It does indeed taste like red wine and the seasonings give it an exotic and opulent dimension.

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1 ½ cups sugar

5 tablespoons Sure-Jell for Less or No-Sugar Needed Recipes

1 (750-ml) bottle full-bodied red wine

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 star anise pods

¾ cup water


1. Set canning rack in large pot, place four 1-cup jars in rack, and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, then turn off heat and cover to keep hot.

2. Whisk ¼ cup sugar and Sure-Jell together in bowl; set aside. Bring wine, thyme, peppercorns and star anise to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain wine into bowl, discarding solids; return wine to clean pot.

3. Add water and Sure-Jell mixture and bring to boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Add remaining 1 ¼ cups sugar and bring to vigorous boil, whisking constantly. Once boiling, cook for two minutes, whisking constantly. Remove pot from heat and skim foam from surface using large spoon.

4. Meanwhile, place dish towel flat on counter. Using jar lifter, remove jars from pot, draining water back into pot. Place jars upside down on towel and let dry for one minute. Using funnel and ladle, portion hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch head space.

5a. For short-term storage: Let jelly cool to room temperature. Cover, refrigerate and let set for 12 to 24 hours. Serve. (Jelly can be refrigerated for up to two months.)

5b. For long-term storage: While jars are hot, wipe rims clean, add lids, and screw on rings until fingertip-tight; do not overtighten. Return pot of water with canning rack to boil. Lower jars into water, cover, bring water back to boil, then start timer. Cooking time will depend on your altitude: Boil 10 minutes for up to 1,000 feet, 15 minutes for 1,001 to 3,000 feet, 20 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 feet, or 25 minutes for 6,001 to 8,000 feet.

Turn off heat and let jars sit in pot for five minutes. Remove jars from pot and let cool for 24 hours. Remove rings, check seal and clean rims. (Sealed jars can be stored in cool, dark place for up to a year.)


— From the book: “Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments & More” by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen; 310 pages, $26.95. Published by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen, 2016.