If you have extra rosemary in the garden--if you have rosemary there's always extra--or you want to make jelly but don't have pectin, this simple jelly will work well for you. I used young, mild rosemary so if you're using older, woodier rosemary you'll want to use less. If you've never made a jelly before, read my Riesling-Mint Jelly post for more detailed information on what equipment you'll need and the canning process.
4 rosemary sprigs
2¼ cups water
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Wash the oranges, especially carefully if they aren't organic, and reserve one for zest. Thinly slice six oranges and put them into a 4-quart or larger sauce pan. Add the juice of 3 lemons, the rosemary sprigs, and the water. Cover and let sit overnight.
Taste the water before proceeding. If the amount of rosemary flavoring is sufficient for your taste, remove the rosemary at this point.
Put the sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Let simmer 30 minutes until the oranges are softened. Taste frequently if the rosemary is still in the pan so that you can remove it when there is enough rosemary flavor in the mix. Strain the liquid, squeezing the orange pulp to extract as much flavor as possible. If you wish, add some Grand Marnier.
Prepare a water-bath canner, jars for 3-4 cups, and lids. Place a small plate in the freezer to use for testing later.
Measure the liquid: for 2½ cups of liquid you'll need 2 cups of granulated sugar. Mix the liquid and sugar in a clean 4-quart saucepan, then add the zest from the reserved orange and the cinnamon. Bring to a brisk boil, stirring frequently, and continue to boil until it passes the jelly test.
You'll want to test the jelly to make sure it will set. Remove the plate from the freezer and put a small spoonful of jelly on it. Let it sit for a minute, then check to see if the jelly is still liquid or if it has begun to thicken. When the jelly sets somewhat on the plate, and the jelly in the pan is threatening to overflow, it's ready to can.
Fill hot, sterilized jars to within one-quarter inch of the top, seal, and process in boiling water for 10 minutes. This recipe yields about 3 cups of jelly.
This is an excellent jelly to serve with mild cheese. It's flavor is very much like orange marmalade, but there is somewhat less bitterness. I would also serve it as a condiment with seared duck breast. Of course it will also be delightful with a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast.