Wednesday, December 30, 2009
To squeeze or not to squeeze...that is the question!
Yes, I know it's been awhile since I've blogged...but we are still alive down here in the frozen tundra of Oklahoma. And we've been canning, too! While we were snowed/iced in, I decided to haul out some of the apple peels and cores from the freezer and make jelly.
As soon as I started boiling these peels, I noticed the beautiful color of the juice. My mind turned pretty quickly to the county fair! Now, after boiling these peels, you let them sit overnight then strain the juice from the peels. To strain, I put all the pulp in a double layer of flour sack towel and hang it above a pot to let the juice drip out at an excruciatingly slow pace. Now, any jelly maker will tell you that you are NOT...I repeat, you are NOT to squeeze the pulp as it will cloud your jelly. This has always been tough for me because it seems wasteful (and you KNOW I hate wasting anything). I decided to do a little experiment and make one batch of jelly from unsqueezed pulp and another from the juice obtained from squeezing the pulp to get the remaining juice. Here, let me show you the results:
The jelly on the left is from squeezed pulp and the jelly on the right is from nonsqueezed pulp. Quite a difference, huh? Does this mean I will not ever again squeeze the pulp? NO WAY! I got a whole batch of jelly just from squeezing...that's five cups of juice that would have been thrown out. I think this double batch method works pretty well...one batch of nice, clear jelly and one batch of what we've decided to call "peasant jelly!" LOL! We don't really care about clarity when we're loading our PB&Js, doncha know?
Anywho...You'll be seeing this jelly again...she's going to the county fair for sure...and I think she'll bring home a blue ribbon!! BTW...that bubble you see just to the left of the words "Perfect Mason" is a bubble in the glass...not in the jelly. Aren't old jars fun?