Jelly, a preserve made from pure fruit juice, is a classic way to preserve summer and fall fruits. You can make jelly out of nearly any fruit, from apples and pears to raspberries and blueberries. Small, seedy berries provide plenty of juice, but clog many juicers and mesh metal strainers. Cheesecloth, available at your local hardware store in the painting section, is a traditional, effective tool to strain seeds from juice for making jelly.
Things You'll Need
- Seedy fruit (such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries)
- Stainless steel stock pot
- Potato masher
- Plastic or stainless steel spoon
- Large plastic bowl
- Strong thread, such as twine
Clean the fruit. Thoroughly wash and dry the fruit, and remove any non-fruit debris.
Crush the fruit. Place the fruit in the stainless steel stock pot and crush with the potato masher. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot, to prevent scorching the fruit.
Heat the fruit until the juices flow. Turn your cook-top to a medium-low setting to gently heat the fruit. Stir the fruit for a few minutes until it is heated and the juices flow easily.
Remove from heat and cover. Let the fruit sit until cool enough to handle.
Line the large bowl with cheese cloth. Fold the cheesecloth to two to three layers. It should completely cover the bowl, with corners overlapping the sides.
Transfer the fruit. Spoon or slowly pour the fruit onto the cheesecloth. Leave enough space to bring the corners of the cheesecloth together.
Close and hang the cheesecloth. Bring the four corners of the cheesecloth together and tie tightly to create a small bag. Hang the bag above the bowl, leaving enough room for the juice to drain without the bottom of the bag touching it.
Squeeze and discard the bag. When the juices have stopped dripping, gently squeeze the bag to remove any remaining juice. Discard the entire bag and store or use the juice immediately.
Tips & Warnings
- The night before, lightly sprinkle berries with sugar and refrigerate. This will encourage the juices to flow more freely. You can heat the fruit in a slow-cooker on a low setting.
- Work carefully with bright colored fruits, such as blackberries or strawberries, as the juice may splatter and stain.