Tag Archives: jelly

The Numbers Are In

294.  That is my “unofficial” jar count for the 2011 growing season.  I say unofficial because sometimes I gift a jar (or two) before I remember to write down how much a recipe yielded; other times, I just forget all together.

This year’s number is slightly less than what I had anticipated, but then I remembered I did not put up beans (thank you cucumber beetles) or whole tomatoes (due to having quite a bit left over from 2010).  Had I not cooked-down most of my tomatoes into sauce, and had not fought the worst bug battle to date, I’m sure my jar count would have surpassed 2010’s unofficial count of 342!

Here is a glimpse into my just-off-the-kitchen, perfectly polished, meticulously arranged, and precisely labeled dry storage/canning pantry.  In my dream home it would be an entire room!!!

What you don’t see is my upstairs closet packed pull of the remaining jars!  I couldn’t get a decent picture, so just imagine 19 dozen more jars neatly packed into ball half boxes, all labeled and dated!  Yeah, you could say I’m a little neurotic.

And encase you were wondering what delectable goodies fill those jars in waiting, I’ve got the rundown of what went into last year’s canner.

SAUCES & CONDIMENTS: vanilla maple & plain applesauce, spicy & plain pasta sauce, ketchup, and bbq sauce.

SOUPS & STOCKS: tomato-garlic, 10 bean, split pea, vegetable stock

JAMS, JELLIES & MARMALADES: strawberry-rhubarb jam, clementine marmalade, grape jelly, quince jam, love apple jelly, tropical peach jam, tomato jam, malibu peach jam, corncob jelly, vanilla-pear jam, raspberry-apricot jam, raspberry jam, cherry-vanilla jam, yellow tomato jam, apricot jam, white grape peach tea jam, and strawberry-blueberry-rhubarb jam.

CHUTNEYS & FRUIT BUTTERS: vanilla bean peach butter, quince-apple chutney, peach-apple butter, rhubarb chutney, and spring conserves.

PICKLED: chard stems, radishes, and dilly scapes.

SALSAS & TOMATOES: tomato salsa, peach salsa, summer salsa, stewed tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, and tomatillo salsa.

FRUITS & VEGETABLES: carrots, roasted eggplant (it’s almost pickled), beets, and peaches.

Yep, I think that covers just about everything!  I may revisit this post (at another time) to link the recipes.

After skimming over all of those tasty titles, you may have noticed that a large number of them have yet to make it onto the blog.  Lets just say I’ve got plenty of future posts at the ready!  Who knows, maybe this will be the year I finally catch up… but I wouldn’t bet the farm! :P

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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Concord Grape Jelly

Two years ago I packed up my belongings and moved out.  I said farewell to a mushroom-growing dirt basement floor, 250 year-old drafty peg windows, and a glorious concord grapevine.  I never realized just how much I would miss those grapes!

While strolling though my favorite farmers’ market last September, I came across a stand that had fresh, locally grown concord grapes.  Knowing just how amazing homemade grape jelly is (it is the only jelly I will eat) I had to buy them!  Besides, if my brother found out I passed up an opportunity to make his all-time favorite jelly, I’d probably never see my niece again!!

Concord Grape Jelly – yields 7 half-pints

5-1/2 cups grape juice.  A good rule-of-thumb is one pound of grapes will yield one cup of juice.

3-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water

3 Tbsp low-sugar flex batch pectin

Place washed, de-stemmed grapes into a stainless-steel pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Here is a little insider tip: freeze the grapes before making your jelly.  Why you ask?  When you freeze fruit it breaks their cell structure, which aids in releasing juice.  This is also a good way to store in-season fruit for jam/jelly making later in the season, which is what I did.  Once the grapes have begun to boil reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  While the grapes are cooking I gently mash them with a potato masher.

When your grapes have finished simmering, carefully pour them into a jelly bag and allow the juice to drip into a large bowl.  It may take several hours for all 5-1/2 cups to be extracted.  Should you find yourself becoming impatient, you can speed the process along by gently squeezing the bag; however, this will most likely result in a cloudy jelly.  Place the juice on the stove over med-high heat.  Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar with the pectin and add it to the juice; bring the jelly mixture to a hard boil.  Add the remaining sugar, stir, and boil hard for one minute.  Ladle jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Allow jars to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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White Grape Tea-Infused Peach Jelly

When peaches were plentiful I canned them by the bushel!  Then, I started making spicy salsas and boozy jams.  I even puréed them into various fruit butters.  Eventually, only a few were remaining, and that was when I realized I had yet to make them into jelly.  Ever.

Typically, my jelly making adventures remain boring and predictable; I stick with grape.  If it weren’t for having a glorious grape-vine in the backyard of my last house, I probably would have never made jelly at all.  Honestly, I’m just not a fan.  I prefer spreading chunks of fruit on my toast, not congealed fruit juice.  But I will admit, homemade grape jelly from homegrown concord grapes is amazing.  Like really amazing!

One of the blogs I closely follow is Food in Jars.  Marisa is a wealth of knowledge and her recipes are inspiring!  The Food in Jars cookbook will be available Spring of 2012, and I can’t wait to flip through those delicious pages!  Marisa also offers canning classes at the Indy Hall kitchen, in Philly, which is a hop-skip-and-a-jump from me!  Early last Fall, I came across a post for tea-infused peach jelly.  It just so happened that I had a handful of white peaches in need of preserving!

White Grape Tea-Infused Peach Jelly

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

3 bags White Grape tea

4 large peaches, sliced

2 tbsp flex-batch pectin

In a large pot, simmer sugar and water; stir frequently ’til the sugar has dissolved.  Add tea bags and continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes.  **Marisa used 5 tea bags in her jelly.  Since the tea I selected is quite flavorful, I did not want it to overpower the peaches, so I used three.

