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Remember that time I made limoncello from lemon rind, vodka, sugar and water? I still had two bottles in the freezer, one of which was a bit too sweet, that we weren’t really drinking. So on a day when I was using some of the different types of pectin I had recently purchased (because pectin has a expiration date) I thought to myself, “Self, you saw several vodka jellies at the county fair, why not make a limoncello one?” After patting myself on the back for a good idea, I went to search the internet for a recipe and got nowhere. I did discover that apparently UK folks call Jell-o “jelly” but could not find something that could be canned. I therefore present you with a recipe for limoncello jelly (with a mint leaf).
First off, why make limoncello jelly? What is it good for? This sweet, lemony jelly is fantastic as a filling or glaze for baked goods. It can also be used on chicken or fish then baked to form a lovely lemony caramelized coating. Serve it alongside your cheese and crackers on a spread or even with mascarpone or goat cheese on a crostini. Eat it with fresh berries with or without whipped cream. Heck, eat it on toast with your morning tea if you’re into it!

The recipe I used is adapted from a wine jelly that can be processed in a water bath to be shelf safe or will be good in the refrigerator for up to about a month. I used Sure Jell’s MCP Pectin— MCP is “modified citrus pectin”– but feel free to try another MCP type pectin if you have it.

Limoncello Jelly
(Yields about 4 1/2 cups or 36 ounces)

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 package MCP Pectin (2 ounces)
1 3/4 cups limoncello (recipe for limoncello here)
3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon butter (optional to reduce foaming)

  1. Place water and lemon juice in 6-quart kettle (or pot). Add the package of MCP Pectin and stir well to dissolve.
  2. Heat to boiling and boil 1 minute.
  3. Add limoncello and return to boil.
  4. Add sugar and bring back to a full, rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down). Add the butter and boil hard for exactly 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, skim any foam.
  6. Pour into jars. Seal according to canning directions in the pectin package. The ones that came with mine required a 5 minute water bath.

I also dropped two mint leaves from my garden into each jar (basil would also be good!), if you take the same route, add them after the jelly is in the jar. I added mine to the hot jar and apparently heat on mint turns the leaves black. Oops. The leaves that were added to the jelly once it was in the jar stayed more green.

What would you use limoncello jelly for?