I have a freezer with lots of strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches and blackberries. I kept thinking I would get some jelly made and now that summer is here and it will soon be time for picking blackberries again, looks like now is the time. So I took several bags of straweberries from the freezer and today I'll walk you through jelly making.
I dug out my packages of SureJell fruit pectin from the cabinet and checked the "use by" date to make sure it was still current. It was saving me from having to go back into town to the grocery store. I washed my fruit jars and made sure my little red thingy that keeps you from spilling the jelly everywhere was ready for use. Handy little thing so make sure you have one.
The directions say to leave the strawberries whole but I have a grandson who can't stand to taste anything pulpy so I ran it through my food processor anyway. You'll find I make directions work for me. But don't change much else when making jelly cause jelly is particular.
I use the cooked jelly part of the directions. There is directions for making freezer jelly and my mom use to do that but I need my freezer space so I opt for the old-fashioned cooking method.
The directions say to "measure EXACT amount of prepared fruit (or juice for jelly) into 6 or 8 quart saucepot. "
Just a side note here. For every 3 and 3/4 cups prepared strawberry juice you will also be using 4 and 1/2 cups sugar. This will make 6 cups or 3 pints jelly. Does this tell you how much sugar is in one pint of jelly. So if you are on a diet, keep the jelly to a minimum or notice the low sugar part below.
Back to the directions:
"measure EXACT amount of sugar into separate bowl. Reducing sugar or using sugar substitutes will result in set failures. Try SureJel for less or No Sugar Needed recipes Fruit Pectin for no or low sugar jams and jellies."
"Stir a box of pectin into fruit or juice in saucepot. Add 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired. " (I was out of butter so I skipped this part.)
"Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly."
"Stir in sugar quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam."
"Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process jams 10 minutes; jelly 5 minutes. Adjust processing time according to Altitude chart. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)"
"Let stand at room temperature 24 hours (or time indicated on recipe.) Store unopened jams and jellies in cool, dry, dark place up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jams and jellies up to 3 weeks."
I made 3 separate batches of jelly one at a time for a total of 9 pints.
Now here's another little hint. If you love homemade jelly but don't feel you want to take the time to make it, just hunt down your local Amish country store and at my nearest store I can buy homemade jelly for $2.50 a pint. Still get the homemade part but don't have to do the work. So don't feel guilty, just take advantage of what is available. I love my local Amish country store and am so excited that it is time for fresh fruits and vegetable. Gonna make a trip out there soon!!
Happy jelly making everyone!!! My grandma would be proud!!!