Margarita Jelly (& jelly canning picture-tutorial)

Kathleen Hagood Recipe

By Kathleen Hagood Nature_Mommie

makes 5 1/2 - 7 half pints
25 Min
15 Min

Last Christmas, my children and their families all met in Fredericksburg, TX. One of our favorite shops there is a gourmet shop called Rustlin' Rob's. My son-in-law came out and asked if I had tried the Margarita Jelly, and since I hadn't, he took me back into the store and through the crowd to allow me to try it. Yum! I did what I usually try to do: I sat out to make it at home, but first, I needed a recipe. Uncle Phaedrus, Finder of Lost Recipes ( solved that part of the problem. After a few adjustments, I am having margaritas for breakfast!

pinch tips: How to Quarter a Chicken


zest of three limes (my addition)
3/4 c
fresh squeezed lime juice (i used 12 limes, but it depends upon the size and freshness of the limes and whether you are hand squeezing them or not.)
1 1/2 c
water --juice of one orange (my recipe addition) plus water to make 1 1/2 cups
1/2 c
tequila (i used silver 100 % pure blue agave.)
1/4 c
orange liqueur (i used grand marnier.)
1/2 tsp
butter (helps prevent foaming)
1/4 tsp
sea salt (my addition as it is a bit sweet without it)
4 1/2 c
granulated sugar
pouch of certo liquid fruit pectin

Directions Step-By-Step

The washing of jars and canner are not included in the preparation time of this recipe.

Jars should be very clean. Carefully inspect each jar for chips around the rim BEFORE washing. I have a cut on my pinky knuckle from about 10 years ago when I shoved my hand into a chipped pint jar to wash it.

Have water boiling already in boiling water canner with jar rack in bottom. Water should be deep enough to cover jars with one inch of water when the capped jars are placed in.

Note: to prevent cloudy mineral discoloration of jars, you may place two teaspoons of white vinegar in your canner water and in the water you are using to boil your jars

Also have an extra pan of water ready to boil when you remove the jelly pan from the burner (in case you need extra water to cover the jars).
Boil jalf pint jars (or smaller) in another large pot on top of stove. Keep the jars in this water until just before jelly is done.
About five minutes before you need them, take jars out with tongs, one at a time, and turn over onto CLEAN dish towel, allowing each jar to fully drain.
In another pan, place jar rings and lids in hot water and bring to boil, but do not continue to boil, or the seals may melt. Just keep them hot and steriled and the rubber sealant soft.
Zest three of the limes into a large pan. (I use a dutch oven size so that it doesn't spatter out or boil over.) Then roll limes on counter and juice enough limes to measure 3/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice. Pour lime juice, water and orange juice mixture, tequila, and orange liqueur into pan. Add butter, salt, and sugar. Bring to boil over high heat (stirring constantly). Stir in pouch of liquid pectin. Bring to boil again -- rolling boil -- for 1 minute. Dip tines of a fork into the jelly to see if the jelly spreads between tines. This is Karla Everette's doneness test. (SEE NOTES FROM KARLA EVERETT BELOW.) Once it's done, remove from heat and immediately skim off foam. Work quickly but carefully now. (Hot jelly on your skin really hurts!)

Place extra pan of water on burner now and turn on high heat to get it boiling.
"Reliable Jelly Test: Dip a silver fork into the boiling jelly, and if it fills in between tall the tines of the fork the jelly is done. If not, cook a little longer until it fills in between the tines instead of dripping through.

In determining when the jellying point has been reached, place some of the jelly on a cold plate and draw a path through it with the point of a spoon. If the path stays without the jelly running together, the jellying point has been reached" (Karla Everett).
Place a towel in the bottom of a clean sink so that the hot jars do not break if they touch the cold surface. Place jars on the towel, and using a canning funnel, fill jars to 1/2 to 3/4 inch from rim.
Remove jars one or two at a time from sink, and place on a towel covered counter. Using a CLEAN wet towel or paper towel, wash off the rim of each jar. (If any jelly gets on the rim, it will not seal.) Then dry rim.

Take sterilized lids and rings out of the pan of hot water with the tines of a fork or tongs, and cap each jar and screw on ring.
Using the tongs, place each capped jar into the boiling water canner (on top of rack). Once all jars are loaded, check the water level. If additional water is needed to cover the jars with at least an inch or two of water, pour boiling water in.

Once the water in the canner is at a rolling boil (meaning you can't stir the boiling water down, time the boil for at least ten minutes. (Jelly is really supposed to be okay after five minutes and jam is supposed to be okay after ten minutes, but I do ten minutes to make sure that every jar reaches the right internal temperature. For this reason, never use larger jars than pints for canning jelly as one cannot ensure that the internal temperature reached is sufficient in the water bath method.)
Once time is up, turn off heat, and carefully use canning tongs to remove each jar (keeping each upright) and place the jars on a dish towel covered counter. Leave a little space between each jar. If you want to lay a paper towel over them to dry up the water on the lids that's fine, but don't touch the lids. Allow them to seal on their own.
You will begin to hear them pop. Some take longer than others, but be patient. Any which don't seal should go into the refrigerator and be used within a couple of weeks. Sometimes, I touch the seal at this point and it seals, but my mom says only trust them if they seal on their own.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Jams & Jellies
Main Ingredient: Fruit
Regional Style: American

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Kathleen Hagood Nature_Mommie
Jun 5, 2012
Jelly / Jam Making Tips

For great tips from Karla Everett, please see this link.
Karla Everett Karla59
Jun 5, 2012
Thanks Kathleen for linking my recipes. This Jelly sounds and looks delicious and you did a great job on your step by step tutorial...saving recipe :D
Annette W. greeneyez
Jun 5, 2012
Yummo. This is a great recipe hon. Can't wait to make it. I still need to get you my strawbenero recipe. I haven't forgot. I just need to find it.
Kathleen Hagood Nature_Mommie
Jun 5, 2012
Thanks Karla for the great tips. They are perfect, so I had to add them. Thanks Annette! I sooo want that recipe.
Kathleen Hagood Nature_Mommie
Jun 5, 2012
I should add that some people will want to add green food coloring for more color. I don't mind it golden in color with flecks of green lime zest. I don't like adding fake color to my food because I have had bad reactions to certain red dyes, but it would be pretty, so feel free to add color if you want.
Karla Everett Karla59
Jun 5, 2012
I won't be adding any food coloring , I like it the way it is , it looks like a margarita in a jar. :D
Jan Carkin Carkin
Jun 16, 2012
Does anyone have any ideas what to serve this with? Standard cream cheese and crackers?
Kathleen Hagood Nature_Mommie
Jun 16, 2012
I eat mine on jalapeno bread toasted with butter, or this morning I ate it on a buttered biscuit. I also like the cream cheese and crackers though I usually like that with spicier jam. My son suggested cooking it on chicken--using it like a glaze. I hope this helps.
Kathleen Hagood Nature_Mommie
Jun 17, 2012
You are welcome. I should have said that I also like to eat it on something salty like a cracker or chip (even without the cream cheese).
Tillie Jenkins Cochran TillieIrene
Aug 26, 2012
My Aunt taught me that if a jar doesn't seal after all others have sealed & it's still hot 2 turn it upside down...I have done this & it does work...
Kathleen Hagood Nature_Mommie
Sep 3, 2012
That's a good tip. Thanks Tillie!
Harriet Ward HarrietW
Nov 18, 2012
One of the best things to eat this on is the cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers from Sam's!
Kathleen Hagood Nature_Mommie
Nov 18, 2012
Oh yum, Harriet! I should have thought of that! Thanks!