Strawberry Basil Balsamic Jelly
New preserve to try
- 16 cups (4L) hulled strawberries
- 1/2 cup (125ml) water
- 1 1/2 cups (375ml) packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup (125ml) white balsamic vinegar
- 1 pkg (49 or 57g) pectin crystals
- 5 1/2 cups (1.375l) sugar
1. Combine strawberries and water in a large pot; crush lightly with a potato masher to start to release juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, crushing and stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, crushing and stirring often, for 5 t 10 minutes or until strawberries are very soft and juicy. Stir in basil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes to infuse basil flavour.
2. Rinse a jelly bag and wring out until just damp. Suspend bag on a frame over large measuring cup or bowl and fill with strawberry mixture (or tie filled bag with kitchen string and hang from a cupboard handle). Let drip, without squeezing bag, for about 2 hours or until juice measures 4 cups (1L). Measure using a 1 cup (250ml) measuring cup 4 times for accuracy (any extra juice can be refrigerated and used for cocktails or spritzers).
3. Meanwhile, prepare boiling water canner, 6 canning jars each 1 cup (250ml), and 2 piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.
4. Boil balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until reduced to 1/4 cup (60ml). Let cool.
5. Combine measured juice and reduced vinegar in a clean large pot; stir in pectin. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Gradually stir in sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring often. Boil vigorously, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Let stand, stirring often and skimming off foam, for 5 minutes.
6. Pour jelly into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space (any extra can be poured into a ramekin for immediate use once cool) Wipe rims, place lids on jars and screw on bands just until fingertip tight.
7. Boil filled jars in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, uncover canner and let jars stand in water for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to rack for at least 24 hours to set. Remove rings and wipe jars. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate jelly once it's opened.
Makes about six 1-cup jars.
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