Lets Make Jelly
I mentioned yesterday about making some strawberry jelly and boy did it turn out good. I tried some with mint and black pepper in it, while good in it’s own way it’s not for my favorite peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches or my favorite toast with strawberry jam. It will be good for cooking, baking and on crackers.
I tend to make my jelly and jams the way my grandmother did, with no pectin added. Earlier in the spring I tried some with Pomona’s Pectin and found it to be chalky tasting. Pomona’s is for low sugar jams and jellies, pectin free is not!
So here goes,
Start by washing 2 ½ pounds fresh strawberries and let them dry on a towel.
Hull them, my favorite tool for this is a baby spoon, go figure. It was good enough for my grandmother and my mother so I have it now. Cut the berries into bits size pieces if you like your jam with bigger chunks of berries or mash them if you don’t. I like big pieces!
Place them in a large glass bowl and pour the juice of 1/2 fresh good size lemon over the top and toss them gently. Then pour over the top 3 3/4 cups of white sugar. You can go up to 4 cups if you wish but I don’t. Toss/stir them gently again, cover the bowl and put it in the fridge. Let it sit there until the next day.
The next day gently toss the berries again and place back into the fridge. Again until the next day.
On the third day prepare your equipment, jars, rings and lids as usual.
Gently stir the berries again and pour into a large stainless steel or enamal pot and turn the heat up until this comes to a boil.
Once boiling you will need to turn the heat almost down to low to keep the jam from foaming right out the top. As it cooks it will settle down and you can raise the heat as needed to keep it boiling good.
You want to stir this, don’t stop stirring. The stirring helps the moisture/steam escape and that is part of jelly making. You don’t have to go fast just a gentle non stop stir with a good wooden spoon works well.
As your jam cooks it will foam less, the berries will become translucent usually around 10-13 minutes. When the syrup sheets off your spoon it’s done.
Sheeting of the spoon is when the syrup will drip, drip, drip and the last few drops just kind of slowly drip or stay right on the spoon. Very shortly after that it will drip slowly and form 2-3 drops side by side on the spoon or a wide drop off the spoon. When this happens place a small amount of a cool plate and check that it resembles jelly.
Ladle into your hot jars and seal as usual.
Jelly made this way is going to take up to a few days to thicken up and might always be a bit on the runny side unlike the store bought varieties. But it will stay on your sandwich very nicely, well as long as the sandwich lasts around me thats not long.