Jul 5, 2013

Garlic Jelly

One of the most exciting (and frustrating!) parts of going sugar-free is adapting tried-and-true recipes and techniques that have always relied on sugar but, instead, finding new ways of making them without. Case in point: jelly. Always looking for new ways to go "back to basics" with my cooking, this month I picked up a used copy of Blue Ribbon Preserves which is chock-full of recipes for jams, jellies, marmalades and even some sauces, pickles and vinegars!

Of course, being the contrary person I am, the first recipe from the book I decided to tackle was a garlic jelly, made with lots of sugar and white wine. Why didn't I find this recipe back when I was eating everything? I asked myself and the vegetarian. He shrugged, wondering instead what exactly we would do with garlic jelly. I decided to focus first on making it and worry later about how to use it.

The easy substitution came first: InnergyBiotic instead of the white wine. InnergyBiotic is a fermented probiotic drink made by Body Ecology that has a slightly sour taste straight but, when cooked, I've found it to be an excellent wine substitute.

Now came the hard part, however: substituting the sugar. Sugar, I found out from my research, is what makes pectin solidify. You can make all-fruit jellies without it but garlic doesn't have enough natural sugar to act the same way. I ended up using a no-sugar needed pectin, which, true to its name, means it doesn't require sugar to gel. This also meant that I could keep my jelly savory rather than sweet. We did use a mix of apple and passion fruit juices to bring in some sweetness and help the jelly gel.

And how did we use it? Lots of ways! We omnivores had it with lamb loin chops. We also swirled it into sun-dried tomato risotto and have now made two salad dressings with it. We even spread it on toast! Bon appetit.

Garlic Jelly
adapted from Blue Ribbon Preserves

Heat vinegar and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, pour into a clean glass jar and let rest, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours.

Place a fine-meshed sieve over a bowl. Pour in garlic vinegar. Throw out any solids in the sieve (like the garlic slices). Rinse sieve and line with 2 layers clean, damp cheesecloth 2 times, rinsing the cheesecloth out each time. Now line the sieve with 2 layers of paper coffee filters and strain vinegar again. Pour into a clean glass jar and let stand, covered, 3 hours.

Ladle vinegar into a bowl. Discard any sediment left at the bottom. Clean your sieve and place it over a clean bowl. Line it with 2 layers of clean paper coffee filters and strain the vinegar one last time. Be patient; the vinegar might take some time to travel through all the layers. Let it take its time. We had about 2 cups of vinegar at this point. 

In a fairly large pan, over medium heat, combine vinegarInnergyBiotic and calcium powder. Stir until powder has dissolved, then bring to a boil. Add apple juice, passion fruit juice and pectin. Stir until pectin is dissolved, then bring mixture back to a boil. Stir for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat.

Skim off any foam from the top of the pot. Now you have a choice -- if you're going to can (I chickened out), do so while the jelly is still hot. If not, allow it to cool down a little, then ladle into a clean glass jar (I used a big, thick mason jar) and allow to come to room temperature before either using or storing in the refrigerator where it will keep for at least 1 week. As it cools, the pectin will solidify so don't worry if it's not the perfect consistency when you first spoon it out of the pot. Enjoy!


1 comment:

  1. Really unique recipe you got there. Thank you for the share! Huge lover of garlic products!