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Troubleshooting Tips For Jelly Making

Here’s a handy tip sheet for troubleshooting problems when making homemade jelly…if a batch doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you may find the reason why here so you can avoid the problem next time.

I’ve also added several vintage tips at the bottom of the page, lots here, enjoy!

Source: How to Make Preserves at Home, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Timeless Wisdom

Most of these tips come from a vintage booklet published in the 1940’s giving advice to homemakers on a variety of topics, others I’ve snipped from vintage articles. The Timeless Wisdom collection is an occasional feature on Tipnut where we take a look back at the techniques and advice given to homemakers decades ago–many are still quite useful for today!

Testing: Boil rapidly until the jelly stage is reached. To test, dip a spoon into the boiling mixture and let it run off the side as in the illustration.

When it separates into two distinct drops which run together and then “sheet” off the edge of the spoon, it is finished and should be taken off the flame. Then skim.

A thermometer may also be used. It’s done when the thermometer reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit.

To Test Juice for Pectin:

Test One: Add 1 teaspoon of the cooked juice to 1 teaspoon of alcohol and stir slowly. If the juice contains sufficient pectin, a semi-solid mass will form. Do not taste.

Test Two: Add 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 tablespoon Epsom salts to 2 tablespoons cooked fruit juice; let stand 20 minutes. If a semi-solid mass forms, the juice contains sufficient pectin to make good jelly.

Bonus: You’ll find over 100 recipes here [1] featuring a variety of fruits, peppers and edible flowers.