Monday, August 22, 2016

Muscadine Jelly

Hi friends! Today's recipe is one I wanted to share with you last summer, but when I made it last year, I forgot to take pictures. Alas, I had to wait to make it again this year so I could get the pictures and share it with you.

The little beauties above are eight half pints of muscadine jelly. Earlier today, I posted a picture of the muscadines on Facebook stating that for this southern girl, it might as well be a bowl full of decadent chocolates. It is so true! I LOVE muscadines! It is also true that muscadine jelly is the favorite jelly of my household. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Muscadine Jelly 
5-6 lbs fresh muscadines for extracting 5 c juice
1 box regular pectin 
6 c sugar 

Place 6-8 half pint jars in the canner. Place the lid on the canner and turn the heat up to start sterilizing jars as you work. Boil jars for ten minutes. When my jars have boiled for ten minutes, I turn the heat down to low to keep them hot until I am ready for them.

Wash grapes (Muscadines are wild grapes.), making sure to remove any stems or leaves.

Place the muscadines in your pan. Turn the heat up and begin mashing the grapes as you stir. 

Carefully bring the grapes up to a slow boil as you continue to mash and stir. Turn the heat down and simmer 10-15 minutes as you continue mashing and stirring to extract the juice and break down the pulp some.

If you don't have a food mill, really mash those berries! You want to get as much juice out as you can. Remember, you need five cups of juice for the jelly. If you do have a mill, run the muscadines through. 

You can use the juice at this point, but I filtered mine through cheesecloth first. 

At this point, I only got 4-1/2 cups of juice. Lucky for me, up to a half cup of water can be added. 😊 

At this point, I stopped to make sure I had everything set up for once the jelly was done. Jelly is something you can't stop once you start, and you need to move quickly once it's done. I've learned from experience to make sure everything is set up and ready to go. There is a pot holder to sit the pan of hot jelly on. The towel is laid out to place my hot jars that are in the canner on, the lids are behind the canner in a pan of warm water, the rings are behind the towel, and the magnetic lid lifter is on the stove beside the knob. My funnel and a moist paper towel for wiping jar rims can't be seen in the photo. The sugar is all measured out. I removed 1/4 c of the sugar and mixed the pectin in it. That's what is in the blue measuring cup. There was an extra box of pectin just in case my jelly wasn't setting and I needed to add extra. The stock pot is on the stove ready to go. Let the fun begin!!

This part of jelly recipes is always lacking in good pictures simply because you have to move quickly and stir constantly. Poor the juice into the stock pot. Slowly pour in the pectin mixture, stirring as you pour. Bring the mixture up to a rolling boil, a boil that cannot be stirred down. 

See? Not too much to see there! So sorry! At that point, though, pour all the sugar in at once. 

Stir the mixture constantly, and bring it back to a rolling boil. Once it is at a rolling boil, boil exactly one minute. Immediately remove the jelly from the heat and onto the waiting potholder. Quickly remove the hot jars from the canner and onto the towel. I quickly skimmed a little foam from the top of the jelly. This year, though, I tried a new method of scooping up the jelly in my ladle and skimming the foam from that. It worked so much better and was so much quicker. Each jar was filled to 1/4 inch headspace. Well, I tried, anyway! 😄 At this point, I skimmed any excess foam from the top of individual jars. The rims were wiped clean, and the jars were sealed.

The jars were placed back in the canner with one to two inches of water covering the tops of the jars. The water was brought up to a rolling boil with the canner lid on, and the jelly was processed for five minutes. One more reason to love jelly! It's so quick! Once the five minutes are up, turn the heat off, and remove the canner lid. Let the water come to a full rest for about five minutes. Then remove the jars with a jar lifter. Place the jars on a doubled towel in a draft free area. Do not disturb the jars for at least 24 hours.

When it is all done, you should be left with beautiful little jars of jelly! 

Until we meet again, may you be blessed! 💕 
*To ensure the safety of your canned foods, make sure to follow safe canning guidelines issued by the USDA.

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