Friday, March 12, 2010

Tigress Can Jam - Roasted Garlic Syrup

Strong and tangy and spicey, and a lovely clear golden color, but it isn't jelly... If I thought carrots were a challenge, alliums were even more so; I adore pretty much every one I've ever met - but it was difficult finding something that wasn't pickled onions, and was safe to water-bath. If it'd been later in the year, I'd have tried to make pickled garlic scapes, a delicious alternative use for the harvested stems, and one of the very few pickles that I actually like. But alas, at this time of year my garden garlic is just barely aboveground.

Roasted Garlic Jelly, from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, sounded like it would be unusual and delicious, and this month, I'd hoped a tangy savory clear jelly would be my reward. My last three heads of garlic that were grown by my beloved Mud Bay friends seemed like the perfect place to start -
3 medium bulbs of garlic
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 C dry white wine
2/3 C water
1/2 C white balsamic vinegar*
1 t whole black peppercorn, crushed
(I used a peeled sliced teaspoon-sized nubbin of fresh ginger)
3 T lemon juice
3 C granulated sugar
2 envelopes liquid pectin
(I used Pomona's Universal Pectin, 1 3/4 t pectin powder, 1 3/4 t calcium water)

Cut off tops of garlic heads and place each head on a small square of foil set on a baking sheet. Top each head with 1 t oil and 1 t balsamic. Scrunch foil loosely around garlic heads and roast until garlic is golden and very soft (about 40 minutes @ 400F). Let stand until cool. Separate cloves pinching each one to extract garlic. Discard the skins.

In a medium saucepan, combine garlic, wine, water, white balsamic vinegar, and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.

Transfer garlic mixture to a dampened jelly bag or a strainer lined with layers of damp cheesecloth. Let drip 30 minutes. Measure out the pectin powder, and in a dry bowl, add it to the sugar and mix thoroughly.

Measure 1 2/3 c of garlic juice. If you don't have the required amount add up to 1/4 c dry white wine or water. Transfer garlic juice to a large deep saucepan. Stir in lemon juice and calcium water, then stir in the pectin-sugar mixture. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars leaving 1/4" head space. Put lids and rings on, put into canner, bring to boil and process 10 minutes. The books suggested that you would get 9 4 oz jars; I got seven, plus a half jar that went right into the fridge for taste testing later this week...

It appears that this did not set up properly, I'm still figuring out how to use the pectin supplement. Rather than un-seal all the jars, which seems rather wasteful, I'm going to call this a roasted garlic syrup, since what I primarily wanted was something that could be used as a glaze or marinade ingredient anyway.

*I'd never heard of white balsamic vinegar, which appears to be a mixture of white wine vinegar and grape must, but it was easy to find at Trader Joe's. The recipe notes, in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, say that you can also use regular balsamic vinegar, but the jelly will be darker.


  1. Take heart! Some of the best things I've ever canned started as "failed" jam! This sounds particularly lovely - the kind of thing that would be drizzled over a posh canape and topped with a Parmesan crisp or lightly poured into an omelet pan just before the eggs. I bet it'd be great brushed on veggies as they grill, too. I might have to go ahead and try your variation for myself!

    - Marsha

  2. This looks interesting! I'm sure it's really taste as a glaze!

  3. If this was intended as a glaze from the beginning, I'd simply skip adding the extra pectin. If I make this again, that is what I will do, and in addition I will use less sugar in proportion to the wine/vinegar... I tried it last night to season a stir-fry, and with the addition of soy sauce, it worked quite well.

  4. Hi! I seem to have misplaced your email. Are you still making lacing tips/aglets?