So, there may have been a bit of a cherry wine catastrophe. It turns out that cherries are significantly less sweet than strawberries, and as such, don’t need a final injection of acid blend (whatever that is). That’s right, the cherry wine Peter spent so much time making turned out sour, and not in the refreshing manner of sour beers, more like “oh god this wine is turning to vinegar”. Peter tried drinking it for a while, but eventually gave up.
But what on earth does one do with half a batch of sour wine?!? Well, I finally have an answer to that: wine jelly. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner, but after trying to heat it up like mulled wine (a disaster if there ever was one), it finally dawned on me that lots and lots of sugar was the only way to go. In case you are the kind of person that likes following reputable recipes, I point you HERE. Otherwise, read on.
Usually I try to follow canning recipes even if I plan to keep the final product in the fridge, but in my excitement to finally enjoy consuming the cherry wine, powdered pectin was purchased instead of liquid. Who cares, you might think. Well, apparently these things make a difference, if the doomsday comments of the above recipe are any indication. Instead I gave up all semblance of following orders and made up my own version, based on the general guidelines for using Pomona’s Universal Pectin with fruit juice. Sort of.
Cherry Wine Jelly (using Pomona’s Universal Pectin)
(Makes 4-5 half-pint jars of jelly)
2 cups sour wine
1/4 cup reduced sour wine (from the rest of the bottle)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1.5 teaspoons calcium water
1.5 teaspoons pectin powder
In case you try to use a non-sour wine, instructions seem to suggest adding lemon juice.
- Begin by pouring out 2 cups of wine from 1 bottle of wine and set aside. Reduce the rest of the bottle of wine to about 1/4 cup.
- Mix the sugar with the pectin powder and set aside.
- Combine the 2 cups of wine with the 1/4 cup reduced wine and the calcium water in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the sugar/pectin to the hot wine mixture and stir for 1-2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil and then remove from heat.
- Pour wine jelly into sanitized jars (boil jars in a hot water bath for 5 minutes or so), close the lids, and let sit on the counter until room temperature.
- Put the wine jelly jars into the fridge. You may have to wait 24 hours for the jelly to set properly. I eat the cherry wine jelly on toast like any other kind of jam, but it would also be wonderful served with cheese. Or you could eat it on top of foccacia (see photo below) topped with olive oil, cheese, and rosemary.
Bonus recipe: sugar cookies that don’t need to be chilled! I made these for my lovely physics ladies this week with a touch of sprinkles, cinnamon sugar, or shredded coconut on top. In case you were worried, they accumulated quite a few compliments.