Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover wine or perhaps a bottle that didn't quite suit your taste? I know I have been in this predicament a few times. It's a shame to pour it out, so what do you do with it? How about make some wine jelly? The procedure is simple, and it will yield a flavorful product that can accompany a variety of cheeses, meats, and charcuterie boards. Or, if you're like me, enjoy it on a cream scone or slice of sourdough toast with a cup of tea. YUM!
Recently, I opened a bottle of champagne and didn't like the taste so I decided to use it to make wine jelly. I chose the Herbes de Provence Wine Jelly recipe from the Ball® Complete Book of Home Preserving 2012 edition. Since I used champagne instead of still white wine (my champagne was flat) and dried lavender for the Herbes de Provence, the variation I made is called Lavender Wine Jelly.
First, before starting any preservation project, make sure your workspace is very clean, including all equipment. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before you begin. Next, gather your supplies.
Then, measure your ingredients using appropriate utensils for the job. Use dry measuring tools for non-liquid ingredients and liquid measuring tools for liquids, of course!
Next, wash all your jars, lids, and rings and prepare them according to the manufacturer's recommendations. As you can see from the photo, I use reusable lids for my canning projects. Single use lids work very well too.
Pour your measured wine into a stainless-steel pot and add the dried culinary lavender.Note: Make sure the variety of lavender you are using is meant to be used in cooking. Not all lavender is created equally.
Bring the lavender and wine to a boil, cover, and remove from the heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
After steeping, I transferred the liquid using a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth set over a deep bowl and let it drip for several minutes. You can also use a dampened jelly bag for this step. You will need 1 ¾ cups of infused wine. You may need to squeeze the cheesecloth or jelly bag to get enough liquid.
Meanwhile, heat your jars in your atmospheric steam canner or boiling water canner. I use a steam canner, when possible, to minimize the amount of needed water for processing and ease of use. The processing time is the same as for a boiling water canner. Recipes must require less than 45 minutes of processing time and be considered a high acid food in order to be safely canned in an atmospheric steam canner.
Transfer the steeped wine into a large stainless-steel pot. As you can see, my wine turned a beautiful rose color thanks to the newly dried lavender pigment.
Stir in the sugar all at once.
Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down and stir in the pectin.
Boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and quickly skim off the foam.
Quickly pour the hot jelly into the hot jars removing air bubbles and adjusting headspace to ¼ inch. Wipe jar rim and lid your jar.
Apply the jar ring and load into the canner.
Process these jars in a boiling water canner or atmospheric steam canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars from the canner after the recommended wait time and allow to cool for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, check seals, remove rings, and store in a dark cool place. Make sure to place any unsealed jars in the refrigerator to enjoy right away.
This recipe is such fun and doesn't require the longer preparation time that other jelly recipes do. Enjoy this during the upcoming holidays or enjoy now during the warmer months as part of a charcuterie board, or just pair it with a wedge of brie cheese and your favorite cracker. Either way, you'll always want to have some in the pantry! It also makes a great gift!
Lavender Wine Jelly
2 cups dry white wine
1 Tbsp. dried culinary lavender
2 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch (3oz.) liquid pectin
- In a large stainless-steel saucepan combine wine and lavender. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
- Transfer to a dampened jelly bag or a strainer lined with several layers of dampened cheesecloth set over a deep bowl. Let drip undisturbed, for 20 minutes. Measure 1 ¾ cups infused wine. If you do not have the required amount, squeeze the bag.
- Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars, and lids according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Transfer infused wine to a clean, large, deep stainless-steel saucepan. Stir in sugar.
- Stirring constantly over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.
- Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met then increase to fingertip tight, or according to manufacturer directions for reusable lids.
- Place jars in canner and process for 10 minutes. Once process is complete, remove jars according to canner type after recommended wait time (5 minutes for boiling water canner), and cool for 24 hours. Label jars with contents and date of preparation and store in a cool, dark place.
UC Master Food Preservers do not endorse or promote any brand of products.
- Author: Jennifer Codron, UC Master Food Preserver
- Editor: Shannon A Klisch, Academic Coordinator II
- Editor: Maria E Murietta, Master Food Preserver Program Coordinator
It's that time of year again! The dominant variety of apricots, Blenheim, that have a short season here on the Central Coast, have arrived. I used to have a Royal apricot tree in my yard and made delicious jam every year. Unfortunately, it contracted a fungal disease and slowly lost its limbs one by one which ended my annual tradition of making jam.
Last year, I wanted to bring this jam making tradition back so now I purchase my Blenheim apricots from my local farmer's market. The farmers there have been growing apricots for years and they have some of the tastiest ones around.
