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Blackberry-Merlot Jellies

Serves: Makes about 86 (1-inch) jellies

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint (¾ pound) fresh blackberries
  • ¾ cup merlot
  • 2¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 (1½-inch-long) cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur, such as Chambord
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 2 (3-ounce) pouches liquid pectin
  • Superfine sugar, for coating

Procedures:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the berries, merlot, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Decrease to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and allow the flavors to infuse for 30 minutes.


  2. Meanwhile, cut a rectangle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 12 by 8 by 1-inch jellyroll pan. Set aside.


  3. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Strain the berry mixture, pressing on the solids with a silicone spatula to extract all the liquid. (Do not purée the mixture and then extract the seeds or the sauce will turn cloudy.) Add the liqueur, vanilla extract, and salt to the berry sauce.


  4. In a deep, 4-quart saucepan, combine 1¼ cups of the berry sauce (reserve any extra to spoon over ice cream) and the remaining 2 cups of granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, as the mixture will foam up. To keep the mixture from boiling over, decrease the heat while still maintaining a steady boil.


  5. While the mixture is boiling, use scissors to cut the tops from the pouches of pectin. Stand the pouches in a glass measure to keep them from tipping over.


  6. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the pouches of pectin until completely combined.


  7. Quickly pour the mixture into the prepared pan, covering the bottom of the pan completely and evenly. Do not stir, touch, or wiggle the pan, as the sauce jells very quickly and you want the surface to be completely smooth. Set the pan aside in a cool, dry spot to set, about 3 hours or up to 12 hours.


  8. Place about 1 cup of the superfine sugar on a plate. Set aside. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large cutting board.


  9. Run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the sides of the jelly. Invert the jelly onto the parchment paper. Carefully remove the sheet of parchment from the topside of the jelly. Use a ruler and long, thin-bladed sharp knife to measure and cut the jellies into 1-inch squares. Rinse and dry the knife as needed to keep it clean. Gently lift the squares from the parchment and toss them in the sugar to coat all sides, gently dabbing any bare spots on the jellies with sugar. Transfer them to a clean, parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the jellies are coated.


Storing: Store the jellies on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil until ready to package. The jellies will keep at room temperature for 2 months.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

 
 
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