Add sliced peaches and simmer for another 10 minutes.  It is a good idea to taste the mixture regularly so you can monitor flavor intensity.  Once the flavors have melded to your satisfaction, strain the mixture through a jelly bag or fine mesh sieve.  Gently press down on the peaches to remove as much juice as possible.

Place the fruit syrup back into the pot and add pectin.  Bring to a hard boil and continue boiling ’til the jelly liquid reaches approximately 220°F.

Remove pot from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight, and process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.

Allow jars to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Test seals and any jars that did not set should be placed in the fridge and used within a week.  Store sealed jars in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year.

Recipe yields two 1/2 pint jars and one 1/4 pint jar.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2011 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Food in Jars.

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Preserving Corn: Part 2 Corn Cob Jelly

In Thursday’s post I explained how to freeze sweet corn; today, I’m going to share with you how to make corn cob jelly.  Yes, you read that right, you can make jelly from corn cobs!  Believe it or not, it tastes really good, the flavor is somewhat reminiscent of honey.

Corn Cob Jelly - adapted from CITR

1 gallon of water

2 dozen large corn cobs

1/4 cup lemon juice

5 tbsp flex-batch low-sugar pectin

4 cups sugar

Place water and cobs in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  (I had to cut some cobs to make them fit.  I also had to divide the water and cobs into two pots to keep everything from overflowing!)

Boil hard for 30 minutes; the longer you boil it down the more concentrated flavor you will have.  I ended up with 5 cups corn-liquid.  Remove from heat and strain the liquid through a jelly bag or cheese cloth, or leave the corn bits in the liquid, that is what I did.

Return the liquid to a large pot, add lemon juice and pectin, bring to a boil.  Add sugar and stir ’til dissolved; bring back to a rolling-boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars; wipe rims, adjust 2-piece lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Yields 6 half pints

Corn cob jelly on warm cornbread.

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Just Dandy

I’ve been on a *make jam & jelly out of everything* kick as of late, and my most recent adventure, Dandelion Jelly.  To be honest, the jury is still out on this one.  Maybe it’s because I don’t feel well and things taste different when you’re sick, or maybe it’s because the flavor, to me, is reminiscent of something else.  I don’t want to plant any seeds of flavor-doubt in your head, so you can come to your own conclusion on this one.  Regardless, here is the recipe and if anyone is willing to make a batch; I’d LOVE to know your thoughts!!

Dandelion Jelly

2 C fresh dandelion petals.  The best way to achieve this is by holding the flower by the head and cutting with sharp kitchen sheers.  Try to avoid cutting the sepals while collecting your petals, you want as little green as possible.  Obviously, DO NOT use flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides.

2 cups boiling-water

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

4 cups sugar

1 box of pectin

20-25 drops yellow food coloring  This is optional and I chose to not add it to my jam.

Since I washed the flower heads, it made measuring the petals a bit more difficult, as they wanted to clump together.  My solution: place a single-layer of flowers on 2 large wooden cutting boards, and set them outside to dry for a bit.  I then cut the petals and once again, spread them out on a cutting board, this time drying them inside.  (It was a bit windy and I did not want the loose petals blowing away!)

After the petals were almost dry, I was able to fluff them up and measure out my 2 cups.  Next, you want to place them into a non reactive bowl, and pour 2 cups of boiling-water over them, allowing to steep for 2 hours.

After steeping, strain the petals through cheese cloth; the infusion was muddy brown in color.
Add the lemon juice and food coloring, if desired.

Place the liquid on the stove, add sugar and bring to a boil.  Stir in pectin and bring back to a hard boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and ladle into sterile jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace; process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed for 12-24 hours.  Voila, dandelion jelly!

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Violet Jelly

You heard me right and no I’m not off my rocker!  I actually made jelly from violets; you know, those little purple flowers, and it’s damn good too!  It’s sweet with a slight tartness.  Turns out you can make jelly from all sorts of things, even dandelions and roses!  My sister-in-law has had rose jelly and she said it’s amazing.  Naturally, I can’t wait to make it!

Right now violets are blooming like crazy.  My property is covered with them!  Originally, I had plans to make this last year, but by the time I remembered it was too late and all the blooms were gone!  This year I was on-the-ball and ended up canning two batches!  Let me tell you how good it felt to be canning again!  Jaime, from Our Little Homestead, is an avid canner as well.  Once she found out I was canning this early in the season boy was she jealous!  I told her I was up to something super secret and she would have to wait to find out.  I’m sure the anticipation is making her nuts, I know it would if it were me!

So without further adieu, I bring to you…

Violet Jelly

2 overflowing cups of fresh violet flowers.  Pick fully open buds for the best flavor and color.

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

4 cups sugar

1 box pectin

2 cups boiling-water
 

Wash the violets (you do not need to dry them) and place into a non-reactive bowl.  Pour 2 cups boiling-water over the flower petals, cover, and allow to steep up to 24 hours, I left mine in the fridge overnight.  Strain liquid through a cheese cloth, it should be a lovely shade of dark blue.

Next, add lemon juice and watch the infusion morph into a stunning shade of purple. It’s like magic, I tell ya!
Combine sugar with liquid and bring to a boil.  Add pectin and return to a hard boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and ladle into hot, sterile jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.

Seriously, have you ever seen a more beautifully jelly?  It didn’t set as thick as most other jams and jellies I’ve made; it has a consistency similar to honey, but then again, so did my grape jelly, which developed a harder set over time.

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Almost Wordless Wednesday – Canned

This is what I have left after holiday baskets were given and my cabinets were stocked.

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