To be satisfactory, jelly must be made from fruit juices
containing pectin and acid. Pectin is a substance in the fruit which is
soluble in hot water and which, when cooked with sugar and acid, gives,
after cooling, the right consistency to jelly.
Fruits to be used should be sound, just ripe or slightly
under-ripe, and gathered but a short time. Wash them, remove stems and cut
large fruits into pieces. With juicy fruits add just enough water to prevent
burning while cooking. In using fruits which are not juicy cover them with
water. Cook slowly until the fruits are soft. Strain through a bag made of
flannel or two thicknesses of cheesecloth or similar material.
JELLY MAKING WITH
To determine if the juice contains pectin, boil 1
tablespoonful and cool. To this add 1 tablespoonful of grain or wood alcohol
and mix, gently rotating the glass. Let stand for a while. If a solid
mass––which is pectin––collects, this indicates that in making jelly one
part of sugar or sugar substitute (corn syrup or honey) should be used to
one part of juice. If the pectin collects in two or three masses, use 2/3 to
3/4 as much sugar or substitute as juice. If it collects in several small
particles use half. If the presence of pectin is not shown as described, it
should be supplied by the addition of the juice of slightly under-ripe
fruits, such as sour apples, currants, crab-apples, green grapes, green
gooseberries or wild cherries.
Measure the juice and sugar or substitute. Sugar may be spread on a
platter and heated. Do not let it scorch. When the juice begins to boil add
the sugar or substitute. Boil rapidly. This is important. The jelly point is
reached when the juice drops as one mass from the side of a spoon or when
two drops run together and fall as one from the side of the spoon. Skim the
juice, pour into sterilized glasses and cool as quickly as possible. Currant
and green grape juice require 8 to 10 minutes boiling to reach the jelly
point while all other juices require from 20 to 30 minutes.
When the jelly is cold pour over the surface a layer of hot
paraffin. A toothpick run around the edge while the paraffin is still hot
will give a better seal. Protect the paraffin with a cover of metal or
FIG. 35. Straining fruit juice.
Three or more extractions of juice may be made from fruit. When the first
extraction is well drained cover the pulp with water and let it simmer 30
minutes. Drain, and test juice for pectin. For the third extraction proceed
in the same manner. The juice resulting from the second and third
extractions may be combined. If the third extraction shows much pectin a
fourth extraction may be made. The first pectin test should be saved for
comparison with the others.
If the second, third or fourth extraction of juice is found thinner
than the first extraction, boil it until it is as thick as the first, then
add the sugar or substitute called for.
The test for pectin is desirable, but it is not essential. A
large percentage of housewives make jelly without this test, and
satisfactory results may be obtained without it if care is taken to follow
directions and to use the right fruits. For the inexperienced jelly maker
the safe rule is to confine jelly-making to the fruits which are ideal for
the purpose. These include currants, sour apples, crab-apples, under-ripe
grapes, quinces, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, wild cherries, and
green gooseberries. These contain pectin and acid in sufficient quantities.
In making jelly without the alcohol test, with the juice of
currants and under-ripe grapes use 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of juice. With
raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, sour apples, crab-apples, quinces,
wild cherries and green gooseberries use 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of juice.
This applies to the first extraction of juice and to the later extractions
when they have been boiled to the consistency of the first extraction.
Satisfactory jelly may be made by using 1/2 to 3/4 cup corn syrup
or honey to 1 cup of fruit juice, following the general directions for jelly
making. The pr9oportion of sugar substitute will depend upon the acidity and
pectin content of the fruit juice. On account of the water content of the
corn syrup the juice will require a little longer cooking before the jelly
point is reached.
Fruits which contain pectin but lack sufficient acid are peach,
pear, quince, sweet apple and guava. With these acid may be added by the use
of juice of sour apples, crab-apples or under-ripe grapes.
Strawberries and cherries have acidity but lack pectin. The pectin
may be supplied by the addition of the juice of sour apples, crab-apples or