Have you ever heard of Beet Jelly? I came across this intriguing sounding, new-to-me jelly on cupboardcook's Etsy page the other day where it immediately prompted a google search. While cupboardcook's product (which also includes an infusion of fresh thyme) sounded quite lovely, I was rather horrified by many of the recipes I found in my search. Read on for the details.
Here's how Candice Ann Ross Grisetti, the maker of Beet Thyme Jelly and the woman behind the website Cupboardcook, describes her product on her Etsy page:
Sweet beets are cooked and all the ruby juice is extracted. The concentrate is lightly infused with a touch of fresh organic thyme - picked steps away from the pot to give a nice depth that help brings out the natural sweetness of this wonder root. The final product is surprisingly simple and yet intriguingly complex. Similar a glass of Merlot; crisp and flavorful with a nice rounded depth of flavor.
Sounds pretty delicious, right? But it turns out that many of the more 'traditional' beet jelly recipes call for Grape Jello or Kool-Aid as a main ingredient. What!?! Now, I'm a big fan of old-fashioned, down home recipes and I don't turn up my nose at convenience foods either, but this one has me puzzled. Why bother with what must be no small effort to cook and extract the beet juice only to cover it over with Raspberry Kool-Aid? Am I missing something here?
I'm happy that Ms. Grisetti has found a way to create this recipe using only beet juice, cane sugar, lemon, thyme and pectin. Her addition of thyme is genius! But you'd be hard pressed to find me getting very excited over any jelly recipe that involves opening a package of Kool-Aid.
• Find It: Beet Thyme Jelly, $6.50 a jar (limited quantities) on Etsy.
Related: Recipe: Blood Orange Jelly Smiles