Tuesday, July 16, 2013


      JAMS, JELLIES, and MORE!

Jelly- made from just the juice.
Butters-  cooking fruit pulp til a thick spreading consistency.
Conserves- jam like, using two or more fruits. A true conserve also has nuts and raisins included.
cooking crushed or chopped fruit til thick..usually made in small batches.
Marmalades- soft fruit jellies containing fruit pieces or peel. also cooked in small batches.
Preserves- fruits preserved with sugar so they keep their shape, syrup is like a thick jelly.
Pectin- natural "gel" agent found in most fruits, useful because it causes the product to "gel". some fruits have a lower pectin naturally, so added pectin is needed for a firm gel, either powdered or liquid , pectin is added.
Sugar-aids in preserving the food, adds to the "gel", helps with flavor and color.
Jellying Point- used to test if jelly or jam, etc, is ready to take off the fire. Lift a spoonful of liquid out of the pot, when it first starts to boil, the drops will be light in color and syrupy. Later, as it boils, the drops will fall off the spoon 2 drops at a time, then even later in the boil, the color deepens, and the drops fall off the spoon in a "sheet"- one drop after the other...connected.This is the point to take it off the firs and can.
Those are your words for the week!!! will make it easier for me to explain, as I write to you. Pectin is THE most important thing in making any of the above! Some fruits have a lot..some not so much...so you need to follow recipes as you find them, for many people have tried making these products and have found the ways for them to be made successfully. Powdered pectin is the norm, to use.....a box per each pot made...all these above products are a true one at a time type thing.....you make a pot of something, you can it..clean up, make another pot, can it, and repeat thru the day, depending on how much produce you have. These are considered "fancy foods", so they would be made last.....juices, sauces, syrups, pickles(yes you can pickle fruits!), would all be made first......and anything left, would become a jam, jelly, etc..(in the old days! How I was raised!)
Liquid pectin is used usually for REAL specialty types, like rose petal jelly, wine jelly, herb jelly- things that do not have pectin naturally.The difference between the two pectins is a density thing....you make a "sauce" with herbs...so you use a "sauce" pectin. Now, I have seen people who SWEAR by only liquid, and SWEAR by only powdered. I don't argue!! LOL! I follow recipes...!! Make my own notes...!
The premise is the same, in making all these products, you have the fruit...you wash it, you prepare it for what you want to with it, you have your kitchen set-up for canning, or freezing, or just putting in the fridge. Once you start the process...you cannot stop..so you have to have the time for this. The fruits are tossed in a pot, sugar (some recipes add the sugar first, the pectin second) is added, brought to a boil that cannot be stirred down(you are stirring constantly, I read a book during this first part..can be boring staring at a pot!), then the pectin is added all at once, and stirred again to a boil that cannot be stirred down, then boiled for however many mins. the recipe states, then off the fire, skim the foam(scum), put in jars, skim again, then can. Same process over and over...for any fruit...any type product made.
Fruit jams CAN be made without pectin, jellies, not so much. For the jams, you wash the fruit, put in a pot, with just BARELY enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, medium heat, stir and crush fruit, with the back of a wooden spoon or use -hmm...what is it called?! Gosh! I have been using my g-grandmaother's... forever...it is an old wooden tool for crushing! back of a wooden spoon works too!!  Keep stirring, and crush the fruit well....and when it comes to a boil, let it boil a min, then add sugar...and you add to taste...and example would be, I just made a 3/4 c jam batch of blueberries, and gooseberries mixed..I had just a bit of both..tail end of the bushes.....about 40 berries total..and used 2/3 c sugar. Jam making is very flexible! Then you bring it to a boil again...about a min., then off the fire, and into a container.....I had a small glass container, with a glass lid...so it went into that...let cool...then into the fridge. This whole process took me about 20 mins to make. I am including the picking, and the kitchen clean-up..so it can go fast.
Jams are always the easiest to make as you do not have to do the juicing bag...which can take a day..then jelly is another day.....jam can be all in one day. and you can mix more with jams, like I did. a few berries here, a few there..and you have created a new taste never before seen!!!!
You CAN make your own pectin, from apple peels. And , you can can it too! If you have a good apple year, making pectin is a smart thing to do and have it ready for the next year.....and still use it the same year you make it too.
Homemade Pectin-
Made from skins and cores of apples, after juicing, also can use the pulp left over from making applesauce.
Boil 2 lbs. of your apples(skins and cores, or pulp), with 4 c water, for 45 mins- set it on med heat for a slow boil for that length of time.Get all the juice out of the apples-use a jelly bag, twist it hard to get the juice, then when the pulp is dry, toss it in the compost! Take the juice you strained, and strain it again, thru fine muslin- I find coffee filters work too...do NOT press juice thru. Take that juice and boil slowly, 15 mins...and it is now pectin..to be used in a few days, or to be canned..canning time is the same for apple juice, hot water bath-20 mins.
This is only economical to make...if you have tons of apples....and an extra day to do it!!!! I have made this several times over the years...when I had the apples and the time....does not always fall together tho!!!
Hot water bath can all these products, all the water bath rules apply.....seals, rings, hot hot HOT!
Here are some recipes of fun stuff I like to make each year......apple, strawberry, etc...gets boring to make all the time! So I change it up along the way..I make all the standards..then I do these too!!


