Oh Winter-just be done would ya? I searched out today for a sunny and bright recipe that is as close to summer in the food world as I could think of, and though not at peak season they are still available with decent quality during these cold winter months—the loveable Lemon! Bright, zesty, tangy, sunshiny lemons!
This recipe is a jelly, not just a flavored honey. Some times canning with honey can be tricky. Too much honey and the flavors don’t unite, the balance with honey is some times difficult between not enough and too much. The recipe finds that perfect balance and it’s simplicity is probably one of the things that makes it so delicious. It can be personalized in a number of ways which will be indicated after the recipe below in Make It Your Own. I hope you enjoy and keep your flip flops handy, summer will be coming, promise!
Lemon Honey Jelly
3 large lemons
1-1/2 c water
3-1/2 c sugar
3/4 c honey
1 pouch of liquid pectin (3 oz)
1.) Prepare canner, jars, lids and rings. Place several large metal spoons (larger soup spoons work great here) in the freezer. This recipe makes 5 half pints.
2.) With a vegetable peeler peel off the outer yellow skin from 2 lemon beings careful to not cut into the inner white layer. Cut these peels into thin strips. (see * Note in step 3 to decide if giving the peels a short burst or 2 in a small food processor is something you want to do right now.) Juice the remaining lemons to achieve 1/2 c juice. (Use the remaining juice and lemon pulp for any other kitchen uses you can think of!)
3.) In a large heavy pot combine the lemon peel bits, lemon juice and water, stir. Add in sugar, stirring constantly cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the honey (At this time add any of the Make It Your Own options as noted at end of recipe.) and bring to a full rolling boil. Add in the one pouch of liquid pectin and boil hard for no less than 1 minute stirring quickly and constantly. Remove from the head and skim off any foam with a metal spoon. (*Note: at this point you can remove the lemon strips from step 2 if you don’t want the texture in your jam. If you want to leave the strips in your jam for added texture and bits of flavor burst then consider using the food processor for smaller pieces as noted in *Note of step 2.)
4.) Ladle hot jelly into prepared jars, leaving 1/4″ head space, wipe jar rims and place rings on jar.
5.) Process jars in boiling water bath canner for 5 minutes. (Timing starts when water starts to boil.) Remove jars from water and cool on wire rack.
Make It Your Own: All would be applied in Step 3.
Do you enjoy lavender and lemon? Lavender and honey? Consider adding a Tablespoon of lavender.
Do you love lemon and vanilla? Add 2 tsp, or the pods from a vanilla bean and cook the bean with jam removing just prior to ladling into jars. Want a bit of vanilla present for visual texture in the jelly? Using a kitchen shears cut a 3/4-1″ chunk of the vanilla bean and place in each of the jars.
Are you more of a savory lover? Consider putting in 1 Tbsp of finely chopped fresh rosemary.
Enjoy the flavors imparted when cooking with a little bourbon? Add 2 Tbsps of your favorite whiskey, bourbon or scotch.
Want an added bit of zest? Add 1-1/2 Tbsp of finely grated ginger.
Want to turn up the heat? Add 2 Tbsp of dried chili flakes.
Thinking Beyond The Toast:
These combinations would make the most lovely meat glazes (hello ham…come here chicken) or toppings for brie or cream cheese on a cracker plate or cheese spread.