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Harvest Time #2: Mint Jelly, Step by Step.

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Blog entry by Scott Hildenbrand posted 07-19-2008 12:43 AM 6233 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Mmmm.. Mint Jelly, Strawberry Preserves and Salsa. Part 2 of Harvest Time series Part 3: Hot Pepper Jelly »

Seems like the mint jelly is by far the winner among all the jellies we’d done and has gained the most attention so I thought that I would write it up and post it online.

This recipe can no doubt be adapted to other infusions without much fuss.. First few things that come to mind are any of the mint family. This batch we used plain old mint and pineapple mint mixed together. You could use chocolate mint, spearmint, or even lemon balm; but I can’t fathom why you’d want to use that.

Anyway, I’ll cut the chatter and get back to it. This batch I made was double of the following recipe, so it’s safe to double it up. As it is written, it will yield 6 half pint jars. The double batch I made came out to 6 and a half pints.

1 1/2 C. Packed Mint Leaves (fresh is better)
3 1/4 C. Water
5 1/2 C. Sugar
1 Box Pectin

  1. Add water and mint leaves into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Once at a rolling boil remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain mint tea through a jelly bag, or other material to remove leaves.
  4. Place liquid into another sauce pan and add pectin.
  5. Bring mixture back to a light boil and add sugar, stirring to ensure that it dissolves.
  6. Return mixture to a full rolling boil, adding 10 drops of green food coloring.
  7. Boil for no longer than 2 minutes.
  8. Ladle jelly into clean jelly jars and seal with heated lids.

Look, thar be weeds in the pot!

Boiled down and steeped for 30 minutes.

I don’t use jelly bags. Any fine mesh synthetic material works fine.

Dumped the weeds on the cloth and let the juice flow through.

Give it a REAL good squeeze to get all the fluid out and chuck what’s left on the compost.

This is what you have. It’s clear fluid. The pot is just well loved and aged.

Adding the pectin and bringing back up to heat to start dissolving sugar.

Sugar’s all added and starting to mix.

This is where you start the timer for 2 minutes.. A few seconds before you reach;

…this.. Your timer needs to be running..

While you’re stirring, add your food coloring.

Two minutes are up, turn the burner off and let it settle!

Some people scoop the foam. I think they’re obsessive. It’s only a little foam. Either way, get to canning.

All done.. Lick the spatula and call it a day.

Depending on if you double the recipe, this is what you might end up with.

I made an extra foamy one by scooping off the excess foam into one of the jars. There’s some in all of them, but the one you see on the left is REALLY foamy.. It’s all fun.. ;)

All in all today we did the mint jelly and finished off another batch of apple jelly that I’d started yesterday. Just put the juice into a bottle in the fridge till tonight and finished it then.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b



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Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3579 days
hardiness zone 6b

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27 comments so far

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 3685 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 07-19-2008 12:56 AM

YUM!!!!!!!!! Love the step by step pics!!! Great blog Scott!!!

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Eklectic's profile

Eklectic

1824 posts in 3608 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-19-2008 05:43 AM

Well done Scott!
Love the comments on the nice pictures!

Is that an “Elephant Lamp” I see?Looks very nice!!!!:-) I have a small collection of elephants.

-- Eklectic, Follow my Bliss, South East Ontario 5a

View dini's profile

dini

1591 posts in 3524 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 07-19-2008 06:20 AM

Looks so yummy! Can think of several combinations of mints to try!

-- the day you quit learning is the day you quit living.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-19-2008 12:42 PM

Thanks. Just the other day, I was asking my wife if she knew how to make mint jelly. We have a LOT of mint, and we LOVE fresh Ontario lamb, and they go so well together.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3579 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 07-19-2008 03:56 PM

I thought that you all would like this post.. We’re going to cease with the jelly making after another round of mixed berry and blackberry jams. I love the blackberry, just can’t stand the seeds, so always put it through the Squeezo anymore.

jroot, welcome, eh.. I’d never tried it on lamb myself, but I hear it’s typically always served with it.