Basil, Tarragon, or Mint ( or any other of your favorite herb that has a semi-strong scent...Thyme, Rosemary,)
yields about 4 c....so it can be put in the fridge, or hot water bath, would be  8, half pints, or 4 pints.

2c packed , washed, drained, leaves and tender stems of herbs of your choice.
2 c water
3T lemon juice
3 3/4 c sugar
1 pouch (3oz) liquid pectin
a few drops of green food coloring if you want.

Place herb you have chosen , with water in blender and process gently...do not over process as it can make a cloudy jelly.
Scrape into a 3 qt. pot, bring to a boil, stir often, once it hits a boil, off the heat-cover and let sit for 15 mins.
pour into a very fine sieve over a bowl, let drain, pressing on the herbs...discard the herbs.
Measure 1 3/4 c of the liquid into the pot you just used(rinsed out now!)
Stir in lemon juice and sugar.Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, add pectin all at once. return to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, boil 1 min.
Remove from heat, skim, if needed, add food coloring if wanted.
Jar, can,1/8" head space in jars.
The specialty jellies and jams are canned in 1/2 pt. jars, so the time would be 5 mins.


 The flavor of this jelly depends a lot on the wine used- "Big" flavored wines do better than a delicate wine.And the title gives you a hint of the types to look for in selecting your flavors.
               yields about 6 c ( roughly 12 half pints)
3/4 c water.
1/4 c lemon juice
1 box (1 3/4 oz.size) powdered pectin
3 c full flavored wine-your choice, red, white, amber, rose
4 1/2 c sugar

 Measure water and lemon juice into pot. add powdered pectin, stir til all lumps are gone. Set over med-high heat, boil hard (cannot be stirred down), 1 min.
add the wine and sugar all at once. Lower heat, stir til sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 mins. Do not boil..do not even simmer!! Once the sugar is melted, and mixed in well...take off fire. skim foam, jar- , 1/8" head space-skim again if needed, hot water bath- 5 mins.

                          MELON MARMALADE

sometimes cantaloupes and muskmelons are cheap at the grocery..I have seen them for 99 c ! and some farm markets will sell them cheap too..if they have too many!  I make this when we have a few too many in the garden, or even in the Winter when the store has them cheap.

You can use grated lemon zest of 2 lemons, or not..up to you..we do not use it..I think it takes too much from the melon flavor.
1 c water
2T dried ginger
8c chopped melon (about 6 lbs.of melon..so weigh them at the market)
1 box powdered pectin
5 1/2 c sugar
 Combine zest, and water bring to a boil, cover, simmer til zest is soft. Uncover pan and simmer til almost all the liquid is gone.
combine zest and any remaining liquid with lemon juice, ginger, melon, in large pot. Bring to a boil and cover,simmer 10 mins,stir often,uncover,stir more often another 5 mins.
Stir pectin into mixture, bring to a full boil,stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once, stir constantly til it reaches a full boil, cannot be stirred down, boil 1 min.,Off the fire. skim foam, jar, skim again if needed.
Hot water bath 15 mins for pts., and half pts.

                                      ROSE PETAL JELLY

I love making this one! Pick your petals in the morning just after the dew has gone. Before the heat of the sun sets in.

