I've been wanting to make champagne jelly for a while now... sounds so delicate and ladylike. What better time to make it than Valentines Day?
I already had a bottle of alcohol-free champage laying around (Gross, right? I won it at work and let's face it, I'll never drink it) but feel free to use the real stuff. No need to buy an expensive bottle, but def don't pick up a nasty one either. Don't ruin the taste by being too cheap, Gurrrl.
The recipe I was initially following asked for 2 cups of the champagne, 1 teaspoon lemon juice (it can be made without in other recipes), and 2 tablespoons pectin to be heated up on the stove to a boil. I also threw in some chopped strawberries and a dash of vanilla extract (because I love vanilla extract and use it all the damn time), but it would also be great with a little fresh orange juice, St. Germain, Chambord, or perhaps rose water. Mmm. Now I want to go make more.
Once the mixture is boiling, add sugar. Now this is where I got lost. The recipe called for 3 cups and my gut told me no, but I didn't taste test until my 2nd cup and it was already too sweet for me. Next thing I knew I was throwing more champagne and pectin in there and getting lost on my measurements... I ended up using the whole bottle of non-booze. I suggest that you start with 1 cup of sugar and try it out. If you really want it to taste like champagne I would even try half a cup of sugar first.
Scoop all foam out of the mixture and turn off heat. If it still seems a little runny to you, cook it a little longer with a little more pectin, but don't forget it will thicken up once it cools. I made mine pretty thick because I want it more the consistancy of toast jam. Sounds dirty, but I like it. If you want it more like a sauce (ice cream, anyone?) keep it at the original amount of pectin.
I then got to work on canning the goodness, but if you don't, the mixture should last in your fridge for a couple weeks.
Now I need some desserts to try this on. I heard this can also be used to sweeten iced tea.
Let's get fancy!
photo: "Ronnie Dobbs" from Mr. Show, click on his picture and he'll sing you a song.