Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dark Opal Basil Jelly ... from Grow Great Grub

Last month I reviewed an excellent gardening / food book Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail.  Then of course I had all sorts of excitement with the New Seeds announcement and I didn't get a chance to post what looks to be a delicious recipe.  This is a jelly recipe I'll look forward to making as soon as my Dark Opal has reached maturity.

"This recipe uses low-methoxyl pectin, a type that allows jam and jelly makers to cut back on the sugar.  As a result, this recipe will not work with regular pectin."

Dark Opal Basil Jelly
1 1/2 cups fresh Dark Opal Basil leave, finely chopped
1/2 cup white grape juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons low-methoxyl pectin
3 teaspoons calcium phosphate solution

1. Place the basil, white grape juice and 1 1/2 cups water in a pan and bring to a boil.  Immediately remove the pan from the heat and set aside to steep for about 20 minutes.
2.  Strain the leaves from the liquid.  Some liquid will have evaporated, so add more water to bring the quantity up to 2 cups.
3.  Pour the liquid back into the pan along with the lemon juice and slowly bring the mixture to a boil.  In the meantime, mix the sugar and low-methoxyl pectin in a bowl.
4.  Once the herbal liquid is bowling, slowly stir in the sugar-pectin mixture using a whisk, continuing to stir until the powders have dissolved into the liquid and all lumps are gone.
5.  Bring the liquid to a vigorous rolling boil that can't be stirred down and allow it to boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
6.  Quickly and thoroughly stir in the calcium phosphate solution and remove the jelly from from the heat.
7.  Pour into sterilized jars and process in a boiling-water bath for 5 minutes.

Makes 5-6 quarter-pint jars

"If you'd rather not bother with sterilizing jars, leave the jelly on the counter to cool and set for a few hours before serving.  It will last about a month in the fridge."

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