Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jelly making time. I made a batch of currant jelly and a batch of aronia (black chokeberry) jelly yesterday using juices that I had frozen when picked in summer. See my June 21, 2013 and July 26, 2013 posts about harvesting currant and aronia berries from my garden. The juices were made by mashing and then cooking the berries for about 30 minutes. The juice and fine pulp was extracted using a food reamer. (I like to leave the fine pulp in my jelly rather than using juice that has all the fine pulp removed.)

I opted to can this jelly using the boiling water bath method but if you want, you could also freeze the jelly rather than canning it. For more information on canning see Pickling and Fermenting page 179 in my cookbook Dad's Home Cooking; Traditional Recipes for Preparing Healthy Family Meals available on Amazon.

                            Currant or Aronia Jelly

        Makes 4 half pints. Prep time about 1 hour assuming juice has been thawed and jars washed.
4 cups currant or aronia juice
3 cups sugar
1 (1.75oz) box premium fruit pectin (I used Sure Jell)
1/2 teaspoon butter

         1. Wash 4 half pint canning jars in the dishwasher.
         2. Fill canner with enough water to cover an upright jelly jar plus 1 inch. Heat water on high. 
         3. While the canner water is coming to a boil, in a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the 3 cups of sugar with                the fruit pectin. Set aside.
        4. In a large stainless steel pot add juice, sugar/pectin mix and butter. Stir to dissolve. Bring to a boil                 over medium high heat stirring continuously until a hard rolling boil is achieved.
        5. Continue stirring and boiling for 1 minute and remove from heat.
        6. Pour jelly into canning jars to within 1/8 inch of the top.
        7. Wash canning lids and rings in soapy water, rinse and install on jars.
        8. When canner water is boiling, insert the jars into the boiling water using a jar lifter.
        9. When the canner water returns to boiling, start the processing time. In my case since I am near sea                 level, I processed for 10 minutes. Increase processing time 1 minute per 1000 ft in elevation over                  1000 feet.
     10. Remove jars from canning water at the end of the processing time using a jar lifter and set on a     
           kitchen towel to cool. Make sure the lids seal by "popping" to a concave indent in the lid. If  a jar     
          does not seal, refrigerate and use first.