By now you probably realize that I'm a real herb girl. I have an entire garden bed dedicated to herbs, and when winter comes, I just might have to invest in this. I wish! I am going to do some serious investigating into freezing herbs, and I will of course share all of my findings with you! For now, though, a jelly recipe will have to suffice.
I have such a hard time adding sugar into jelly. It physically pains me to add all of that fake sugar into an already sweet substance (fruit), so I often preserve syrups instead of traditional jellies.
Sugar is necessary when canning, because it helps the fruit gel. Luckily for all of us sugar haters out there, there's a little thing called low sugar pectin. It's a game changer when it comes to using less sugar than the recipe calls for; however, 3 cups of sugar is still a lot, so don't go drinking this stuff straight on me!
Adding herbs into the recipe takes the jelly from breakfast to dinner. I love mixing this with a spirit, or a little Dijon mustard and using it as a chicken marinade. If you don't have a sugar phobia, you can add more sugar to this recipe, and you'll have more of a 'gel' consistency.
Rosemary & Sage Peach Preserves
- 3 cups sugar
- 4.5 cups peaches - pitted, peeled, and diced (about 4 pounds of peaches)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)
- 6 sage leaves
- 3 large sprigs rosemary
- 1 package no/low sugar pectin
Step 1: Get everything you need to start canning out. I like to have two water baths going, and my cooking pot ready. Line one of your water baths with jar rings, a special canning trivet (I LOVE mine), or a tea towel. Get your tongs and any other instruments out as well.
Step 2: Place your clean jars in the bottom lined water bath and allow to simmer to get rid of any nasty germs that might be on them. Add your instruments, canning lids, and rings into the second water bath. This may be over kill, but that last thing I'd ever want to do is get anyone sick! Remember you can simmer (not boil) the jar lids to prep them, but you don't have to.
Step 3: Add fruit to cooking pot, stir in lemon juice and herbs.
Step 4: In a separate bowl stir together 1/4 cup sugar with the pectin, then add to the fruit.
Step 5: Stir fruit mixture, and bring to a rolling boil. At this time everything should be sterilized. Remove the jars, lids, rings, and utensils from their water baths and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Make sure to pour out as much water as possible from the glass jars.
Step 6: Then add the remaining sugar (2 3/4 cups), and bring back to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil for another minute, then remove from heat.
Step 7: Skim foam off of the top, and remove herbs.
Step 8: Use a ladle to fill each glass jar leaving 1/4" at the top. Place lids on jars, and screw rings on finger tight. Carefully place each jar in the bottom lined water bath and process for a minimum of 10 minutes, if you are at a higher elevation, you will need to increase your processing time. This is a great chart if you aren't sure!
Recipe adapted from this Sure Jell recipe.