Sunday, January 25, 2015
Tea and Honey Jelly
Last week, I mentioned (in this post) the canning books I've been reading. I found a fun (new-to-me)recipe in Canning for a New Generation for Tea Jelly. This book really inspired me to do a little canning. I know, I know. It's winter. But believe me, if you check out this book, you too will be inspired to do a little canning (in fact she has a fabulous section on winter canning recipes)!
The only thing was, I had to change it up a little. AND. I mean just a little, because canning is not something you should mess around with a lot. You don't want to risk food-borne illness. I had also been reading Canning and Preserving Without Sugar and felt very confident about switching out the sugar for honey. I also didn't have enough green apples to make her green apple pectin stock. I did however have a package of pectin, so, that's what I used.
The original recipe called for loose tea to be steeped, then strained. The flavor I wanted to use was an Orange spice black tea that I had in tea bags. I THOUGHT about opening the tea bags and having loose tea (for about a second). I couldn't figure out what difference it would make. Steeped tea is steeped tea, right? Besides, why add to the mess (that might just be me though).
I want you to know, I've never had very good success making jelly (and now I know why). I've never cooked it LONG enough. Her jelly recipes are brought to a boil and boiled until the mixture reaches 220F. That took about 30 minutes. I know I've never boiled jelly that long before (see, you can learn new things!)!
If you want to try the recipe I used, here's my version:
Tea and Honey Jelly-
6 Tbsp. loose tea leaves (or 6 tea bags)
2-1/4 cups boiling water
1 package pectin
1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
2-1/4 cups honey
Put the tea leaves (or tea bags) in a heatproof bowl and pour the boing water over. Let steep for 5 minutes, then pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a 6 to 8 quart pot. Stir in the pectin, lemon juice and honey into the tea. Boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture registers220F. on a candy thermometer (25 to 30 minutes). Ladle hot jelly into sterilized jars leaving 1/4"headspace. Process jars 7 minutes.
Yield: 2 half-pint jars
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