First, gather your ingredients and canning supplies. This recipe makes about nine 8-ounce jars and you will need 8 cups chopped and pitted apricots, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 6 cups granulated sugar. Make sure your cooking space is clean and wash your hands.
I decided on a simple no-pectin recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (2006) so the pure delicious flavor of the apricots could shine through.
I like to listen to music while I jam, mostly bluegrass, but any music will enhance your experience and help pass the long minutes of stirring the pot when you choose the long boil, no pectin method.
I washed and dried and chopped the apricots, removing any blemishes and getting rid of any damaged pieces. You want a mix of about ¾ ripe to ¼ under-ripe apricots since the latter contain more natural pectin to help the jam set. Prepare fruit in small batches, just enough for one recipe for best results. For my second batch, I chopped the apricots in smaller pieces and ended up with more fruit in my recipe.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon juice and the apricots. I let this mixture sit for about a half hour as the fruit begins to release its juices and starts to form a syrup. This helps prevent sticking as you heat the mixture over medium heat.
Add 6 cups of granulated sugar.
Add 4 Tablespoons of lemon juice. The juice needs to be from a bottle purchased at the store. This is a guarantee that the juice will have the right pH, at least 4.5 percent acidity whereas freshly picked lemons can vary in their pH.
Add the 8 cups of chopped apricots. Although the recipe calls for peeling the apricots, I leave the skins on and end up with a smooth jam.
Stir the pot occasionally to help the sugar dissolve and keep the mixture from sticking. Once the mixture has broken down and begins to thicken you need to stir constantly as it boils. This is where your favorite music or a good podcast comes into play.
I decided to use the temperature test since it is the most accurate way to see if the gel stage of the jam has been reached (Ball Book, 2006, pg. 21). After cooking for an hour, the jam reached only 210 degrees, so I decided to try the sheet test with a spoon that had been in the freezer for several minutes. The jam came off the spoon in sheets, so I decided to ladle into the hot jars. The second batch of jam did reach 220 degrees after only about 45 minutes as I boiled this one a little harder. Interestingly, the first batch which was cooked longer turned a darker shade of orange while the second batch was brighter.
Spoon or sheet test: Dip a cool metal spoon into the boiling jam. Lift the spoon up and out of the steam so it starts to fall off the spoon. If the jam forms light and syrupy drips, keep boiling. If the jam comes off in one sheet, the jam is ready to place into hot jars.
Ladle the hot jam into half-pint jars leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Use a debubbler or chopstick to release any air bubbles that may have formed.
This jam is very sticky so make sure the rim is wiped clean with a damp paper towel before placing the lid on the jar.
Place the lids on the rims and screw on the bands just until fingertip tight.
Set filled jars onto a canning rack and submerge into a water bath canner with 2-3 inches of water covering the tops of the jars. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off heat, remove the lid and let the jars stand in the canner for 5 minutes before removing the jars to a clean towel on your counter. Be sure not to tip the jars as you are removing them as the mixture could bubble under the lid and cause the lids not to seal properly.
Let the jars stand 24 hours before checking that they are sealed properly. Place any unsealed jars into the refrigerator immediately. Store jars in a cool dark location after removing the bands. By removing the bands, you will be able to notice if at any time during storage the lids become unsealed and thus not edible.
To remove water stains on lids before marking the type and date of jam, take a cloth dipped in vinegar and wipe the lid.
In the second batch I made, I placed one cinnamon stick to add a little flavor. You can also add a vanilla bean or the apricot kernels in a stainless-steel tea strainer to compliment the flavor of the apricots. You can safely add up to 1 teaspoon of flavoring or herb to a jam or jelly recipe.
Because the Blenheim apricot season is so short, making jam is a great way to savor this flavor year-round and your friends will be happy when you bring over a jar of this delicious fruit. Enjoy!
Apricot Jam Recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving copyright 2006, page 22.
- Author: Jennifer Codron, Master Food Preserver
- Editor: Shannon A Klisch
We are blessed here on the Central Coast with an extended apple season that begins in August and can continue well into November. Although applesauce and apple pie are favorites this time of year, dehydrating apple slices can be a yummy snack and even better gift this holiday season.
The following recipe was shared many years ago by one of our own Master Food Preservers, Tami Reece, and is a keeper.
Grandpa's Cinnamon Apple Rings
Recipe by: Tami Reece
Wash your apples under cool, running water.
Lay out your clean and food safe dehydrator trays.
