Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wine Jelly!

Bringing one bottle of wine to boil.
The book.
My friends Carrie & Mike gave me a new canning book for my birthday, and after I read it from cover to cover, I could not wait to can something! The only problem is, it's January, and I didn't want to buy some less-than-ripe produce for canning. But the author of "Canning For A New Generation", Liana Krissoff, had a couple of recipes in it for wine jelly, and I had a big ole bottle of leftover Burgundy we bought for our holiday party still in the pantry, and the wine was still surprisingly tasty, so I decided to make some Burgundy Wine Jelly. Now I'd seen wine jellies in fancy stores, and always assumed it would have limited uses, like spread over goat cheese or brie. (Not that that's a bad thing...) But since I don't always have goat cheese or brie around, I was worried that I'd not really use it. But if it tastes like it did while I was cooking it (I nearly burned my fingers and then my tongue tasting it, I was so excited!)...it won't go to waste. It tasted like the most intensely flavored grape jelly. Sweet, but deep.
Adding the pectin, sugar & lemon juice.

One of the things I like about this new canning book is that for someone still new to canning, she really lays out the steps in a clear manner. Pictures, excellent advice. And her recipes sound so good... I think I'll be using this book a lot this summer. I used her recipe for Cabernet Sauvignon Jelly. But I didn't have Cabernet, I had cheap Burgundy (you know the kind... from the big jug!) and I also didn't have homemade pectin, so I used a box of prepared pectin. But hopefully it'll gel and the jars will seal. I only had one new half-pint size jar, so I also used to jelly jars that originally had jelly in them. I heard one of them pop a little while ago. Hopefully they'll all seal. Otherwise, I guess it just means I have to use it quicker! The book said it would yield 5 half pints. Mine yielded just over 3. I put the remainder in a small, clean jar and directly into the fridge.  The canning water took much longer to bring to a rousing boil than I'd expected (I'm still grateful it doesn't take as long as it did in Denver, but still... this was an awful lot of water!) and I had to leave the wine jelly simmering on the stove an extra half hour. Perhaps that made it more intense... Anyhow, I'll let you know how it turned out. If the jars sealed, and if it gelled properly and how good it tastes!

Et voila! Burgundy Jelly!
I tried a trick the author mentioned if you don't have canning tongs: to wrap rubber bands around tongs. It worked for the first jar, but then I dropped the other two jars back in the canning water, and ended up falling back on what I've been using since autumn: rubberized potholders. But I think I realize that I need a to have a few things on hand to can properly: a mix of jars, new lids, canning tongs. And then I can become a canning machine!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds wonderful! I am glad YOU are trying these things, so I can do them later!!