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Pineapple-Mint Jelly

2-3 OUNCES FRESH MINT

2 1/4 CUPS UNSWEETENED PINEAPPLE JUICE (OR WATER)

3 1/2 CUPS SUGAR

2 TBL LEMON JUICE

FEW DROPS OF GREEN FOOD COLORING (OPTIONAL)

1 FOIL POUCH OF LIQUID PECTIN (do not substitute powdered pectin for this recipe -- the book says it will fail . . .)

1. WASH MINT; REMOVE LEAVES AND CHOP STEMS. PRESS LEAVES AND STEMS FIRMLY INTO MEASURING CUPS TO MAKE 1 1/2 CUPS. TRANSFER THE MINT TO A 6-8 QUART DUTCH OVEN OR KETTLE.

2. ADD THE PINEAPPLE JUICE OR WATER. BRING TO BOILING OVER HIGH HEAT. REMOVE FROM HEAT; COVER AND LET STAND 10 MINUTES. LINE A STRAINER OR COLANDER WITH A DOUBLE LAYER OF CHEESECLOTH (OR USE A JELLY STRAINER BAG) AND STRAIN THE MINT MIXTURE. DISCARD THE MINT. MEASURE 1 3/4 CUPS JUICE.

3. IN THE SAME DUTCH OVEN, COMBINE THE 1 3/4 CUPS JUICE, THE SUGAR, LEMON JUICE, AND IF DESIRED, THE FOOD COLORING. BRING TO A FULL ROLLING BOIL, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. ADD LIQUID PECTIN AND HEAT TILL MIXTURE RETURNS TO A FULL ROLLING BOIL. BOIL FOR 1 MINUTE. REMOVE FROM HEAT. SKIM OFF FOAM WITH A METAL SPOON.

4. IMMEDIATELY LADLE JELLY INTO HOT, STERILIZED HALF-PINT JARS, LEAVING 1/4 INCH HEAD SPACE. WIPE JAR RIMS AND ADJUST LIDS. PROCESS JARS IN A BOILING-WATER CANNER FOR 5 MINUTES (START TIMING WHEN WATER BEGINS TO BOIL).

MAKES THREE HALF-PINT JARS.

Carol in Idaho