Saturday, May 31, 2008

Blueberry/Mint Syrup And Jelly

I started out to make a blueberry/mint syrup. I ended up with a ½ pint of syrup and ½ pint jelly. As I watched it reduce, I could tell it was going to gel easily, which it did. This was perfect, as I'm serving lamb over the next couple days-a great accompaniment. I did not use canning tested recipes and as the jelly did not go in a water bath (for a single half pint? I couldn't be bothered) it really should be eaten within a week and kept in the fridge.

I couldn't place the smell at first, but it dawned on me that it smells very much like the Celestial Seasonings berry flavoured tea. I haven't bought that tea in at least twenty years, but the smell was so memorable, eventually I remembered where I'd encountered it before.

To make ½ pint syrup and ½ pint jelly (or just keep cooking it all down to make a full pint of jelly)

2 cups sugar

¾ cup water

1 large bunch mint, torn in pieces

a handful of blueberries (about fifteen)

Dissolve the sugar in the water with a whisk until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the blueberries and mint. Switch to a wooden spoon, which you will use to mash the berries against the side of the pot here and there. Keep an eye on it so that the mixture does not boil over (it should simmer rapidly, but not at a full boil) and let it go for about ten minutes or until the syrup has reduced by about 1/3 and it coats a spoon ever so slightly. Remove from heat, strain through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup, and then strain again into a clean, heated jar. Reserve the rest for the jelly. Let cool before storing in the fridge.

To make the jelly, return the rest of the syrup to the pan and continue cooking until it reaches the gelling point (if it sticks to a cold spoon, you're there). Strain again into a heated jar. Skin any foam, and let sit until cooled. Then cover and store in the fridge. Use within a week.

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