Jelly Recipes

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Home Canning and Preserving Recipe

Home Canning and Preserving

11.03.14 by Jackie

Because of the drought in California, we haven't been watering our fruit trees much. The good news is that it finally poured this weekend. I hadn't checked out our trees in a long time. So after the rain stopped, Aria, our puppy Earnest Tofu and I took a little walk in the garden. I was pleasantly surprised that--despite the lack of water--guavas were plentiful, with at least 6 to 8 pounds of luscious fruit waiting to be picked. I consider it a luxury being able to harvest anything during this dry period, especially the tropical flavorful jewels we were able to gather. I prepared guava jelly and will share the recipe tomorrow. 

In the meantime, I gathered a list of the preserves I've prepared in the past. Jam and jelly's role isn't only as a topping for bread and butter for breakfast. You can incorporate them in so many creative ways: for salad dressing, meat glaze, syrup for roasted vegetables and of course in sweets and drinks. Get inventive; it may inspire you to do more home canning and preserving!


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Rau Cau Dua: Vietnamese Coconut Jello Recipe Recipe

Rau câu is Vietnamese jello made with agar agar, which is a seaweed by-product, similar to gelatin (except it's vegetal). Several months ago, family friends came for dinner and brought delicious rau câu made with nước dừa ("coconut juice" in Vietnamese). We usually serve the more traditional Vietnamese dessert made with sweetened condensed milk and flavor it with layers of chocolate, mocha, pandan and sometimes durian, but I really like the flavor of this variation. I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy this version was to make. All you need is a few cans of coconut juice with pulp and agar agar. How simple is that?

The coconut jello has another great advantage. It has the same texture as pana cotta, so you can serve it to children without being scared of any spilling or any accidents on your floor. I've adopted this cube version whenever I make it for kids. You can use the same recipe using your children's favorite drinks. It's mess-free and melts in your mouth. They’ll love it!


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Apricot Pepper Jelly Recipe Recipe

Apricot Pepper Jelly Recipe

03.13.11 by Jackie

I've made several sweet and spicy preserves in the past and this is one of the many variations we made last summer. As I might have told you before, Lulu's favorite hobby after work is gardening. He takes such great pride harvesting the hottest chiles. He started them from seeds and grew them in those cool Jiffy greenhouses. We should be starting planting the seeds again in the following weeks.

Last August, we harvested jalapeño and Habanero chiles. I paired the spicy peppers with delicious apricot juice and made my own pepper jelly. The problem with canning and making so many experiments during the summer is that we have to store all the jars in the garage. The preserves taste much better if you let them sit for a few weeks so the flavors are at their fullest. By that time, we usually forget about them until we do a huge clean up! It just took us 6 months to find these 3 jars. I’m glad we did; this apricot pepper jelly tastes delicious!


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Chile Jam Recipe (Homemade Habanero Sauce) Recipe

Last season, my husband Lulu harvested so many peppers from the garden that I had to make a lot of preserves to use them up. If you've been following me on Facebook, I didn’t get a lot of sleep over the weekend because of an over-dose of caffeine. I went on a cleaning spree to pass the time, and while I was tidying up, I found our last jar of chile jam. We used a combination of red Habanero (which is probably the spiciest chile you'll ever taste), red Thai chiles and a small red bell pepper to temper the heat. Still, this recipe will knock your socks off!

When Lulu and I first got married, I remember him calling me a wimp when it came to spicy food. I used to find black pepper spicy! But over the last 6 years, I've learned to enjoy it. I guess marrying into an Indian family helped numb my taste buds. For Father's Day, we held a contest on who would be able to stand eating intensely spicy cuisine. Daddy, my father-in-law, is an expert and of course, he won, but I was able to do better than the girls.

Daddy said the chile jam wasn't as spicy as he had expected but if you're not as tolerant of the heat, prepare a tall glass of milk on the side and enjoy with some toast.

Habanero Jam Recipe with Picture


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Strawberry Muffins Recipe

Strawberry Muffins

01.14.10 by Jackie

Marbled Muffins made with homemade strawberry jelly are our family favorite. The muffin batter is  mildly sweet with a touch of acidity from the strawberry jelly. I used strawberry extract and lemon zest in the batter and repeated both flavors in the jelly.

The muffins have a subtle elegance that makes a perfect treat for tea parties or for children's birthdays or play dates. I've made them for both, and they're always a hit. The design is my own attempt at modern art; I put a dollop of the jelly on top of the batter and then use a toothpick to draw in random designs. It's not Jackson Pollock, but hey, I'm sure it tastes better than his paintings!

Strawberry Muffin Recipe with Picture


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