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Mulled Port Wine Jelly

  • 1 unblemished medium size eating orange
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (2-1/2 inches), broken
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 box (3/4 oz) powdered regular pectin
  • 2 1/2 cups red port, Madeira, Marsala or a full-bodied red table wine
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar

Makes about 6 cups. This is a two-stage recipe. One day (or at least several hours) before you'll make the jelly, rinse the orange and stick the cloves into it. Wrap the orange loosely in aluminum foil and bake it, set directly on the shelf, in a 3500F oven for 1 hour. Open the wrapping and check the orange; if it is very soft and the juices have begun to caramelize inside the foil wrapping, it is ready; otherwise continue to bake it until it is soft and the juices in the wrapping are turning a rich brown. Unwrap the orange and drop it into a deep bowl. Add the cinnamon and allspice and mash everything together. Pour in the boiling water, cover the bowl and let it stand overnight. Pour the mixture into a sieve set over a bowl and press the solids to strain off as much liquid as possible. Discard pulp and strain the liquid again, this time lining the sieve with cheesecloth. Measure the liquid; if you don't have 1-1/2 cups, add water. Pour the liquid into a preserving pan. Add pectin and stir to eliminate lumps. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil it hard (at a boil that can't be stirred down) for exactly 1 minute. At once add the wine and sugar. Lower the heat and stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved, 2 or 3 minutes; it should not simmer, much less boil. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam and ladle the jelly into hot, sterilized jelly glasses or straight-sided half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace in the glasses or 1/8-inch in the jars. Seal the jelly in glasses with melted paraffin; seal canning jars with sterilized canning lids according to manufacturer's directions. Cool, label and store the jars. If the jelly will be used within a few months, it may be refrigerated unsealed but covered. Keeps, sealed, for a year in a cool pantry.

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