Beautiful jellies, not only are they easy to make but their finished splendor can make you feel like you accomplished something wonderful, not only food, but art. The light cascading through a handcrafted jelly is your own personal stained glass window. What is suspended in the rich jewel colours of a grape jelly? Love? Laughter? Could be. Mostly it’s grape particles. Sorry, that’s very anticlimactic.
Let’s explore the jelly making process shall we? This fall I have made apple jelly, grape jelly and cranberry jelly. The pictures in this post are from the apple jelly, but the process is much the same for all the jellies.
First we have your fruit. These apples are from behind the barn at my parent’s home. Who knows what kind they are, the tree has lived in a fence row since the dawn of time and thrives on neglect. “Free range, organic” apples. They are firm, not too sweet but not too tart either and their flesh doesn’t brown easily. Woo hoo! We are off to a great start.
Then you take your mystery fruit and cook it down.
Once you’ve cooked your fruit down according to the directions from the Certo jelly book and what kind of fruit you are using. You take your mush and drain out the juice.
How might I get all this amazing juice you might be asking?
Well I will tell you – take your mush and dump it into a cheesecloth lined colander, that is placed over a pot or bowl. Wrap up your bundle of joy firmly to encourage the juice to flow. You may need to make an apparatus out of spare spoons like I did.
Now you take your sterilized jars and pour your hot juice- sugar mixture into them with the use of a funnel. All the supplies you need for jelly making are usually grouped together at stores such as Home Hardware, Canadian Tire or Walmart in the summer and fall. So, you’ll find your funnel and jars and tongs and large pot to boil them in there.
After you have filled and sealed all the jars you are left with a beautiful set of jellies that are almost too gorgeous to eat- almost. Let’s repeat, almost.
I’ve just been following the Certo directions from their jelly book, which of course are easier to follow and more detailed. But if you’ve never made jelly before, or forgot about how much fun you had making jelly in the past, then perhaps this can serve as inspiration to you the next time your favourite fruit is in season.
It’s laughably simple and they are perfect for small gifts at Christmas time or as hostess gifts next time you are invited to a dinner party.
Regardless, everyone will be impressed and in awe of your jelly making abilities!
“You can spread jelly on the peanut butter but you can’t spread peanut butter on the jelly.” Dick Van Dyke