Prepare to have your gardening and preserving lives forever changed for the better with these two words: Basil Jelly.
Yes, that’s a mighty big promise to start out with, but you guys, this jelly is that good. The aroma, the color, the taste–I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I made this batch of jelly on Monday.
It all started with a glut of garden basil. The basil has been growing beautifully this year, but with a batch of fresh pesto already in the refrigerator and no ripe tomatoes in sight yet, I was stuck trying to come up with some other options to use it up. I was contemplating making up a batch of basil syrup, when I started to wonder if it would work to make a basil jelly. With thoughts of a beautiful pale green, lemony basil jelly occupying my mind, I was on a mission to find a recipe.
Finding the right recipe took a little bit of time. I looked through about half a dozen variations, but nothing jumped out at me as exactly what I was looking for, so I started to compare recipes, looking for the basic proportions of basil, water, sugar, acid, and pectin to use as a starting point.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
2 cups water
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
3 oz. package liquid pectin
Rough chop basil leaves and place them in a large glass bowl and set aside. Bring water to a boil and pour over the basil; cover and let sit for 15-20 minutes. After time has passed, pour liquid through a strainer to remove leaves and measure out 1 1/2 cups of the liquid.
Combine liquid with sugar and lemon juice in a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. When the boil is constant and cannot be stirred down, add the liquid pectin. Stirring constantly, return to a rapid boil and boil for 1 minute and remove from heat promptly.
Skim off any foam on the surface of the jelly and fill sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.
Yield: 5 half-pint jars
Recipe heavily adapted from several sources, but I depended most heavily on Renee’s Garden for method.
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