Saturday, February 26, 2022

How to Can Lemon Drop Jelly ~ Easy Winter Preserving


"Fired with a with housewifely wish to see her storeroom stocked with homemade preserves, she undertook to put up her own currant jelly. John was requested to order home a dozen or so of little pots and an extra quantity of sugar, for their own currants were ripe and were to be attended to at once. As John firmly believed that 'my wife' was equal to anything, and took a natural pride in her skill, he resolved that she should be gratified, and their only crop of fruit laid by in a most pleasing form for winter use. Home came four dozen delightful little pots, half a barrel of sugar, and a small boy to pick the currants for her. With her pretty hair tucked into a little cap, arms bared to the elbow, and a checked apron which had a coquettish look in spite of the bib, the young housewife fell to work, feeling no doubts about her success, for hadn't she seen Hannah do it hundreds of times?"
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Jelly, where have you been all my life? I honestly don't know! With all the homegrown lemons I have preserved over the years, with all the time spent peeling and dicing those little lemon peels for marmalades, and here we have a product which requires much less work and has quite delightful taste and consistency and with so little effort!?! I have been making jam for so long, I never even thought of lemon jelly. I think it may also have happened because, as I perused my canning books, I noticed they really don't print recipes for citrus jellies. And since this is where my canning planning begins, I never thought to make them. That is too bad because it is such an easy and delicious way to preserve the prolific lemon in winter. Plus, you can do so much with those excess peels after!


To begin, wash all your lemons and slice them in half. You will need approximately 8-12 lemons (depending on their size) for this little project. 


Squeeze and strain lemon juice until you have 2 cups.


I placed my leftover lemon rinds in vinegar to infuse it for fabric softener, dishwasher rinse-aid and for a refreshing citrus cleaning solution. I also did some dehydrating of lemon slices that day but I do believe we were discussing jelly so I will continue on that... 


"The array of pots rather amazed her at first, but John was so fond of jelly, and the nice little jars would look so well on the top shelf, that Meg resolved to fill them all, and spent a long day picking, boiling, straining, and fussing over her jelly. She did her best, she asked advice of Mrs. Cornelius, she racked her brain to remember what Hannah did that she left undone, she reboiled, resugared, and restrained, but that dreadful stuff wouldn't 'jell'..."
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Place the strained lemon juice with two cups of water in a large cooking pot. Stir in the pectin (6 tbsp. or 1 box of Sure-Jell) until dissolved and bring to a boil (stirring frequently). Once liquid reaches a rolling boil, let it boil for one more minute (while stirring).

The pectin is what helps this jelly "jell". Perhaps poor Meg didn't use enough on that challenging day? I have found that if I buy the pectin in bulk (affiliate link), it is much more economical plus I am always prepared for an impromptu day of canning. It can be frustrating if someone bequeathes you with a free bag of ripe fruit and you don't have the supplies to preserve it. By the time you drop everything and get to the store, and then get distracted there with other items on your shopping list, oftentimes the feeling has passed and you don't have the same energy to can as before. Well, that is what happens to me at least... But with the bulk pectin, I am always prepared!


Next, stir in the sugar (4 cups) and bring to another rolling boil (stirring frequently). Once liquid reaches the rolling boil, let it boil for one minute longer while stirring constantly so it doesn’t overflow. When the time is up, remove the cooking pot from the heat.


Next, skim off any foam and ladle the jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. 


Process for 5 minutes in a boiling water canner.


Remove jars and cool (out of the way of any drafts) on a kitchen towel when complete.

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

You will find the printable version of this recipe HERE πŸ’›

Note: This recipe has been ADAPTED from the nice folks at the “Useful Knowledge” channel on YouTube. I have reduced the sugar a bit and included a water-bath processing time (I don't use the flip the jar method they share in their video). 


“But he did, oh, bless you, yes, hundreds of times, and so did Meg, both declaring that it was the sweetest jelly they ever made; for family peace was preserved in that little family jar.”
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial and please do let me know if you give this jelly a go. It was such a simple canning project that adds a bit of sunshine into your winter pantry. And the aroma in the kitchen was absolutely refreshing and blissful!




18 comments:

  1. Jes, looking forward to trying this. Thank you, Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds delightful! Thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a tasty little jelly! Hope you like it :)

      Delete
  3. I am so thrilled to find this recipe! I love to make jelly, and I love anything lemon! I do have a question...why do you add 2 cups of water instead of 4 cups of straight lemon juice? Could you use 4 cups of lemon juice if you had the lemons or would it be too tart? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is the tartness would be the issue but as far as safety goes, I think that using more lemon juice would be fine :) But of course, I am not a food preservation specialist, just using common sense (if it was a low acid fruit then it would concern me but LEMON is HIGH ACID so that should be fine in my book)...

      Delete
  4. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the lovely, cheery photo also!
    It is sort of like the Apple scrap jelly I made with all of the bits and bobs from making Applesauce.
    I'm a somewhat new reader and am so appreciating all that you put into this beautiful Blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome! I am so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, they are both jellies so quite similar... one being more frugal in nature :) I'm so glad you found us!!! :)

      Delete
  5. Oh thank you so very much for this recipe...I adore lemons and I love making jelly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, then this recipe is perfect for you!!! :)

      Happy preserving!

      Delete
  6. Oh yum! Everything lemon calls me to sample :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do recall you had a "lemon" tooth :)

      Delete
  7. Your post is a little bit of sunshine!...I don't keep many sites..but yours is a gem to treasure🌺🍯

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww πŸ’›thank you so much πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

      Delete
  8. Dear Jes, Thankyou very much for teaching me about this lemon jelly. I really appreciate the time you put into your blog. I have printed the recipe and will be trying it out in a few months when my green lemons turn gold (here in Australia). Clare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you are going to give this little recipe a try! Please let me know how it goes for you! And thank you so much for your kind encouragement πŸ’›

      Delete
  9. Thank you for sharing this. I have been trying a number of your fruit scrap recipes. Now I have one more to try! Have you made lemon curd? It is so yummy on toast and as fillings in baked goods. Of course, I stock my shelves with it when I have extra eggs.
    You are such a blessing, Leslie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment here today πŸ’› I have made lemon curd once but I think I used a weird recipe... it was so tart that I had a hard time implementing it... I should try it again because I do love lemon!

      Thank you for your kindness! πŸ’›

      Delete



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...