Juice for Jelly

This is the first step to making fruit juice jelly -- making the juice. Although simple, it takes time for the juice to drip undisturbed from a jelly bag, about 2 hours. This step is necessary to create the translucent jellies we have come to expect.

Always prepare this juice in small recipe-size batches. Select top-quality fruit and remove damaged portions of the fruit.

If the amount of juice is slightly less than what is required for the recipe, you can add 1/2 cup boiling water to the remaining fruit pulp to extract additional juice. You can also extend the quantity with unsweetened apple or white grape juice.

If the jelly cannot be made at the time the juice is extracted -- when the fruit is at its peak -- it can be frozen to make jelly at a later date. Freeze the juice in straight-sided containers filled to within 1/2-inch of the rim.

Never squeeze the jelly bag to release additional juice. Although this is tempting, you will release solids into the juice that may produce a cloudy jelly.

Hard Fruits

To make juice from hard fruits such as apples, pears, nectarines, etc.: Select top-quality fruit. Wash; remove stem and blossom ends; do not peel or core. Chop or quarter fruit; measure. Add 1 cup water for each slightly heaped quart of prepared fruit in a large saucepot. Cover; simmer fruit until soft. Strain mixture through a damp jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth to extract juice. Juice may be used fresh, canned or frozen for later use.

Soft Fruits

To make juice from soft fruits such as grapes, cherries, berries, etc.: Select top-quality fruit. Wash and stem fruit. Slightly crush fruit or follow recipe guidelines for preparing fruit; measure. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water for each quart prepared fruit in a large saucepot. Cover; simmer fruit until soft. Strain mixture through a damp jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth to extract juice. Juice may be used fresh, canned or frozen for later use.

If juice is to be canned, heat juice just to a boil. Ladle hot juice into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Clean rims. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in a water bath (boiling-water) canner

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