"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening your presents and listen."
-Author unknown, attributed to a 7 year old named Bobby
This post is a part of a series, Handmade Holiday Gifts
makes 6 or 7, 8 oz. jars
This is a good one. It's incredibly easy, and simple. And quite unique. I've given this as gifts for years, and it is well received by wine lovers. It makes a delightful hostess gift as well. Package it in small 4 oz jars, and it can be opened up and used on a cheese plate immediately. I think it would be lovely served with cheese and crackers as an appetizer on Christmas day, or New Years day, since it's sort of special and festive.
I will be making homemade cheese crackers to give with this jelly. I will be posting that recipe soon.
It's also a super easy recipe for those who are new to canning. The recipe itself takes about 5 minutes, and you don't really need to do the whole water bath processing, if you keep it refrigerated. You can give it as gifts and just tell the recipients to keep it in the fridge after they receive it, (if it sits at room temperature for a few hours, it will be o.k.) Refrigerated it will keep for months, like 6 months, literally. I had some in the back of my fridge for about that long, it was fine. The benefit of not preserving it, is that you can use different jars to store it, so if save commercial jelly jars, or other small jars, you can use them. That is something you can't do if you were preserving it.
If you do choose to can it, meaning preserve it using the water bath method, of course you can keep it at room temperature for years.
This recipe is quite unique in that it is not really cooked. It is deliberately this way as to not cook out the alcohol. It uses liquid pectin which is considered "instant" pectin. You are probably thinking (like I was) "is this really going to set up since it's not boiled"? I've made this recipe a handful of times, and it does indeed set up, it is a soft set, but it's set nonetheless.
makes 6 or 7, 8 oz. jars
recipe from here
4 cups red wine, Burgundy is a good choice, or any red wine really. I used Cabernet
(a standard bottle of wine is 3 cups, I keep the little bottles around to cook with, so I used the standard bottle plus the little bottle.)
6 cups sugar
2 pouches, 6 oz. total, liquid pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter (this prevents foaming)
In a large pot, combine sugar, wine and butter on medium heat. Stir until it gets warm and sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in the pectin.
If not preserving-
Pour into hot sterilized jars. When cool, cover and refrigerate.
If you preserving them using the water bath method, pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
If you have never canned, read up on it here, you will be using the method for high acid food, (if you are choosing the preserve it, that is.)
Note #1** Powdered pectin and liquid pectin are not interchangeable. This recipe requires the liquid, since it isn't really cooked.
Note #2*** You cannot change the amount of sugar in this recipe, if you do it may not set properly. If you would like to make wine jelly that is low in sugar, you would need to purchase the low sugar type of pectin and find a recipe that coincides with it. Also there is a product called Pomona Pectin that requires no sugar. It is found at health food stores.