To make this jelly /jam recipe, first you will need to steep the leaves in the water. Pour the 4 cups of water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
Add the washed lemon balm leaves. Place the lid on the sauce and steep for 20 minutes.
Measure the sugar in to a bowl, ready to add when needed.
If you are going to can this recipe, then now is the time to get everything ready.
After the leaves have steeped, strain the tea, squeezing as much liquid out the leaves as you can. Discard the leaves.
Measure the tea and add 3 ½ cups of it back into the large saucepan. If you don't have enough liquid, add some filtered water to make it up to 3 ½ cups. If you have more, save the rest of the tea to drink later.
Add the lemon juice, butter and pectin into the saucepan with the tea and bring to a rolling boil.
Add the sugar all at once, stir until dissolved, place the lid on the pot and bring back up to a rolling boil.
Remove the lid and let the mixture boil, while stirring for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and if necessary, skim any foam. Immediately transfer to sterilised glass jars, leaving a ¼ inch space from the top.
Wipe the rims of the jars to clean and seal with the lids.
If processing the jars, processing immediately, water bath canning for your region and the size of jars. Then let them sit as below.
If not processing, place the jars on a clean towel, out of the way where they won't get bumped or touched, so that they can set overnight.
If processed, you can store in the pantry for up to 12 months. If not, store in the fridge for up to 12 months.
When measuring the lemon balm leaves, gently pack them into a one cup measuring cup.
Whenever making jam or jelly, use a very large pot as they do have a tendency to increase in volume, causing them to spill over the edges.
The butter is not necessary, but it does help with the foam onto of jams and jellies. If you don't use it, that's okay, you may want to skim the top of the jams and jellies to remove and discard any foaming that occurs. Only use pure butter, margarine will not work.
I have only used dry pectin, not liquid pectin. Using a liquid pectin may produce a runny jelly.
Jellies should not be placed in the freezer. It will ruin all your hard work.
If you want to can this recipe, you will need to use store-bought lemon juice due to to acidity needed when canning.