I actually shared this recipe in the newest issue (November/December) of The Essential Herbal Magazine. Now would be the time to order your subscription to get this and other seasonal end-of-year recipes as well as other articles for the herbal minded person!
The recipe follows all the pictured steps.
First I washed and air dried the harvested stems. I laid them out on paper towel and turned them a couple of times while I got the other materials together and grated the lemon zest.
Once it was fully boiling I took it off the stove and poured the contents into a bowl, placed a cover over it and let it steep for 30 minutes.
After the mixture steeped I poured it into my jelly colander. using the wooden plunger to press down the herbs and extract all the liquid. You do not normally press down on the materials when making jelly as this will make the mixture cloudy, but the dark color and use of balsamic vinegar in this recipe means it will already be dark and cloudy so you might as well extract all you can from the herbs.
Once you have skimmed off the foam, pour the hot liquid into hot sterilized jars. I generally leave the jars in the hot water I boiled them in until just before the jelly boils then I remove them from the how water and drain them on a towel. By the time the pectin boils for one minute I can flip the jars over and fill them right away. When I take the jars out of the hot water I slip the metal mason jar lids into the hot water and leave them in the water until I am ready to seal each jar with a lid.
The hot lids are placed on top of each filled jar and the rings are screwed on finger tight. Then you place the jars in a water bath and boil for 5 minutes. Normally you water bath for 10 minutes, but herbal jelly will get runny if you go that long so only boil covered for 5 minutes. Then remove the jars to a heat protected surface and let cool. The lids should pop fairly quickly. Any that do not should be kept in the refrigerator and eaten first, the others will keep for 6 to 12 months or longer.
|Notice my empty jar in the middle to keep the others from falling over into the empty space while boiling.|