Ok, back to the recipe I discovered....Garlic Jelly! Omg...the minuted I saw it, I knew I had to make it. which I did...that very day. Or was it the next day? No..I think it was that very day. The weekend before Christmas. I decided then and there that I would make a cheese and cracker plate for our Christmas Eve Party and include some savory jellies on the side. Which meant...I needed to find an old recipe that my dear 93 year old neighbor shared with me some 20 years ago....Pepper Jelly. Oh, and did I mention that I found a jar of Balsamic and Sweet Onion Jelly at Cost Plus the week before? I was ready to roll out the savory jellies. (Now that I think of it, I forgot to include the Margarita Jelly that I found at Sprouts last month. And yes....there is tequila in that jelly.)
If the idea of making jelly intimidates you...don't worry. These are freezers jellies. You do not need any special canning materials or knowledge. Easy peasy.
Yields about 3 cups (more like 4)
2 TB butter or margarine
1 head of garlic, minced
3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cups water
3 oz liquid fruit pectin
In a good sized saucepan add the butter and garlic. Over medium heat, while stirring constantly (garlic burns easily.....so make sure you stir!) cook until the garlic is golden brown. This should take a couple of minutes....3 - 4? maybe more...just keep an eye on it, which shouldn't be too hard to do since you're standing there stirring it the whole time.
Add the sugar, vinegar (and the odor increases) and water. Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Add the pectin and bring the mixture back to a rolling boil....and yes...you are still stirring. Stir and boil for 1 minute.
Remove your jelly from the heat. If there is any foam on top...skim it off. Carefully pour the jelly into heat resistant jars with lids.
Note: This is a very fragrant jelly to make (and to eat). Your house will smell like garlic......a LOT, during this process, and you may get a few extremely vocal complaints from other occupants. When the jelly is still "young" (the first week of "setting") you will notice the vinegar flavor quit a bit. Once it has set, and....aged a bit (I guess that's the best way to define it) the vinegar will mellow a bit, but it will still be there, which happens to compliment the garlic flavor rather nicely. I think this jelly would be a wonderful marinade and / or glaze for meat. The vinegar will aid in tenderizing as well. But I do have to say that I loved it on crackers and cream cheese. Oh...did I mention that you have to be a major garlic lover to enjoy this jelly? Another little side note....be mindful of those around you. They may not want to smell you.
Yields about 8 cups
3 - 4 bell peppers (I used red) roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
4 TB crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
6 1/2 cups sugar
6 oz liquid fruit pectin
In a blender, puree the bell peppers, vinegar, and pepper flakes. Pour into a saucepan and add the sugar.
Bring to a boil, stirring often. Boil hard for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the fruit pectin and boil for 1 minute. All the while, you need to keep an eye on this. It likes to sneak up to the top of the pan and you don't want it to boil over.
Skim off any foam. Carefully pour into heat resistant jars with a lid. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Will take up to a week to set.
Note: I find this jelly to be very spicy. My girls beg to differ. You have control over how much heat you want by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes you add. My favorite way to eat this is on crackers with cream cheese. Like the Garlic Jelly, it too would be a wonderful marinade and / or glaze.
There's just something so good when sweet and savory are combined. Something that makes you wanna come back for more. You try to walk away, but find yourself inevitably migrating back. It's almost like a never ending cycle. When eating these jellies, the first thing you notice is the sweet...then the flavor kicks in, whether its the garlic or the pepper heat. When served with the cream cheese, you are left with the coolness of the cheese. You walk away feeling satisfied.
For a minute
Then the need to start all over kicks in....and the cycle continues. Until somehow you've made a whole meal out of just this.