Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tangelo Lemongrass Jelly

I sit down to write this first entry in the Tigress' Can Jam with an appropriate drink in hand to cheer all my fellow canners. A friend gave me a sweet little pint jar filled with a gin, clementine, kumquat, cardamom and peppercorn cordial. Perfect on ice with a splash of seltzer, I thought it would be a great souse for tonight's post. The amount of response to this endeavor is astounding, and I'm so glad to be a part of it! So cheers!

On to the meat of the matter. My subject: tangelos, which are a cross between a tangerine and either a pomelo or grapefruit. They yield a great deal of juice. I'm a little marmaladed out, so I thought jelly was my ticket. When I saw some huge, local granny smith apples, I knew I was in business. The lemongrass I spotted just sweetened the deal.

4 lbs. granny smith apples (the tarter the better)

Quarter these and put them in a large heavy pan. Cover with 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about thirty minutes. Apples should be very soft. Strain the juice once in a large mesh. Then do a finer strain. I like to line some cheesecloth over my strainer. Let this drain slowly overnight in the fridge.

Tip: Pass your cooked apples through a food mill. Makes excellent applesauce! Sweeten and spice if you want, or leave it au naturale.

2 1/2 pounds of tangelos

Juice these, reserving the seeds, to measure 2 cups of juice.

Tip: Save the rinds for candied citrus peels. Put them in the freezer in a ziploc until you get a pound of them. I also scraped the flesh from the rind and the pile I had was so juicy that I put it all in a pot and simmered it with 1/2 cup of juice, 1/2 cup of water, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 1/2 vanilla bean, and made a great syrup.

Put 2 cups of your apple extraction and 2 cups of the tangelo juice into your preserving pan along with 3 cups of sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Bring to a boil. While this is reaching a boil, bruise one stalk of lemongrass with a rolling pin and chop it coarsely. Add it to the mixture, along with the reserved citrus seeds. (You could put these in a cheesecloth pouch--I chose to let it loose. See note below.) Bring this to the jelling point, can and process for ten minutes.

Notes: This is probably one of my favorite jellies to date, and I've been on a little bit of a jelly tear. It's perfectly jelled for my tastes, and has a consistency like a good marmalade without the rinds (or bitterness). The lemongrass is not overpowering at all, but does give the citrusy goodness a goose. Be careful with chopping the lemongrass--I did it too fine and had to strain the jelly before canning it and besides being a pain, it slowed what should be a quick transition. And I should note that lemongrass is hard and not what you want on your toast, so don't leave it in. However, this jelly was so tasty that I saved all the foam I pulled off the mixture, along with all the strained lemongrass and seeds because I couldn't bear to throw it out. I thought it would make a nice glaze on some duck breast.


  1. looks good and I always can with cocktail in hand, Can Jam sister!

  2. The color of your jelly is awesome!

  3. Thanks, Mom! Where's your citrus entry?? Been looking for it...

    Thanks, ap269! Yours came out pretty nice, too!

  4. The jelly looks gorgeous and I love the idea of lemongrass. I have some dried lemongrass from my summer garden, but I hadn't thought of infusing it into a sweet jam... hmmmm.

    And, really - it is possible to can sans cocktail?? I think not. (I'm sure it's written into the rules in the Blue Book somewhere...) :)

  5. MMM. it looks and sounds delicious. I can't wait to see how it tastes on duck, if you do it.

    I'm curious if your friend would be willing to share the cordial recipe...that sounds good too. :D

  6. I am speechless at your brilliance. If only you were close enough to swap jars without involving the postal service!!

  7. Lovely jelly! Beautiful color... great idea! THANKS for sharing!

  8. Kaela- I've got to plant lemongrass! Damn. And yes, a cocktail is imperative!

    Angela- Yum is right!

    Annette- You are wayyy too kind. I'm game if you're game.

    Melanie- Ain't it pretty? Thanks!

  9. Melissa- Thanks! I'll be sure to post it. I looked for some duck today at the store but didn't find any. Oh well.

    I'm inquiring as to that recipe--I'll let you know! It was tasty!

  10. Recipe for the cordial, thanks to Christina:

  11. Brilliant to use lemongrass! I was trying to find a way to use lemongrass or pandan for the January challenge, but I settled on tangerines. I can't wait to try this one! Thanks for posting!

  12. Looks great! I love the idea of using apples for pectin without bitterness to make citrus jelly. And lemongrass... yum!

  13. Looks beautiful and the lemongrass sounds delicious!

  14. Briggsy- Pandan would be sooo cool. I'm not sure if I can get it near me. Maybe via the internet. Good idea!

    Libby- Thanks! Yeah, I wanted the citrus-y sweetness. It really worked. A riff off a Christine Ferber (Mes Confitures) recipe. She uses a lot of apple pectin stock/jelly.

    Grow and Resist- Thanks! The lemongrass totally worked for this!

  15. Mmmm yum! What an amazing group of flavors! Nice idea! And it looks pretty too

  16. Thanks, Catalina!

    Note on using the foam: I just glazed some chicken legs with it. It was delicious!