There is something very satisfying about making jams and jellies at home. The colors of the jams seem brighter, the fruits fresher, and the tastes are all that much better than what you might buy off the grocery store shelf. This was my first attempt making grape jelly. I tried a recipe that didn’t call for extra pectin but I was unable to get the liquid to come together at the right consistency. The addition of the Certo liquid pectin did the trick and resulted in a fantastic jelly.
The process is less intimidating than you might think. You add sugar and water (and sometimes pectin) to fruit, cook it, then ladle it into jars. Yes, I’ve left out a few details in between but overall this is not a tricky process. You can do it, give it a try!
Here is the Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin recipe which is included in the box of pectin. I’ve added some comments where I’ve strayed slightly from the instructions:
DAY 1– Prepare the fruit:
1. Take 3 lbs of grapes, remove the stems and crush the fruit. I used a potato masher for the crushing step.
2. Place the mixture in a deep saucepan (you’ll want the sides to be relatively high so the liquid doesn’t bubble over later in the process) and add 1/2 cup of water.
3. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Prepare a few layers of cheesecloth by draping them over a bowl. Take the fruit and pour the contents over the cheesecloth. I let this sit overnight. Be sure that your cheesecloth is suspended high enough such that it doesn’t touch the liquid that has dripped through to the bowl. Don’t squeeze the cheesecloth or your juice will become cloudy.
DAY 2—Make the jelly:
1. Use 4 cups of the strained juice. Pour the juice into a large pot and add the 7 cups of sugar. (No, that isn’t a typo—7 cups is A LOT of sugar but that is the amount stated in the recipe. Don’t get scared off now, this jelly will be delicious!)
2. Bring the juice and sugar to a boil and stir constantly. The mixture is going to start to rise up the sides of the pot. Keep stirring until you can’t feel the sugar scraping against the pot. The lack of that sugar sound means it is completely dissolved.
3. Stir in one pouch of the liquid pectin. Bring back to a full boil for exactly one minute—keep stirring! Remove the pot from the heat and try to skim off any foam that may be on top.
Canning the jelly:
If you wish to can the jelly proceed as follows, or, if not simply put the jelly in jars and leave in the refrigerator.
Ladle the jelly into sterilized jars leaving 1/8 inch of space at the top. Clean any drips off of the rims then cover with the two-piece lids. Place the jars in a boiling-water canner and process for 10 minutes, or for as long as is required at your altitude. Remove the jars and allow to cool.
The details of boiling-water canning are further explained in the Bell Blue Book of Preserving and also on the instructions included in the Certo Liquid Pectin packets. If this is your first time canning jelly please be sure to read more detailed directions before starting. It helps to have all of your equipment sterilized and prepared ahead of time so that you can be one step ahead of the very hot and very bubbly boiling pots on your stovetop!
I linked to http://www.sugaranddots.com/ and to http://www.houseofhepworths.com/2012/05/09/hookin-up-with-hoh-99/ and to