Makes 3 ½ cups
This is a great way to use the last of a bottle of wine and a lovely gift from your kitchen to share with friends. To simplify the procedure, it's unnecessary to cover the jelly in the traditional manner using paraffin. But, it is important to sterilize glass jars: first wash and rinse them, then immerse in boiling water for at least 10 minutes, or until needed. The jelly can be stored in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for up 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
As an appetizer, I love to top thin slices of French baguette with a sliver of Gruyère and a dollop of this wine jelly to savor the contrast of sweet and salty. Or, I simply spread the jelly on thin slices of French bread, perhaps over a layer of chèvre, to accompany salads.
For dessert, use wine jelly as a glaze for a fruit tart or cake; melt the jelly over low heat, spread it with a brush, and then chill the creation.
3 cups sugar
2 cups Red Zinfandel or other full-bodied, jammy red wine
3 ounces liquid fruit pectin
Combine the sugar and wine in the top pan of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add the pectin; stir constantly for about 1 minute. Use a large spoon to skim off the foam.
While the jelly is still hot, pour it into hot sterilized jars. Leave ½-inch space at the top for expansion if you choose to freeze the jelly. Wipe the rims clean and cover at once with a lid. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours or until set, then transfer to the refrigerator or freezer.