Going to whip up some hot pepper jelly today or tomorrow most likely.. Wife keeps rolling her eyes at me about it, but I really want to see how it is.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3808 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 07-19-2008 04:14 PM

that’s an excellent post. Thank you!

I think I might give the lemon balm a try!!
Thanks for the recipe AND the great sequence photos.

Hot Pepper Jelly: my neighbour loves the stuff. I think it is her #1 canning item.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3579 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 07-22-2008 11:58 AM

We just tried this recipe with Chocolate Mint and it was wonderful stuff.. I’d jokingly said to make it brown so we’d used food coloring mixes and turned it a funky brown green color..

Still good stuff, regardless of how it looks. Love the chocolate undertone. ;)

Deb, does she do a sweet recipe, or a sugarless one? I’m trying a sweet recipe today that I’d changed around a bit to improve set.

Wondering how well, or usable a sugarless version would be.. Hmm.. Good for BBQing though for sure.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3808 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 07-23-2008 05:45 AM

can’t remember… she gave me the recipe but since I’m not into “hot peppers” I just stuffed the recipe in a book somewhere.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-27-2008 09:01 PM

I bought the pectin today. So…. look out mint patch. LOL

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Jason's profile

Jason

840 posts in 3661 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 07-27-2008 09:13 PM

Mmmm…my mom’s got a great recipe for pepper jelly. It’s not hot (mostly hungarian peppers), but its killer on top of a dab of cream cheese, on a triscuit.

I just cut down all my lemon balm cause it was huge and flowering. I’m hoping it’ll grow up again this season, and if so, I’ll try some in jelly, sounds good!

-- Living on the square...Metro Detroit

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 07-29-2008 11:34 AM

Scott, I made the mint jelly today, based on your recipe. It is GOOD. I think I will have to go and get some fresh Ontario lamb from the butcher for tonight’s feast.

Thanks, again.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3579 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 08-27-2008 09:37 PM

We just did a version of this jelly with Lemon Balm instead. It turned out really well, has a slight planty aftertaste though. I’ll confess I added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to it as well.

At any rate, it’s pretty good. :)

—next time..

1) leaves only, no stems
2) leaving out the lemon juice
3) standard batch, not a double, in case it sucks. :)

Say, J, you cook up that lamb yet? How’d it go?

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 08-28-2008 09:35 AM

Scott, We did indeed cook up the lamb. It ws good, as was the jelly.

Next time, cut down the water to 2 1/4 cups. It sort of set, but not totally. I just checked it in the cupboard now, and it is slightly gelatinous, but not the way it should be. But a GREAT taste. I added only a few drops of colouring.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3579 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 08-28-2008 10:59 AM

My guess is it’s the pectin. We don’t use the boxed stuff found in stores. We buy it in bulk bags via Der Dutch Merchant here in town. He says it’s much better than the stuff in the stores and is fresher. I don’t doubt it. Seems anything we’d made with it set way better than with the boxed stuff.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 08-28-2008 12:30 PM

makes sense.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3808 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 08-28-2008 01:53 PM

well, after seeing Scott’s version of “lemon balm” I decided to give it a try this afternoon.
I stripped the leaves from the stems and I did not add any lemon juice. I did put a few drops of orange food colouring into it “just in case”.

Dang, that is YUMMY.
Rick (who has a sweet tooth) said: wow that’s sweet… and… what would you put that on?

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3579 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 08-28-2008 02:48 PM

LOL.. So it works fine without any added lemon then? Good to know.. Thanks for testing that out for me.. ;)

I had some on toast this morning and it was rather good. It’s really just lemon jelly, so what ever you can think of to slap it on.

I’m most likely going to build an enclosed mint bed that I can put a cold frame on and fill it full of different kinds of mints. The pineapple mint jelly is certainly different than the standard mint, or chocolate mint.

