Thursday, July 22, 2010

I don't think you're ready for this jelly

Sorry about the title of this post. It was either that or "going plum crazy!" I thought the Beyonce reference was more adventurous.

Tuesday I got together with my wonderful Mimi and made jelly. Plum jelly to be exact. Red plum jelly to be exact-er.

It was really fun! I had seen a post one someone's blog a couple of weeks ago about making strawberry jelly, and had thought at the time that it would be fun to try making jelly sometime. About a week after I read that post, my grandmother (Mimi) asked if I'd like to try making some plum jelly with her.

It turned out to be quite simple and fun!

First, gather your supplies

To make the jelly, you will need:
Fruit. We used Red Plums, but you can use just about any fruit
a lot of sugar (about 6.5 cups!)
3 layers of cheesecloth
Pectin: we used Certo Jelly Pectin (this is the stuff that turns your sugar/fruit juice combination into actual jelly) ours was a thick liquid that came in a pouch, but the traditional pectin is powered. Either would do.
and a large heavy pot.

Once the jelly is made you will want to put it in jars, and seal them for freshness.

The making of the jelly:
The first thing you do is wash and chop up your fruit. Make sure you have the recommended weight of cut fruit. We needed 4 pounds of chopped fruit

My sweet Mimi chopping up the plums!

Once you have measured your fruit to the exact amount needed, put it in your large, heavy pot.

Then you add the appropriate amount of water to your pot O' fruit. For ours it was 1 Cup (the pectin has directions which tells you how much you need for your specific fruit)

Next, you bring your fruit and water mixture to a boil. Then cover and simmer for 10 minutes (tip! simmer longer!)

After you simmer your fruit and water comes the gross hard part. Straining the boiled fruit. Put your 3 layers of cheesecloth over a bowl and pour boiled fruit/water/mixture into the center of the cheesecloth. You are supposed to tie up the cheesecloth and let the fruit juices drip until they stop dripping. We shortly realized you don't really have to wait till the juices stop flowing, just until you have enough juice. We needed 4 cups, which came out very quickly thanks to our extra simmer time.

Once you have your juice measured to the exact amount needed (for us, 4 cups), Put it back in your pot.

The next step is to add the sugar. Our plum jelly called for 6.5 cups of sugar. Add your sugar to the pot and let it dissolve, bring the sugar/juice mixture to a boil, making sure to stir the whole time. Our recipe called for the mixture to be at rolling boil. Which means that the bubbles don't stop when you stir it. (you experienced people out there probably already know that, but I didn't!)

Once the sugar/juice mixture is at a rolling boil, add the pectin and boil for 1 minute. Tip: They lie! Boil it longer! Our second batch we boiled for a about 3 minutes and it set up much nicer.

Once you've boiled it, ladle it into the jars and seal it!

wipe off the rim.

and seal it nice and tight.

If your jelly doesn't set up right away, do not fear! The package said it would need at least 24 hours. I also read that it is not uncommon for it to take up to 2 weeks or even a month to set up. Our second batch was ready later that day and the first batch is almost set up. If it never sets up, there are still ways to fix it!

Thanks Mimi! I had a wonderful time!

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1 comment:

chris said...

you've come a long way since the days when you used to tell me how to cook.

1. purchase orange juice.
2. purchase a ziplock bag.
3. purchase spices.
4. put the stuff in the bag..
5. let it sit there for a while.
6. cook it.
7. eat it.

my favorite line is: "red plum jelly to be exact-er."