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Jams and jellies with a twist - wine as an ingredient!

Jams and jellies are delicious served on toast, on cornbread, as an important ingredient to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and so much more. These jams and jellies have a twist, they include wine, liquor or champagne! Think of these as delicious little noshes to serve guests, to top cream cheese, accompany main courses, stirred into brown rice or even dolloped on ice cream, pound cake or cheesecake.

Homemade jams and jellies are easy to make and so delicious.
Homemade jams and jellies are easy to make and so delicious.
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Homemade jam and jelly makes a great gift.
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During the summer, it is easy to find sources for fresh fruit. You can go to farm markets and support local farmers, go to pick your own orchards and make a days adventure, go completely local and grow your own fruits and berries in your backyard, and also forage for wild berries along biking trails (Be sure you know what is edible!)

Enjoy the fruits of your labors!

Apple-Tequila Jelly

4 cups unsweetened apple cider

6 tablespoons tequila

3 cups granulated sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons Sure-Jell Light pectin

1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter

  • Prepare canning jars by washing thoroughly in hot water or by sterilizing in the dishwasher.
  • Pour cider and tequila into a large, heavy saucepan.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl.
  • Stir in the Sure-Jell Light, mixing well.
  • Add the Sure-Jell Light mixture and the butter to the cider.
  • Bring the liquid to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
  • Quickly stir in remaining sugar, and bring back to a full rolling boil again, continuing to stir.
  • Boil 1 minute.

  • Remove pan from the heat.
  • Skim off any foam.
  • Fill prepared jars to within 1/8 inch of their tops.
  • Wipe tops, place hot lid and screw band on jar.
  • Process the filled jars in a water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Allow jars to cool on tea towel.
  • The jelly may take several hours to set.

Champagne Jelly

1 (1 3/4 ounce) package powdered pectin

3/4 cup water

3 cups champagne or dry white wine

4 cups granulated sugar

  • Thoroughly mix pectin and water in large saucepan.
  • Bring to boil over high heat and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce heat to medium and immediately add champagne and sugar.
  • Keep mixture just below boiling and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

  • Remove from heat.
  • Skim off foam with metal spoon if necessary.
  • Pour quickly into hot sterilized half-pint jars.
  • Process the filled jars in a water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Allow jars to cool on tea towel.
  • Serve with poultry or meat.

Pear-Brandy Butter

4 pounds pears, peeled, cored and chopped

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup pear brandy

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Prepare canning jars.
  • Combine pears, sugar, orange juice, brandy and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice in a heavy saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook slowly until the pears are very tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. 

  • Spoon the mixture into a blender, and puree until smooth.
  • Return the mixture to the heat, and simmer over low, stirring frequently, until it is very thick, another 25 to 30 minutes.

  • Taste, and add remaining lemon juice, if needed.
  • Spoon the mixture into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Process in water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Allow jars to cool on tea towel.

Wine Jelly

For deep red jelly, use ruby port or a nice, robust red wine. For a soft rose-colored jelly, choose a fruity rose. If using white wines, use a wine with a faintly sweet or fruity flavor, such as Gewerztraminer. Berry or other fruit wines may also be used.

2 cups wine

3 cups granulated sugar

1 (3 ounce) pouch liquid fruit pectin

  • Mix wine and sugar in top of double boiler over rapidly boiling water.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Remove double boiler from heat, but let jelly remain over hot water.
  • At once stir in liquid pectin and mix well.
  • Skim off foam with a metal spoon.
  • Quickly ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Process in water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Allow jars to cool on tea towel.
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