It’s the holidays and we are down to less than one week until Christmas Day. Yikes! If you are anything like me, you probably either a) have not started on your gift list (not me this year, yay!) or b) are stressing over those last few gifts…you know, for the folks that have all they [think] they want sans the winning multi-million dollar lottery ticket. My office buddy and I are kind of in that last boat together this year. What to get for those last few names still on our lists while simultaneously trying to overcome the dread of having to brave the frantic shopping town centers. Enter the realm of Do It Yourself (DIY)! Now don’t panic if you are thinking about how empty the craft store shelves are by now, because you likely won’t need anything too seasonal for this idea…because you’ll be doing most of your shopping at the grocery store!
A fun, food themed gift basket or goodie bag is always a hit with my circle of friends. You may recall the Vanilla Salt I shared with you two years ago. That year I also made Thai-Chili Sugar, and Mulling Spice packets. Last year I made the delicious Roasted Garlic Jelly I am sharing with you today. This year…well I can’t quite tell you the exact details since some of the receivers are reading this…but it involves some fun baskets. For example one friend, who recently moved her family in with her new honey’s family, is going to get a package of family friendly fun things they can make with the kiddos. Another is getting complimentary recipes and pre-made mixes to go with items I bought her off of her Christmas wish list. My dad is getting a basket of NCIS DVDs tucked alongside jars of homemade pop-corn seasoning, cute popcorn themed bowls, and popcorn kernels.
Feeling less panicked now?
So back to this Roasted Garlic Jelly.
Almost everyone makes this face when I say “garlic jelly”. I think Emilie is the only one that didn’t raise an eyebrow. Yes, yes, it sounds weird, but trust me this stuff is quite delicious. Have you ever had a clove of roasted garlic? Don’t you remember how it’s pungent flavor mellowed out and took on some caramelized sweetness? I think you see where I am going with this now. Roasted garlic jelly is different, but it’s still a sweet jelly with just the faintest bit of tang (that would be the vinegar) and aroma of delicious, roasted garlic. This juxtaposition is precisely what will make this such a fun gift for your friends and family.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Roasted Garlic Jelly
Fills 6-8, 4 ounce jelly jars. Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
- 3 heads garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 ounces pouches liquid pectin (typically two packages)
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
- Slice off the tops of the garlic heads to expose the cloves. Place each head on a small square of aluminum foil.
- Over each head, pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar, approximately a tablespoon each per garlic head.
- Wrap the foil squares loosely around the garlic heads and roast in oven for 45 minutes.
- Let garlic heads sit until cool enough to handle. Unwrap from foil and squeeze each head to push out the softened cloves into a medium saucepan. Discard skins.
- In a the same pan, add the wine, water, white balsamic vinegar and peppercorns to the roasted garlic. Over medium heat (gentle now!) bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to boil gently for 5 minutes.
- Cover sauce pan and remove from heat. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes.
- Line a mesh strainer with several layers of cheesecloth or a large, dampened coffee filter. Place strainer over a deep bowl.
- Pour garlic mixture through the lined strainer into the bowl. Let drip, undisturbed, for about 30 minutes. You should end up with about 1 2/3 cups garlic juice. If you end up with less, add up to 1/4 cup dry wine or water.
- As garlic “juice” is draining, prepare canner, jars, and lids by bringing a large pot of water to a boil and boiling your jars and lids for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, but keep jars in hot water until ready to jar for up to an hour. Any longer and you will need to re-sterilize.
- Transfer garlic juice to a large saucepan and stir in lemon juice and sugar.
- Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil.
- Stir in pectin and return to a boil. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute then remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.
- Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. (This jelly sets quickly!)
- Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
- Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
- Once processed, remove from canner. As they cool, you’ll hear the lids “pop” as the jars seal. To test whether the jar has sealed, press your finger against the middle of the lid. If it springs up, it has not sealed.
- Allow the jars to cool before storing.
- Serve as a cheese and fruit tray condiment
- Use as a savory/sweet glaze on pork or chicken
- Stir a tablespoon or two into risotto
- Spread on toast (with bacon!)