Mother Earth Living

Harvest, Exchange, Celebrate: Renee's Scented Basil Jellies

This jelly is scrumptious served with cream cheese and crackers or bagels.
By Carolyn Dille
September/October 2005
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Friends discuss favorite jam and jelly recipes.
Photo By Barbara Bourne

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Renee's Scented Basil Jellies
Makes 4 half pints

Renee grew several varieties of basil one year especially so she could share these delicate jellies. They’re unusual, delicious, easily made, and beautiful with clear, jewel-like tones of rose-pink, garnet, or champagne. The jelly is scrumptious served with cream cheese and crackers or bagels. Use it in savory dishes by mixing half-and-half with Dijon mustard for a glaze for chicken or pork. Certo brand liquid pectin is widely available in supermarkets.

1 cup packed fresh cinnamon, opal, or lemon basil leaves
2 cups water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Pinch salt
3 cups sugar
3 ounces liquid pectin

1. Rinse basil leaves and gently pat dry with paper towels. Chop coarsely and place in a large saucepan. Crush leaves, using the bottom of a glass.

2. Add water, bring to an active boil, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 15 minutes to steep.

3. Strain 1 cup of liquid from saucepan through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan over high heat. Add vinegar, salt, and sugar all at once; stir, then bring to a hard boil. When the boil cannot be stirred down, add pectin. Return again to a hard boil that can’t be stirred down and boil for exactly 1 minute, then remove saucepan from heat.

4. Skim foam and pour hot jelly into 4 sterilized, half-pint jelly jars, leaving half-inch headspace. Seal at once with sterilized ring lids or melted paraffin.

5. Store at cool room temperature and refrigerate after opening.

Per serving: 80 calories, 21g carbohydrates, 0.32g fiber, 0.05g fat; 1 serving = approximately 2 tablespoons

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