Since we all love jelly and making jellied products is not that difficult, there isn’t a reason why we wouldn’t do so at our home. Of course, there are some key things to do first, like finding the right recipe, following certain rules, and setting some time aside to do so, but in essence, we can all make a natural jelly from the comfort of our home. That is why we have gathered essential tips on how to become a master of the jelly-making process, and it all starts with using fresh fruits.
Use fresh fruit
Everyone loves at least one type of jelly, and more often than not, people have different types they adore. Now, to get to the point where you can proudly say that you are preparing jelly at home, much work is needed, and even though finding the right recipe isn’t that difficult, there are certain rules you need to follow. Of course, there are traditional recipes and more modern ones where people have experimented with various ingredients and the making process, but one thing every jelly recipe has in common, and that’s the fruit, or to be more precise, the use of fresh fruit like they do for famous brand PepperJelly.
The reason why it’s important to use fresh fruit is simple, it’s about the taste and the consistency of the fruit. Namely, once the fruit gets frozen, it loses some of its features, and with time, it also loses its taste. All this means that even if one has the best recipe for jelly making and even if they follow that recipe flawlessly, the taste and sometimes even the looks of the final product will not be the same. Also, using fresh fruits at room temperature helps dissolve the sugar, which is crucial because it takes time, and one shouldn’t speed up this process. It goes without saying that washing the fruit before using and sometimes even peeling the fruit is simply a must.
Follow the recipe
Many people new to jelly making are following the recipe they have strictly, which is always a much better choice than experimenting, especially if it is the first time you make jelly. It’s all about experience and knowing when it’s the time to add fruits, how much you have to wait until it dissolves, etc. Besides that, many folks get the recipe their grandma used, which is a great thing because they already know how the final product should look like, the consistency of the jelly, and of course, the taste.
On the other hand, some people don’t like the fact that for proper jelly, you simply have to use sugar, and they believe they can get the same result without using it or not putting in as much sugar as stated in the recipe. This is a bad idea, as the proper amount of sugar, pectin, and fruit is crucial in this process if the goal is to get a great jellied product. We don’t add sugar just to make the product sweeter, as it helps extract the fruit’s natural flavor.
Another reason sugar is important is that it helps prevent the growth of microorganisms. Yes, there are way too many new jelly-making recipes that you can find online where people use various sweetener flavors or granulated white sugar replacements, but you need to be careful when using them as they are much stronger, meaning that they can easily overpower the natural flavor of the fruit.
Pectin is simply a must
There are many ways to prepare jelly, but if you want to stick to a traditional recipe, regardless of whether you got one from your ancestors or found one online, pectin is an ingredient that is simply a must to have. Now, many believe that adding pectin is something they can avoid, and they use various other products and substances, but in reality, there is no better substance than this one. Pectin works by forming a gel when mixed with a substance made out of the right combination of sugar and acid. As you can probably guess, it is a substance used to form the world-famous consistency of jelly. Even though every fruit already contains a certain level of pectin, adding a bit more is a must in order to avoid situations where the jelly is under-ripe.
Of course, even here, there are different types of commercial pectin, so we will leave this choice up to you, but it’s always best to go with the renowned brand, as simply put, it grants higher quality. Besides all this, if you don’t know how much pectin you will need, just check the instructions and directions, and you will get the ideal ratio of the fruit, sugar, and pectin. Overall, this substance will make the entire jelly-making process much easier and, more importantly, more successful.
Get the right equipment
Yes, everyone can prepare homemade jelly in a saucepan they already have, but if you want to make larger amounts, it’s good to know just what type of equipment you will need. The first thing to highlight is the size of the saucepan one will need, and that’s because of the tendency to boil over once you start the cooking process. So, make sure to check whether the saucepan is big enough, meaning there is enough room once you place all the ingredients to avoid boiling over.
A cloth or jelly bag is also a must, as you will need it when extracting juice for jelly. Understandably, you can use other items you already have at home that provide the same effect, but if there isn’t one, make sure to buy one as you can use it for longer periods. A thermometer is yet another thing that, even though it isn’t a must, is preferable to have, as it will help you get the perfect temperature. Once you have made jelly, it’s also good to have a wax seal or paraffin to avoid mold contamination which often happens due to inadequate cups and jars people use, and this is one of the best ways to avoid any unpleasant situations.