Food preservation is making a comeback in many homes across the country. Canning, drying, and pickling were once a fact of life and ensured people had healthy food to eat year-round. As times have changed, many of us have lost the knowledge and skills required to preserve foods. Making wine jelly is an easy and tasty way to learn the basics of hot water bath canning.
On the other hand, if you are a seasoned canner, this is a great product to make when fresh produce is not in season. Either way, red wine jelly is easy to make, enjoyable to eat and is a much appreciated homemade gift.
Fill canner halfway with hot water. Cover & preheat to 180°F. Inspect jars for defects, wash & rinse well. Heat jars in this hot (not boiling) water until ready to fill.
Preparing Wine Jelly
The alcohol content of wine does matter. Alcohol content higher than 12% can weaken the firmness of the gel. If alcohol content is higher than 12 %, simmer wine for 3 minutes, then add water or fruit juice back to measure 3 ¼ cups of liquid.
Red Wine Jelly
Makes approximately six, 8 oz. or twelve 4 oz. jars
- 3 ¼ cups dry red wine (750 ml)
- ½ cup bottled lemon or lime juice
- 1 package (1.75 oz.) regular ( not low sugar) powdered pectin
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- In a large 6-10 quart saucepan, combine wine & lemon juice. Whisk in powdered pectin until dissolved. Bring wine mixture to a boil over highest heat, stirring frequently.
- Add measured sugar all at once & return quickly to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard while stirring for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam, & fill jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
- Release bubbles with a plastic knife or chopstick and adjust headspace as needed.
- Wipe jar rim & threads using a clean damp cloth or paper towel to remove jelly residue.
- Center lid on jar allowing sealing compound to come in contact with jar rim. Apply band & adjust until fit is ‘fingertip’ tight.
- Place jars in canner or rack. Lower rack with jars into water.
- Make sure water covers jars by 1-2 inches. Add more hot water if needed.
- Place lid on canner. Bring to full rolling boil. Set timer begin processing for time called for 10 minutes, plus 1 minute for every 1,000 feet altitude above sea level.
- Turn off heat remove lid and wait 5 minutes. Carefully lift jars (keeping upright) out of canner and place on dry clean towel to cool at room temperature. Do not move for 24 hours.
- Check lids for seal by pressing middle of lid. It should not spring up
- Hold the jar at eye level and look across the lid. It should be curved down slightly in center.
- Remove screw bands. Clean jars. Label with contents and date. Store in cool, dry, dark place. Best quality if used within 1 year.