Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Art of Jelly Making!

Jelly jelly, good for the belly!
We used to say that, as kids when mum gave us jelly for dessert.

Well I have been making lots of jelly but a slightly different kind.
Jelly for putting on toast or a teaspoonful in your bubbly if its too dry!
This time its pear, apple and nectarine jelly. I had the fruit sitting around and it was starting to get old. A great way to preserve old fruit. Make sure some of it is apple as it has lots of pectin in it and you need that to make it jell.

beautiful colour and you can taste the nectarine even though I only put 4 in. About 8 pears and enough wild apples to fill the pot..
Roughly chop the fruit. No peeling or coring required just cut off any bruises or coddling moth damage. Cover with water and boil till soft, about an hour, you want it pretty soft so the juice runs out of the fruit readily.
Pour it into a cheesecloth suspended over a large bowl or pot and hang it there overnight or for 2 days, till it finishes dripping. Don't squeeze the pulp or your jelly will go cloudy. An upside down stool is good. I use a towel rack.

You can reboil the pulp again with more water and have a second lot.
I did this recently and added the second lot to the first lot which I had sitting in the fridge.
Actually I didn't turn all of it into jelly. I poured some in a glass with ice and some vodka and cold water or soda water. Mmm what a nice drink.

So when you are ready to make the jelly, add roughly 1 cup of sugar per cup of liquid. I try to put less than that, particularly if it is already sweet.
Boil it up in a big pot, no need to stir like jam as no pulp to get stuck to the bottom. So boil for some half hour or more. It should start to bubble up to the top of the pot, watch it doesn't boil over. When its at the top get your clean jars into the oven on 150C for 10 minutes or more of heating. Lids in a saucepan of water and bring them to the boil.
Have a saucer in the freezer all the time for jam and jelly making.
Put a few drops of jelly onto saucer, wait a mo and then push it with your fingernail, if it wrinkles its ready. If it globs and starts to jelly up, its ready.

Get your jars out of the oven and have them close to the pot. they are incredibly hot so be careful.
The lids should have boiled. Use some of that water to sterilise funnel, tongs and ladle. Your tea towels on the bench under the jars should be fresh and clean too.
Use tongs to take the lids out and turn them onto towel to dry.

Now focus, here is the scary bit. Well not really but be careful.
Ladle the jelly into the funnel over your jars, sometimes it fizzes and can boil in the jars and even boil out the top. If it rises poke it with your funnel to break the surface.
Fill the jars quickly or the jelly may set in the pot and then its impossible to get it into the jars and have it look nice.
The idea is to not have any bubbles suspended thru the jelly. Get good and you can win a prize at the show!




  1. Your jelly looks fabulous. Hugs,xx.

    1. Thanks Jeanette, your rhubarb chutney looks great. I have a recipe for it but was not sure if I would like it. Maybe I'll give it a go!