Core, peel and slice apples into uniform pieces. I like using a hand crank apple peeler-slicer for this recipe. It's fun and easy. However, you can get the job done with a peeler, knife, and cutting board as well.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon on a plate and dip slices into mixture on either one or both sides depending on how sweet you like your apples.
Lay slices on trays leaving space between each one.
Dehydrate at 150 degrees F for 2-3 hours. Then turn down to 130 degrees F until slices are dry and can bend without sticking together but not break (approximately 3-9 hours).
Grandpa's Cinnamon Apple Rings by Tami Reece
8-10 firm apples, washed
½ cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon powdered cinnamon
Peel, core, and slice apples.
Lay slices on a food safe dehydrating rack.
Place in dehydrator at 150 degrees F for 2-3 hours. Turn down to 130 degrees F until still flexible but no moisture can be squeezed out of them.
Enjoy! Did you try it? Let us know in the comments.
We invite you to “preserve today, relish tomorrow,” and to support our mission to keep Californians safe and well as they use culturally appropriate, research-based practices to safely preserve food in the home. For more information, visit our website at: http://cesanluisobispo.ucanr.edu/, or email us your home food preservation questions at email@example.com, or call our helpline at: 805-781-1429. We also check pressure canner gauges at no cost./h3>
- Author: Shannon A Klisch
- Author: Debbie George, Master Food Preserver Volunteer
- Author: Dayna Ravalin
- Contributor: Tami Reese
- Editor: Shannon A Klisch
This Thanksgiving could be our biggest family and friend get together in a long time, with some projecting a 13% increase in holiday travel compared to 2020. To protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, see CDC's Safer Ways to Celebrate Holidays.
To protect yourself and your family from foodborne illness, avoid some common mistakes. According to the USDA, "Unsafe handling and under-cooking of food can lead to serious foodborne illness.” Avoid making loved ones sick by following these USDA Food Safety and Information Services tips.
Tip #1: Don't Wash Your Turkey.
This may go against old family recipes or cooking traditions, however washing raw meat and poultry can cause bacteria to spread up to three feet. How do you remove bacteria if you don't wash it? Cooking poultry to a safe temperature kills any dangerous bacteria that may be present. Washing poultry is not necessary and may spread bacteria to other surfaces where you are preparing raw foods like vegetables and salads.
Tip #2: Plan Ahead to Thaw Your Bird Safely.
Use the refrigerator, the cold-water method, or the microwave to safely defrost a frozen turkey. Thawing in the refrigerator is preferred because the turkey will defrost at a consistent, safe temperature. Allow 24 hours for every 5 lbs. of turkey to thaw in the refrigerator (a 15 lb. turkey needs 3 days). To thaw in cold water, submerge the bird in its original wrapper, changing the water every 30 minutes. Cold water and microwave thawing can be used if your bird did not entirely defrost in the refrigerator. Follow your manufacturer's guide for thawing poultry in the microwave. Poultry defrosted in cold water or the microwave must be cooked immediately. Have more questions? See this guide to safely preparing a turkey.
Tip #3: Too dry? Undercooked? Just right? Use a thermometer.
To determine if a turkey is cooked to a safe temperature, check its internal temperature with an instant read food thermometer. Check a whole bird in three locations: the thickest parts of the thigh, the wing, and the breast. Your thermometer should register 165°F in all three places. Using a food thermometer is the best way to ensure your turkey is cooked to a safe temperature, but not overdone. Don't have an instant read thermometer? Find one at your local cooking supply store starting at about $15. They are reusable and can keep your family safe for years to come.
Tip #4: Don't let the leftovers linger.
We all like to linger at the table after eating, however, don't let the leftovers stay out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. After serving, cut the leftover turkey into small pieces and refrigerate. Keep hot food items like gravy or stuffing hot or pack them up and put in the refrigerator. Leftovers will keep for four days in the refrigerator set below 41°F. For longer storage, pack them into freezer safe bags or containers and freeze for up to 4 months. Always wondering how long you can keep food in the refrigerator? Consider using the FoodKeeper App from USDA.
Enjoy the holidays and Happy Thanksgiving!
Looking for SLO and SB Master Food Preserver classes? We are still here!!!
This summer our Master Food Preserver Coordinator retired after many years of serving the County of San Luis Obispo. In addition, academic oversight of the program transitioned. It has been a time of change for the MFP program but we are still here.
We are starting to plan some in-person workshops for 2022 and are hoping to host a new volunteer training starting in February. More information to come, but in the meantime you can visit our website at: http://cesanluisobispo.ucanr.edu/, our blog at https://ucanr.edu/blogs/foodpreservation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our helpline at: 805-781-1429. We also check pressure canner gauges at no cost. Contact us for more information!