Rather fun to play around though, see what tastes good and what doesn’t.

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3808 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 08-28-2008 03:41 PM

well I’ve tested the jelly out on Rick, my daughter, and my son-in-law and it is a unanimous “way too sweet for me”.
So I have several jars of “way too sweet” lemon jelly to eat this winter. Thank goodness we’re having bonfire breakfast on Saturday… I can make everyone try it and that should get rid of … hmmmm 1/2 a jar??

I’ve heard of the chocolate mint before. What does it taste like?

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View MIKE CRIPPS's profile

MIKE CRIPPS

404 posts in 3583 days

posted 08-29-2008 03:20 AM

i made mint jelly last year scott its great with roast lamb i sprinkle a few rosemary leaves in it when i bottle it it looks good and adds to the flavour . i enjoyed your pictorial cooking session .
regards mike

-- MIKE MILTON COMMON U.K.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3808 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 08-30-2008 09:21 AM

the Lemon Balm Jelly was a BIG hit at our bonfire breakfast this morning!!!
Everyone thought it was DEEEEEElicious!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bunting's profile

Bunting

822 posts in 3532 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 08-30-2008 09:59 PM

I love mint jelly especially with lamb Looks good there.

I am cooking chow at the moment.

Almost ready to bottle

-- NS Zone 5B 200 KM East of Halifax cheers Bunting------Having a place to go – is a home. Having someone to love – is a family.

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3579 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 08-30-2008 10:05 PM

Debbie… Chocolate Mint tastes like pizza… ;)

Glad that everyone liked it. Though it is sweet. Might do nicely with fish? light salt over top for a taste contrast.

Bunting, chow?

Hmm… I don’t eat lamb.. It’s one of those things I just can’t draw myself to eat.. Darn things are too cute.. It’s like rabbit, won’t do that either.. :’/

I just have PB&J’s with the jellies. :)

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3438 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 08-31-2008 12:27 AM

Lamb and rabbit. Good eating. Yes, they are cute, but both are best when they are young, I think.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3808 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-18-2009 10:57 AM

I’m trying your recipe with “anise hyssop”. Should be interesting!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Scott Hildenbrand's profile

Scott Hildenbrand

1690 posts in 3579 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 06-18-2009 12:25 PM

Oh wow, that SHOULD be interesting.. Let me know how it turns out.. I love anise flavor.

This recipe can be used for pretty well any herb. Not sure how it will turn out though.. Oregano jelly just doesn’t seem right.

If you want it stronger, or are using herbs with lighter flavors you might want to use more leaves/plant matter, such as using 2C or even 2 1/2C..

I wonder… How would Horehound or Licorice jelly taste..

-- Planting Daylilies in Kentucky, zone 6b

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3808 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-18-2009 12:39 PM

well, I did up a batch and as I licked the spoon after, I thought… “mm but I should have used more leaves.”

Then I put the leftover bit in the fridge for a while.

Testing it: it was a LOT stronger than the trial test at the stove but more would definitely make the licorice flavour more intense.

Verdict:
I like it .. I’m sure it would taste good on some type of meat or a dessert perhaps.

Rick tried it: he didn’t spit it out and he said “it needed to be spread thicker” (I just gave him a hint of it )

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View sisterbrenda's profile

sisterbrenda

1 post in 2376 days

posted 06-13-2011 05:51 PM

Would like to say I tried this mint in using the Choc mint.. ( I didn’t use the Der Dutch) I used the plain surejell.. I thought I would try this because I like trying new things.. Making jelly and jam isn’t new to me.. I found I had to boil and cook it down for 30 minutes..Then it was ready to put in my canning jars.. It taste really good.. I think the difference is the ratio that the amount of surejell and the amount of( Der Dutch) is used… Looking forward to trying more things on the forum here…

-- We like the slow pace take time to smell the flowers and listen to the birds take notice of all of Gods works.

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