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 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?


Anonymous said...

The color is beautiful. I just made Cherry, Peach and then a Blueberry jam. I am curious about your recipe for the clear one. About how many peels does it take. I will start saving my peels. I took a second place ribbon last year in our county fair for my Strawberry Preserves that I made last year.

Carmen C. said...

Those jars look like jewels! Sounds yummy and what a beautiful gift that would make:)

Anonymous said...

UGH - wish I'd read this about four hours ago. Just made apple cranberry jam and was going to do something with the apple peels....but got too busy. Didn't know if I could do anything with them if I froze them or not.

Can you provide the complete recipe? Like you, I SQUEEZE - cuz' you are ALWAYS get sooo much more of whatever you're squeezing! I got another four cups of tomato juice after squeezing the "pulp" left by my juicer when we made ketchup! Ha - who am I kidding? - I'm a bit of a rebel child and it is just my nature to do what most folks don't! LOL

Love your site...learn a lot and am encouraged to keep going in my increasing self-reliance and preparedness for all that may come our way.

Happy, Happy New Year!

MaMaBear in the Mitten

One Acre Homestead said...

Thanks so much for the comments, guys! Click on the word jelly in the first paragraph for a link to the recipe I followed. Happy canning!!

All Natural Mama said...


*erin* said...

Oh, I have wanted to try this! Such a waste to through out the peels! I will give t a try this year!! And what a beautful color, although I think I will be making peasant jam!!

kclily said...

I'm a little behind on reading my blogs. Glad you are back and surviving our Oklahoma blizzard. Your jelly is beautiful and I bet you do win a blue ribbon.