Monday, May 11, 2015

Lemon Balm & Sage jelly

A few years ago, I put in a small raised bed herb garden. I planted a few things and every year, I'll fill in empty spots with new herbs. I don't remember planting Lemon Balm, but was pleasantly surprised to see it make an appearance this spring. The smell is intoxicating and every time I was weeding or doing something in the garden, I'd walk past and grab a leaf and smell it.

I did some research on lemon balm and Wow! There are a ton of benefits and uses for this wonderful and medicinal herb, including mosquito repellant, used for healing cold sores and fevers, good for conditioner for oily hair or in face washes for acne, and the list goes on and on. I flipped through several recipes for it and jotted several down, but for some reason, making an herb jelly just kept popping up in my mind.

If you've ever planted a sage plant in your herb garden, you know that it will grow like CRAAAAZZYY and produce far more sage than any normal person could ever consume, although we try hard to use ours up! I decided to also throw in some sage and it really adds a nice note to the jelly.

If you're new to jelly making, this is about as easy as a recipe as you can find. I've included instructions for easy no-hot water bath canning, or you can hot water bath process for 10 minutes. And here's another jelly recipe that is super easy and makes good use of summer produce - Hot Pepper Garlic Jelly!

Lemon Balm Jelly

1 c. lemon balm, washed well
1/4 c sage leaves, washed well
3 c. water
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
6 1/2 c. sugar
1 packet Liquid Certo
1 tbsp. minced lemon balm leaves
Bring water to near boil, add herbs, and steep lemon balm and sage for 10-20 minutes. Strain well and discard leaves. Bring herb infusion and sugar to a rolling boil, add pectin and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in minced lemon balm leaves.  Pour into 1/2 pint jars and seal.

*The easiest way to can is this - wash and dry canning jars thoroughly. Place lids and rings in a pot of barely simmering water. Once jelly is ready, fill a jar, leaving about a 1/4" headspace. With tongs, remove lid and ring from water, place on jar, and tighten, although not all the way. Turn jar upside down on a dishtowel. Repeat with remaining jars. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn upright and allow to seal. Tighten rings on all jars. If any of the jars don't seal, simply store in the refrigerator once cool. The other jars can be stored in a pantry for 8 months to a year, if it lasts that long.


Patrick said...

Sooooo good!

LJValentine said...

How many ml is a 'packet' of liquid certo? I have bottle! Thanks.

Unknown said...

Hi! I love how this recipe sounds. I've never made jelly before though. Can you tell me how to tell when the jars have sealed?