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How to make clear fruit jellies

How to make clear fruit jellies

 Jellies are delicate preserves which have stained-glass loveliness when in the jars. They taste wonderful on bread and butter or with a creamy dessert or as a condiment with roasted or cold meats. 

  • Jellies are made from strained fruit juice boiled with sugar which sets to a clear jelly as it cools. 
  • There is no need to peel or core the fruit for a jelly, just chop it up and then simmer it very gently with water in a covered pan to extract as much flavour as possible.
  • Ladle the fruit and juice into a jelly bag or a clean old cotton pillowcase and hang it from a hook over a bowl which will collect the juice.
  • Leave the juice to slowly drip out overnight, but don’t squeeze the bag or the jelly will be cloudy.
  • Have ready some smallish jars, sterilised as for making jam.
  • Boil the juice in a jam pan with caster sugar and skim off any scum as it appears. You will lose a little jelly in the process, but you don’t want white froth suspended in the jars. 
  • Test for setting in the same way as for jam, then pour the jelly into the sterilised jars and cover tightly. 

 

Good Fruit for Jelly Making

Soft Fruit – berries, strawberries, red currants, grapes and plums

Firm Fruit – apples, guavas, crab-apples, pineapples, feijoas and tamarillos

Hard Fruit – oranges, grapefruit and quinces

 

For each 1.5kg of fruit you should use:

  • 3 cups water for soft fruit 
  • 5 cups for firm fruit 
  • 10 cups for hard fruit

Directions

  1. Mash small and soft fruit and chop or slice large fruit, leaving the pectin-rich cores in and skin on. Put them into the jam pan. 
  2. Add enough water just to cover, using the list above as a guide. For low acid fruit like guavas, tamarillos and pineapple add 2 tablespoons lemon juice or ½ teaspoon citric or tartaric acid. 
  3. Cover the pan and cook the fruit gently until it has become a pulp – at least 30 minutes for soft fruit and up to 1 hour for hard fruit like quinces. 
  4. Strain the pulp through a jelly bag or an old cotton pillowcase. 
  5. The next day measure the juice and allow 1 cup sugar to 1 cup juice for hard fruits, or ¾ cup sugar to 1 cup juice for softer fruits. 
  6. Heat the juice to boiling point, remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. 
  7. Return the pan to the heat and boil briskly until it reaches setting point – skimming off the scum as it rises. The boiling time is usually about 15 minutes. 
  8. Pour into sterilised jars, cover tightly and try not to move the jars until the jelly is cold and set. 
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