Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Home Canning Project (part 2) Making My Jelly

 Making My Jelly

Once I have my juice 
I get a box of pectin like the ones pictured below (I use sure jell in the pink box).
The pectin has directions for various types of jelly and jams in the box (The difference between jelly and jam is that jam has pieces of fruit in it and jelly is only  the juice so it is smoother and more see through). Once I get everything I need set up I measure the correct amount of juice in a pot and I add some of the sugar and all the pectin to it and stir it in then I bring it to a boil. Once boiling I add the rest of the sugar and let it boil for a minute longer.

To get ready to can my jelly I have already washed and boiled my jars (you boil them to sterilize them). I keep the jars in hot water because the jelly is really hot and if I add hot jelly to a cold jar the bottom of the jar will pop off and I will have a huge mess. Once the jelly is ready to go in the jars I ladle it in.
I also have to boil the seals to get them ready.So they are hot also, I use my magnet to get them out of the hot water.
 Then I put it on my jar and screw on the jar ring. Once that is done they go into my canner. With some foods you have to pressure cook them to get them to seal correctly. But with most jellies and jams you can can them in a water bath. The water in the canner has to be hot because if it is cold the hot jars will explode. You also have to make sure that you have a rack in the canner so the jars won't touch each other. If they do, they may explode. I have in the past canned so many jars at one time and wanted to do faster so I took out the rack and put dish towels on the bottom so I could get more in the pot. But again you have to make sure the jars don't touch the pot or each other.
 I then put the lid on my canner and wait for it to come to a full rolling boil.
 Once it is boiling I time it for 10 minutes
 Then I take them out and put them on dry towels on my counter and leave them there for the night.
It's really fun because as you take them out and they cool you hear little popping noises as they seal.
You can not put them on a cold counter because the jar will break, so you have to use towels to protect your canned goods.

When I went to the store to get sugar to make my jelly there wasn't much on the shelves (at all 3 of my local stores). I was told that there seemed to be a problem getting more in. So I bought what I could and made only two batches of jelly. The rest of the juice was heated up and canned it for later use. The juice will last for at least a year. And you know what this juices flavor is so strong I am having to cut it by half water half juice to get it to the right flavor. This means I am in up to my eyeballs in Crabapples!