friends will be surprised when they try them. They will ask your for your recipe, because they want to make their our. Just give them my blog site and they will have many to choose from.
I also did not give you many ideas on how to use your herb or spice flavored jellies and jam. You can come up with your own ideas based on your family and friends eating habits. Some don’t eat pork or other meats. You can still make and enjoy these products in a variety of ways, things like making into a sauce that you can o=pour over other veggies, or like the garlic jelly rub on chickens. You can glaze a ham with the Kiwi Pepper Jelly for a tangy delicious ham. So get out your cooks hat or chefs hat and think!
I know you have heard this before but just when I get going it is time to stop. Well if you like this blog and would like more ideas about making things you buy in the store, let me know and I will do a whole blog about these type of items. Remember when you get closed in with winter weather you can still make great things in your kitchen.
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