Wednesday, September 17, 2014

HFF #8: Jams, Jellies, and Preserves

I did the plums too early for this challenge, but a fortuitous late-season raspberry sale gave me something else to attempt.  (And, if all goes well, will lead to a fun treat in the future).

The Challenge: Jams, Jellies, and Preserves

The Recipe: Raspberry Jelly

Date/Year & Region: 1861, British

How Did You Make It:  Heated 2 pints of raspberries in a boiling water bath for c. 50 minutes to separate the juice from the berries.  Strained the juice through a muslin-lined colander to remove the rest of the solids.  Collected 2.5 cups of juice, added 2 7/8 c. granulated sugar, and heated on the stove on medium until the mixture started to 'gel'.  While heating, scooped off the 'scum' accumulating on the top.  Ladled into sterilized jelly jars and processed for five minutes in boiling water (deviation from period instructions).

Time to Complete: About 3 hours.  This involved lots of waiting for water to boil, and would likely go faster with practice and better organization.

Total Cost: $9 for 2 pints of berries; sugar to hand.

How Successful Was It: Well, it looks like jelly.  And the spoon tasted good.  Hopefully nothing went weird with the canning, so I'll be able to use it for some yummy desserts.

How Accurate Was It: I followed the preparation method as given, but using the (modern) equipment available to me.  Lacking a proper jelly bag or hair sieve, I improvised with available colanders and a piece of cotton muslin--no pictures of this step, as I prefer my camera not to be covered in berry juice.  Just to be safe, I processed the jelly after canning (5 min in boiling water), per these instructions.

Raspberries in water bath on stovetop.
Bruised raspberries in water bath
Pan of raspberry juice on the stove.
Juice and sugar on the stove.
Raspberry jelly, from an 1861 recipe.
Filled jars of jelly.

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