I’ve wanted to make mint jelly for the past few years, but never grew enough mint to make it happen. Mint is basically a tasty weed and takes over a garden, so I’ve never planted mine in the ground. Just in a small pot… and even though I have a green thumb in my garden, I have blacker than black thumb for potted plants.
Lucky me, my neighbor offered me a bunch of hers this past weekend, so I got to try my hand at making some jelly! The recipe I followed was from my Ball recipe book — I highly recommend their home preserving book. It’s one of my favorites! (I get no money from the sale of this book, in case you care) — and I doubled it to make 9 jars instead of 4 or 5.
The mint jelly recipe was a cool one to try for me because I usually make jam. With jam, you use the whole fruit. With jelly, you are using just the liquid. So I got to use a fancy jelly straining bag for the first time! (nerd alert!)
After boiling the mint leaves in water for a bit, I poured the entire mixture into the jelly bag, which then separated the leaves from the mint water mixture.
Once I got the amount I needed, I put it back into the pot and added in the sugar, lemon juice and liquid pectin.
A few things I learned:
1. Mint jelly is only green if you add food coloring. Otherwise, it’s a yellow-y color.
2. Even if you aren’t making a huge batch of jam or jelly, use a big pot! I have a stock pot, but opted for a smaller pot for this batch of jelly. HUGE mistake. The jelly bubbled over at one point and has permanently (or so it seems) stickied my stove. Joy.
3. Follow the recipe, even if your jelly isn’t super jelly-like when it is suggesting you take it off the heat. I have a hard time with this because in my mind it needs to be jelly before it is canned. But once your jelly cools and sits for a few days, it will gel up perfectly. If you over boil, it will be rubbery and gross. Listen to the experts — they know what they are talking about (mostly).
By doubling my recipe, I was able to get nine jars of mint jelly.
I got a text from my mom (my biggest jelly and jam fan) this morning saying how good the jelly was on her lamb dinner last night. Glad to have found another recipe that I like for canning.
All in all, this took me about 2.5 hours from start to finish, start being taking out supplies and picking the mint, finish being clean-up and jar storage. Not bad.