If you grow mint, you'll love this recipe for homemade mint jelly from the garden.

We're expecting a frost any night now, and I have already picked most of the herbs still lingering in our garden. 

I have them drying on a rack for me use later this winter, but I wanted to try making some mint jelly with the last of our mint.

I remember my grandmother making mint jelly using mint from her garden when I was a little girl. 

She and I would go out into her herb garden by the side of the driveway and pick a basketful of mint leaves, then I would stand on a kitchen chair next to the sink as she rinsed them off, then watch as she made the jelly at the stove.

But it's something I had never tried doing myself, even though I've been growing mint for years - and make a pretty mean mojito, if I do say so myself and this homemade mint ice cream recipe is to die for! But jelly was something I had never attempted, even though I had always wanted to.

So, I did what any of us do when we want to learn a new skill and I searched the internet for a recipe. It turns out that mint jelly is a pretty straight-forward recipe, so I settled on this one which is a conglomeration of a few I found that looked interesting. 

And I have to say that  the results were nothing short of delicious.

What Type of Mint is Best for Mint Jelly?

There are so many types of mint that you can grow. 

Spearmint is the most common type of mint used for jelly, but you can experiment and try different varieties. 

Some kinds of mint that would make nice jellies include:

  • chocolate mint
  • apple mint
  • orange mint
  • lemon mint
  • pineapple mint

Just like anything else you make with your own hands from fresh ingredients you grow yourself, the store bought version just can't compete.

If you have never tried making your own mint jelly, why not give it a try? 

Note: the green food coloring is completely optional but will give your jelly that signature bright green color. You can try using plant-based food coloring instead of the regular kind to avoid any chemicals. Or leave it out completely. Your mint jelly will be more of a yellowish-green color.

(scroll down for printable recipe) 

Homemade Mint Jelly from the Garden

Makes four 1/2 pint jars.

1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves, packed tightly
3 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces pectin
3 1/2 cups sugar

Rough chop the mint leaves.

Add the mint leaves to the 3 1/4 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil, then cover and let stand for ten minutes. Strain and measure out three cups of liquid, and pour it back into the saucepan. 

Add the lemon juice and a few drops of green food coloring (optional) and whisk in the pectin. Bring back to a boil and then whisk in the sugar and bring back to a boil once again.

Once the mixture reaches a rapid boil, cook for an additional minute or two, and then pour into sterilized canning jars and screw the lids on securely.

The mint jelly will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or you use the water bath canning method to make it shelf stable for longer storage.

How to Water Bath Mint Jelly

Place the rack in the bottom of a large pot and fill the pot halfway with water. 

Over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Then gently lower the jars into the water and set them on the rack, leaving several inches between each jar. 

The water should be at least one inch higher than the tops of the jars. Bring the water back to a boil, cover the pot with the lid, and boil for 10 minutes. 

Then using a jar lifter, carefully lift the jars and let them cool to room temperature on the counter.

The jelly makes a wonderful accompaniment to lamb obviously, but is also excellent used in the center of my Thumbprint Cookies.

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