Monday, May 12

Mint Jelly

Spring was late arriving here in Ohio but how wonderful it is to finally feel the warmth of the sun.
I am busy preparing my garden for planting and noticed the herbs and mints are coming up.
A few years ago I had mint jelly on Lamb Chops for the first time and loved it.  But trying to find mint jelly in most grocery stores is nearly impossible.

I finally gave up the search and have since been making mint jelly at home, which is easy and just as delicious!

Mint Jelly is mildly sweet and just a little tart, with a wonderful fresh mint flavor.
And guess what?   Mint jelly is not really green. It’s actually a golden color in its natural state. Adding a couple drops of natural food coloring will give it the traditional green color, or just leave it golden.

Mint in Different Ethnic Cuisine:
There are many countries around the world using mint in cooking.  Here are just a few:
India in the classic Raita and in chutneys.
England with mint sauce and jelly.
North Africa/Middle East use it mixed with rice and other grains.
Greece and the Balkans serve mint in stuffed vine leaves.
Vietnam has mint in their national dish, Pho.
South America in their salsas.

Other Uses For Mint Jelly:
  • Serve on grilled or roasted lamb
  • Serve on Lamb sandwiches the next day
  • Spread on toast or serve with bread or rolls
  • Add as a garnish on other meat such as pork
  • Use in cookies such as thumbprint, linzer, or sandwich cookies.
  • Combine with fresh lime juice to make a mojito inspired glaze for grilled shrimp.
  • Use mint jelly for a surprising twist on PB & J
  • Combine mint jelly with a little horseradish for a pork roast glaze or garish
  • Serve mint jelly and cream cheese on crackers or bagels
  • Stir a teaspoon of lightly crushed mint into iced tea.
  • For a refreshing cocktail, mix gin, sparkling water and crushed mint leaves. 
  • Serve over chocolate or vanilla ice cream

Which Mint To Use:
Peppermint is much stronger flavor than spearmint in all its forms.  Both have a remarkable fresh taste and are highly aromatic, especially when cut or crushed.
Spearmint (garden/common) is the first choice for savory dishes and most often the mint used for mint jelly.
Depending on the mint you use the flavor will be different for each.
Remember when using peppermint that adding too much may cause the jelly to be really strong.

Hint: You can also add 2 chopped jalapenos for a little heat.

This is a traditional mint jelly recipe made from fresh mint.

Mint Jelly


1 1/2 cups packed mint leaves & stems
2 1/4 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 - 2 drops all natural green food color (optional)
3 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 (6 fluid ounce) container liquid pectin
½ pint canning jars, 2 piece lids

Sterilize canning jars and have water bath canner simmering while preparing jelly.
Rinse off the mint leaves, and place them into a large saucepan.
Crush with a potato masher or the bottom of a jar or glass.
Add the water and bring the mint to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and
Let stand for 10 minutes.
Strain, and measure out 1 2/3 cups of the mint liquid.
Place 1 2/3 cups mint liquid into a saucepan.
Stir in the lemon juice and food coloring if desired.
Mix in the sugar, and place the pan over medium high heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is boiling, stir in
the pectin. Boil the mixture for a full minute while stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.  Skim foam off the top using a large metal spoon.
Ladle jelly into hot sterilized jars, attach the 2 piece lid and tighten to finger tip tight.
Place jars in hot water bath canner and bring to a boil over high heat.
Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil and process for 10 minutes.  Remove from canner and allow to cool. Do not tighten the caps as you may break the seal.
Store in a cool dark place until ready to use.
Yield 4 - 1/2 pint jars


Mint Jelly As Gifts:
If giving jelly as gifts, attached a ribbon or cute little gift tag! 
I copied this template I made onto light cream heavy stock paper, and then cut along the green lines.  I used a hole-punch to make a hole, attached a ribbon and tied the tag onto my mint jelly jar. 


From the garden of:

Use as a condiment
on pork chops, lamb chops, 
chicken or London broil, 
as a spread with peanut butter,
 drizzle over cookies, chocolate,
 or Ice Cream

Do you have other ways in which you use mint jelly?  I love to hear about them and maybe try them out, 


Anonymous said...

Hi there, I am constantly checking your webpage posts, usually in the early hours in the dawn, to see if there are new posts and what else I can learn. Great ideas posted! Steven

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Steven, thanks for visiting my blog, and I'm usually an early morning person too!

Kristen Werling said...

Are you supposed to use a half of a 6 oz container of liquid pectin (3 oz) or 6 oz of liquid pectin? Pectin here comes in a box with 2 packets that are 3 oz each. It sounded to me like I was supposed to use only 1 packet in the 6 oz box, so I used 3 oz but it didn't set up at all (not even syrup-y). Was I supposed to use 6 oz (two packets)? I followed all other instructions exactly and I'm at the same altitude as you so I'm not sure what went wrong.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's half of a 6 oz container or 3 oz. The boiling point can be a little tricky to set the jelly. If it doesn't set you can add 3/4 cup water to a sauce pan, along with 1 box of powder pectin. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute then add to the jelly. Stir for a couple minutes then refill and reprocess the jars.

Good luck, Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Doesn't jelly take a few hours to cook and set normally?

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Yes, many items canned with pectin need to set for 12 to 24 hours before you will know for sure if it has set or not. I have, on a couple of occasions left my jam or jelly thinking it wasn't going to set, only to find when I got up the next morning all the jars had set! The re-adding pectin and reprocessing are only done after you are sure it didn't set up. Elizabeth