Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lemon Orange Fennel Ginger Jelly

Hello. My name is Julia, and I, uh, I make jelly. Yeah, it's sad but on a Friday what am I doing? Making jelly. The baby went to sleep and Steve went to play poker, so I grabbed my hot water tongs and fired up the citrus. Again. I was obsessed with citrus before the can jam, but Tigress' Can Jam put me over the edge into problem territory. It's just so much fun playing with something that is so high in natural pectin. And there are so many fringe benefits: syrup, candied peels, etc.

So. I had a bag of mixed citrus: navel oranges, juice oranges, tangerines. I juiced them all and saved the peels for candied citrus peel. (I have a bag in the freezer and once it's big enough, a' candying I will go.) They yielded two cups of juice. Then I had six lemons, of which I juiced four yielding one cup of juice. Rinds in the freezer. The last two were well chilled and I sliced them in the food processor using the fine slice disc. Adding the juice and pulp together yielded four cups. I chose not to macerate and put it all in my pan with one tablespoon of fennel and a chunk of peeled ginger, sliced in thick rounds. Bringing it to 220 degrees was quick. When I knew it was close, I skimmed all of the fruit peels, seeds, and ginger, and a good deal of the fennel. Canned and processed ten minutes.

The jelly tastes outrageously good. I love fennel and lemon together. The ginger wasn't so evident—next time I might grate it. The set was not very firm; a tender set, but thicker than a glaze. The two lemons weren't enough, and it probably would have been good to bring it all to a boil and let it sit overnight. But, I'm impatient. This recipe gave me two full half pints, and one half pint just a hair too low to process. I'd like to point out that the jar pictured above was the fridge jar and was not processed!

Bonus: I saved the skimmed fruit. It's candied! I will chop it, fennel and all, and add it to a scone recipe. Maybe with some golden raisins.

What do you do with all this jam? Why, make thumbprint cookies, of course. Mine are a low-rent version, using my basic cookie dough that I keep on hand for emergencies. A classier and tasty looking version can be found here. I had been meaning to make these for a while!


  1. my first instinct was to say "it's gonna be ok julia, put the knife down and back away from the citrus" ...and then of course my second and stronger instinct was to get my butt to the store and buy some more citrus, 'cause i haven't had my fill of marmalade and citrus jelly makin' this season yet either!

  2. Ha, ha! Both of your instincts are spot on! My refrigerator is being taken over...I really think I'm done now. Almost. Maybe.

  3. I understand completely. I like jelly myself and I love canning.

  4. Wow - can't wait to see what you're obsessed with this summer! Those cookies look yummy. Did you put some spice in there? they look flecked with cardamom or nutmeg or something.

  5. Wonderful.....I thought i was a serious jelly maker until I saw this.

  6. Annette- Me too! Those cookies have lots of vanilla in them! They were yummy indeed.

    Rachel- Hey, I'll have to check out your jelly!