My mint is starting to take over the garden! Before I head off on my west coast adventure, I thought I should give the mint a trim. I'd love to use this all up in mojitos, but that's a lot of rum to drink. Mint jelly it is!
Instead of using ready made pectin, I made my own with 4 pounds of apples. The recipe for the pectin & mint jelly came from a fabulous canning book called Canning For a New Generation. Lianna Krissoff has a zillion fabulous recipes, and they work fairly effortlessly. If you're a canner, you must read this book. I changed only 2 things in the recipe, 1. Mint quantity: She called for 1 cup of chopped mint. I did 4 cups. I just had that much mint and took a leap of faith. 2. I did not use the seed-filled cores. The arsenic in the apple seeds freaks me out. I'm no expert on the science, but I excluded the cores and seeds and it turned out great.
Ingredients: - 4 pounds of apples, washed & sliced into eighths, cores into the composter - 4 cups of chopped mint (mine was a combo of different varieties), washed & stems into your composter - 2 1/4 cups of cane sugar - 3 tbsp of bottled lemon juice (bottled has consistent acidity) - 6 cups of water
Method: - using an apple slicer, cut the apples and discard the cores & seeds - add the apples, chopped mint & water into a large dutch oven. Bring to a boil & simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. - if you're planning on canning the jelly, start prepping your water bath & sterilized jars - after the apples begin to break up and seperate from their skins, carefully strain the apple-mint mixture into a heat safe bowl. Allow the strainer to rest over the bowl for 20-30 minutes. You need to get 3 cups of liquid out of this.
Method continued: - Rinse & dry the dutch oven - Put the strained liquid into the dutch oven, along with the lemon juice and a candy thermometer, then bring to a boil. - while the mixture heads to 220 Fahrenheit, prep your canning lids & cooling station - this can take up to a half an hour, so stick around, maybe organize a drawer or two. Then using a sterilized ladle & funnel, get the sticky jelly into the warm/dry glass jars. - wipe the jar rims with a warm damp (clean) cloth and get the lids on just finger tight. - process the jelly in the water bath for 5 minutes if you're using half pint jars. - remember to allow the jars to rest for 12 hours after processing. I usually check mine after an hour just to make sure they sealed. Love to hear the pop of a canning lid! - if you're not canning these, store the jelly in the fridge. It should last a few weeks to a month.
One of the main reasons I made the jelly, is my Father loves it. Though most of the mint jelly he consumes is Martian green and probably full of corn syrup. So this is a small way for me to get some homegrown & homemade treats on his table.
I do think this jelly could go beyond the dinner table. I have hopes of stirring some into a mid-winter Mojito or maybe some green tea. I have a feeling this will remind me of spring when the wind is blowing and my mint is dormant.