2 qts. firmly packed red or pink rose petals ( I use my 5 c Pyrex measuring glass to collect them.)
3 c boiling water
3c sugar
1/4 c lemon juice
1 package liquid pectin

Pour boiling water over petals and steep til all color has been absorbed ,strain in a sieve, do not pres petals. Toss petals.
Place rose juice and lemon juice in pot, add pectin, stir well.Bring to boil that cannot be stirred down, add sugar all at once, stirring constantly, bring to boil again, that cannot be stirred down, boil 2 mins. Off the fire, skim foam, jar, skim again, leave 1/8" head space, can 5 mins, hot water bath.
Yields: 4 half pints. It is sooo worth it to me to make a few cannings each year..the flavor! absolutely wonderful on pancakes!

                            BANANA JAM

Another fun one when they are on sale...! when they hit 39 c a lb. here..we buy a LOT!!! They are usually 59c  a lb.

2 c mashed bananas
2 c sugar
2 T lemon juice

Put all ingredient in a pot , bring to a slow boil, stirring constantly, let boil 5 mins.
Makes 2 jars...store in fridge.
This is not the type of jam you would make for long term storage....just because of the fruit, the cost of it....But, it is a fun one to make , if you are planning  a special breakfast or want to give a unique gift....
I have another recipe for one that can be canned...if you want it, let me know..it makes twice this amount and requires pectin and sugar.

                                        HONEY JELLY

2 c honey
1c light corn syrup
3/4 water
3T lemon juice
1 pouch liquid pectin

Stir honey, corn syrup, water , and lemon juice together in pot, set over med heat, bring to a boil,As soon as there are vigorous bubbles all over the surface, stir in the pectin, boil hard( cannot be stirred down) 1 min, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Let sit 1 min, then skim foam, pour into jars, skim again, seal, 1/8" head space, hot water bath 5 mins.
Yields: 4 half pts.
These are some of my favorites....and yes, 4 half pints is worth a canning....that is why the smaller canner is a dream to have! Less water used, everything is smaller...so it is easier to handle. Even if you have a larger canner, it still is worth it, as you cannot buy any of these in the store!


always a fun jelly to make, everybody can help in the begining!
4 c watermelon, seeded
3 1/2 c sugar
2 T lemon juice
 1 liquid pectin-6oz

Process watermelon in blender til smooth.
Combine with sugar, lemon juice,bring to a rolling boil , stir constantly, add pectin, stir constantly til boil cannot be stirred down-boil 1 min. Take off fire. skim foam, jar, skim again if needed. seal, hot water bath 5 mins.
YIELDS: 4 half pints.
This is another fun one...get a huge watermelon, carve the rind off for pickling, use the meat for jelly!!!


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Everyone,

Hope you enjoy Sue Ann's Jams and Jellies this morning.

It is a beautiful day today. Suppose to be in the high 80's or 90's.


Fionalina said...

This is so good Sue Ann and has brought back some lovely memories especially the rose petal jelly -these recipies are going to be so useful I could make the banana jam now - if the bananas are ripe and sweet could the sugar be reduced?

Its beautiful here also Marilyn


SueAnn said...

Reducing the sugar...ONLY a tad..because you really need it to make the "set" of the jam...you may want to boil it just a few secs. longer.....be careful not to scorch the bottom..keep stirring....round and round!!! LOL!! It goes quick...!
Bananas have a natural sugar of their own, so it will be sweet...but not enough natural sugar to set a jam...the boil time has to do with the gelling of the jam....the sugar sort of melts it all together....
I love making rose petal jelly! Sometimes not all jellies gel! Don't despair! I have made some GREAT rose petal syrup for pancakes!!! LOL!!!! You can still can it in the hot water bath...just call it syrup instead of jelly!!!! Cooks can be creative!!LOL!!!

SueAnn said...

Hi Marilyn!
Thank-you for letting me post.
It is like Louisiana here, in Ohio!!!! It is plain down and dirty, hot and muggy!!!! all week they saw...our highs are around 95,, lows are in the mid 70's at night...tomatoes love it..I don't!!!! won't last long tho....snow will be blowing soon enough!

New York State Of Mind said...

Oh, please Sue Ann, don't remind me of that white stuff. I would rather have the heat. Right now it is 88 degrees here. It will probably be in the 70's tonight, too.


SueAnn said...

