Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Port Wine Jelly - Really, truly, very good....

Even jerks have good ideas sometimes.  I went on a few dates with a guy who ended up being weird, but I was telling him about my hobby one day (with a bit of embarrassment, people in Southern California think canning your own food and making jam and jelly is a bit hokey) and he being a self-important, self-described "oenophile" suggested I try making jelly out of port wine (Imagine him saying this whilst sipping on a Pinot Noir with his pinky pointing outwards and his jaw clenched as he spoke).  Now, I am not much of a port drinker, but I thought with its sweetness that it was a great idea.  And it was.  I thought I was rather clever, in fact, making port wine jelly.  Then a quick google search brought me down to Planet Earth when I discovered dozens of recipes for port wine jelly.  Well...la-dee-dah!!  Mine turned out amazing, I must say I am quite proud of it!
I used the recipe from Mes Confitures, by Christine Ferber, "Pinot Noir Jelly."  I simply substituted the port wine in place of pinot noir.  I am wondering if other people have tried some of her recipes?  The apple juice never seems to be enough pectin for the jelly to gel.  I always end up having to add commercial pectin.  Thoughts?  Can I save a bunch of time by just using pectin in the first place?  Skip the whole apple-cooking, straining, waiting overnight thing?  I have a feeling it wouldn't taste as good or be as delicate...but I don't know.  At any rate, this jelly is one of my favorites, the port is on the nose as soon as you open the jar, but berry flavors take over with the perfect amount of sweetness on the lips.  It went great with whole grain toast.  I believe this would also be delicious on dinner crackers with a mellow cheese and a glass of red wine.  I could credit Mr. Jerk-face with this recipe, but I won't.  It's way too good for that!  Enjoy! xo, AB

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