Strawberry Champagne Garlic Jelly [Recipe by Allison Carroll Duffy]
Here in Maine, it’s pretty typical that April is still cold and wet, and this year is no exception. But, the birds are singing a lot more these days, and the snow is almost gone, so it at least feels like spring is in sight. Soon, no doubt, the earliest of the spring edibles will start to push up through the warming soil. Rhubarb, nettle, fiddleheads, asparagus….all are such welcome springtime treats. This strawberrychampagne-garlic jelly makes a delicious glaze for springtime veggies–especially asparagus. Try drizzling it over asparagus while it roasts! The garlic provides this savory jelly with a touch of earthiness, while the strawberry and the champagne keep it light and fresh–perfect for such tender, green shoots.
The first step in making this jelly, and most jellies, is to extract the juice from the juice from the fruit. It’s not difficult, but it can take a while. And, the amount of fruit required to yield the quantity of juice you will need can vary significantly depending on the fruit you are using. I’ve found that fresh, local, in season berries will often yield almost a cup of liquid per pound of berries. Using average grocery store berries, or frozen berries, is perfectly acceptable, but these berries typically yield quite a bit less juice– sometimes only half as much. To extract the juice, I typically heat the berries in a sauce pan with a very small amount of water to soften them before mashing them, as it helps to release the juices. As an alternative, if you are using very ripe, juicy berries, you could opt not to heat them, and mash them fresh instead. Either way, you’ll then put the mashed berries into a cheesecloth bag, suspend it over a bowl to collect the juice, and allow the bag to drip until you’ve collected enough juice–in this case, 2 1/2 cups.
Yield: 4-5 half-pint (8 ounce) jars
To do ahead of time:
***Prepare the calcium water. To do this, combine 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder (included in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin package) with 1/2 cup water in a small, clear container with a lid. Shake well before using. Note that you will have more calcium water than you will end up using in this recipe; simply store it in the refrigerator for later use.
3 (or more) pounds strawberries (enough to yield 2 1/2 cups of juice)
1/2 cup water
1 cup champagne
2 TBS minced garlic
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons calcium water
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin Powder
1.) Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
2.) Rinse the strawberries, then remove and discard stems. Place strawberries and the 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, then mash the berries.
3.) Transfer the mashed berries into a damp jelly bag or layered cheese cloth. Suspend over a bowl and allow the juice to drip into the bowl until the dripping stops–likely 3-4 hours–and you have accumulated 2 1/2 cups of juice. (Resist the temptation to squeeze the bag of fruit to make the dripping go faster! If you do, you will end up with cloudy, slightly pulpy juice, rather than clear juice.) Reserve the juice, and discard the pulp (or–even better–save it for some other use).
4.) Combine the champagne, garlic, and vinegar in a sauce pan. Cover, bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat. Allow the mixture to steep, still covered, for about 30 minutes. Then, pour through a fine-mesh strainer, collecting the liquid in a bowl. Reserve this infused liquid (covered, to prevent evaporation), and discard the solids that are in the strainer.
5.) In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.
6.) In a sauce pan, combine the 2 1/2 cups of strawberry juice, the infused liquid, and the calcium water. Bring this mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jelly to a boil, then remove from heat.
7.) Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jelly, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).
8.) Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
9.) Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove jars from canner.
10.) Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then, confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.
The Jam Spot [Featuring Chris Wilson, Owner and Jam Maker of LunaGrown Jam]
Have you ever given your lovingly homemade jam to a friend or been selling your jelly at your local farmers market only to be confronted by: “oh gosh, I already have so much jam and never know what to do with it all,” or “I’m not much of a bread person…” Well, Chris Wilson of LunaGrown Jam now has the perfect response…
Back in 2013 we had the privilege of spotlighting Chris in our Jam Notes of that June. As a successful entrepreneur and jam maker, he can attest to the customers and friends that just don’t feel like they need any jam. He has now published his book Beyond the Bread as his answer to that rebuff. His book is chock full of recipes and pairing ideas that take delicious handcrafted jam off the toast and into cocktails, salad dressings, and more. With an in-depth list of wine and beer pairings, your jam will be a hit at your next party. Chris has been crafting his low-sugar jams and jellies since 2012, exclusively using Pomona’s Universal Pectin after a careful selection process. Today, for your culinary delight, he shares with us his recipe for a Strawberry Jam Vinaigrette (just in time for those delicious summer salads).
Strawberry Jam Vinaigrette
1⁄3 cup white wine vinegar
3-4 tbsp Strawberry Jam (or jam of choice)
1⁄4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1⁄8 tsp salt (optional)
1. 1⁄2 cup of Flaxseed or Hemp oil (keep in mind that you want oil with only a small hint of flavor as to not overpower your other ingredients)
2. It is preferable to let this dressing sit before serving to allow the flavors to combine well. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator after use.
To get your hands on a copy of Chris’s brilliant new book, or to try some of his delicious jams, visit his website at www.lunagrown.com.
Did we mention there is whole section for summer beverages (with and without alcohol)?!
Pomona’s Universal Pectin as a Health Drink?
For the record, Pomona’s Universal Pectin is not meant to be consumed as a health supplement and we do not advise or recommend taking it as such. That being said, we get many questions about how much Pomona’s to use as a liquid supplement (in comparison to Certo). If you are drinking Certo pectin as a dietary/health supplement, here is a quick conversion for how much of Pomona’s Universal Pectin to use instead. But again, this product is not meant to be consumed in this fashion and you do so at your own risk.