I was watching the sky during our sunset tonight..and you know.....the sky is changing....Summer is over! The sun has shifted.....colors are different.....I know it is still hot for another month..but if you watch the sky....you can see the subtle changes of the next season coming....and I LOVE Fall.....I could have a year's worth of Fall and never be bored!!!

New York State Of Mind said...

I will have to watch the sky, Sue Ann. I love fall, too. I love spring. I live summer. I don't love winter.


annie said...

Thank you so much for sharing all this. I would like the other banana recipe with the pectin in it, and any others you mkight wish to share. Do you have any certain flavorings that you use for your jams & things? Maybe something that would not be listed on a regular recipe, like say almond extract or something like that, to esp. enhance a batch? I know each cook seems to have different add ins to make each recipe her own.

SueAnn said...

Ok..I will write the canning one for banana jam here...the flavorings I use only for making of chutneys, as they are a special side dish...in jams and jellies and marmalades..they have their own natural flavors....chutneys are fun to make...lots of dried fruits added, nuts, and flavorings!!! Mince meats also use spices and flavorings more..I have a pear mince meat and an apple relish that are wonderful....
Banana Jam for canning
4 ripe bananas
6 1/2 T lemon juice
1 3oz pkg of pectin
6 c sugar 3/4 c butter
combine bananas, lemon juice, 3 c sugar in a pan and let stand 1 hour.
After 1 hour, add remaining sugar and place over med-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a rolling boil (cannot stir down), for 2 mins. Remove from heat, skim, place over heat again for 1 min boil. Add pectin, stirring constantly, boil 1 min, remove from heat, skim foam,allow jam to cool 7 mins before adding to jars-then jar, 1/8" head space,can 10 mins, hot water bath.

SueAnn said...


4-5 mashed bananas
3 c sugar
1 c water
6 T lemon juice
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t ginger
Boil sugar and water 10 mins, stir in lemon juice, bananas, spices. Reduce heat to low,stir often til thick, about 45 mins. Can as the other one...hot water bath, 10 mins.

SueAnn said...

Something I did years ago..was write to the main companies that produce canning equiptment..Kerr, Ball, Certo (pectin) Sure Gel (pectin), requesting any booklets they may have for recipes..and they sent them to me! Get the current addresses off the boxes in the stores..or maybe you can google them....they were always very helpful to me..answered questions, sent me booklets, put me on a mailing list so I would get up to date canning info....give it a try!!!

Anonymous said...

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Countryside Reflections said...

Thank you for all of this information SueAnn. These recipes sound great and I can't wait to try making the wine jelly. Your explanations of the different terms were so helpful too. You're really a wealth of information and so generous to share it.


SueAnn said...

Hi Doreen!
Thank-you! I have a little treat for at the end of July..for those that make applesauce.....don't throw away the "leavings" after you run the apples thru the food mill..you can make a special gift...and it will be ready in time for Christmas!!!! and for those that don't make applesauce..you won't be left out...you can still make this using a jar of store bought applesauce!
something for everyone!

Countryside Reflections said...

That sounds great SueAnn. I love making homemade applesauce. I make it nice and chunky with very little sugar. I'm looking forward to the apple harvest season, which of course means cooler weather too. The Fall is the best time of year!!


New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Sue Ann and Doreen,
I like to make apple sauce, too. Have't done it in a while. I can't wait to see what you will have that we can use apple sauce for. I make apple sauce in my crock pot. I have never canned it though. I eat it too fast.


SueAnn said...

That's ok Marilyn! All you will need is the "leavings" from the food mill....you can still eat your applesauce!!!
Doreen, we make it chunky too, and no sugar at all....Apples are one of the very few fruits that you can do this with, in sauce and juice, but you need it for all the other apple products...

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Sue Ann,
Glad you are going to tell us this before fall. I like my apple sauce smooth. Sometimes I add sugar and sometimes I don't. I taste it. I don't put much sugar in. If I was making it for a pot luck, I would put red cinnamon in it and maybe a bit of pink food coloring - just for something different.


SueAnn said...

Sugar to taste in applesauce is each to his own....My grandmother use to make "pink" applesauce! She called it her "fancy applesauce"!! and I have had it with the red cinnamon too.... Yeah...you will be surprised at what you will be able to make..and give for gifts! And it smells sooooo good while it is curing...!!!!!