Take a stone jar and put in the fruit, place this in a kettle of tepid water and set on the fire; let it boil, closely covered, until the fruit is broken to pieces; strain, pressing the bag, a stout, coarse one, hard, putting in a few handfuls each time, and between each squeezing turning it inside out to scald off the pulp and skins; to each pint of juice allow a pound of loaf sugar; set the juice on alone to boil, and, while it is boiling, put the sugar into shallow dishes or pans, and heat it in the oven, watching and stirring it to prevent burning; boil the juice just twenty minutes from the time it begins fairly to boil; by this time the sugar should be very hot; throw it into the boiling juice, stirring rapidly all the time; withdraw the spoon when all is thoroughly dissolved; let the jelly come to a boil to make all certain; withdraw the kettle instantly from the fire; roll your glasses and cups in hot water, and fill with the scalding liquid; the jelly will form within an hour; when cold, close and tie up as you do preserves.
Currants for jelly should be perfectly ripe and gathered the first week of the season; they lose their jelly property if they hang on the bushes too long, and become too juicy—the juice will not be apt to congeal. Strip them from the stalks, put them into a stone jar, and set in a vessel of hot water over the fire; keep the water around it boiling until the currants are all broken, stirring them up occasionally. Then squeeze them through a coarse cloth or towel. To each pint of juice allow a pound and a quarter of refined sugar. Put the sugar into a porcelain kettle, pour the juice over it, stirring frequently. Skim it before it boils; boil about twenty minutes, or until it congeals in the spoon when held in the air. Pour it into hot jelly glasses and seal when cool.
Wild frost grape jelly is nice made after this recipe.
CURRANT JELLY RECIPE 2
This recipe for making superior jelly without heat is given in a Parisian journal of chemistry, which may be worth trying by some of our readers. The currants are to be washed and squeezed in the usual way, and the juice placed in a stone or earthen vessel, and set away in a cool place in the cellar. In about twenty-four hours a considerable amount of froth will cover the surface, produced by fermentation, and this must be removed and the whole strained again through the jelly bag, then weighed, and an equal weight of powdered white sugar is to be added. This is to be stirred constantly until entirely dissolved, and then put into jars, tied up tightly and set away. At the end of another twenty-four hours a perfectly transparent jelly of the most satisfactory flavor will be formed, which will keep as long as if it had been cooked.
Quinces for jelly should not be quite ripe, they should be a fine yellow; rub off the down from them, core and cut them small; put them in a preserving kettle with a teacupful of water for each pound; let them stew gently until soft, without mashing; put them in a thin muslin bag with the liquor; press them very lightly; to each pint of the liquor put a pound of sugar; stir it until it is all dissolved, then set it over the fire and let it boil gently, until by cooling some on a plate you find it a good jelly; then turn it into pots or tumblers and, when cold, secure as directed for jellies.
To each pint of juice allow one pound of sugar. Let the raspberries be freshly gathered, quite ripe, pick from the stalks; put them into a large jar after breaking the fruit a little with a wooden spoon, and place this jar, covered, in a saucepan of boiling water. When the juice is well drawn, which will be in from three-quarters to one hour, strain the fruit through a fine hair-sieve or cloth; measure the juice, and to every pint allow the above proportion of white sugar. Put the juice and sugar into a preserving pan, place it over the fire, and boil gently until the jelly thickens, when a little is poured on a plate; carefully remove all the scum as it rises, pour the jelly into small pots, cover down, and keep in a dry place. This jelly answers for making raspberry cream and for flavoring various sweet dishes, when, in winter, the fresh fruit is not obtainable.
Select apples that are rather tart and highly flavored; slice them without paring; place in a porcelain preserving kettle, cover with water, and let them cook slowly until the apples look red. Pour into a colander, drain off the juice, and let this run through a jelly-bag; return to the kettle, which must be carefully washed, and boil half an hour; measure it and allow to every pint of juice a pound of sugar and half the juice of a lemon; boil quickly for ten minutes.
The juice of apples boiled in shallow vessels, without a particle of sugar, makes the most sparkling, delicious jelly imaginable. Red apples will give jelly the color and clearness of claret, while that from light fruit is like amber. Take the cider just as it is made, not allowing it to ferment at all, and, if possible, boil it in a pan, flat, very large and shallow.
Mash well the berries so as to remove the skins; pour all into a preserving kettle and cook slowly for a few minutes to extract the juice; strain through a colander, and then through a flannel jelly-bag, keeping as hot as possible, for if not allowed to cool before putting again on the stove the jelly conies much stiffer; a few quince seeds boiled with the berries the first time tend to stiffen it; measure the juice, allowing a pound of sugar to every pint of juice, and boil fast for at least half an hour. Try a little, and if it seems done, remove and put into glasses.
FLORIDA ORANGE JELLY.
Grate the yellow rind of two Florida oranges and two lemons, and squeeze the juice into a porcelain-lined preserving kettle, adding the juice of two more oranges, and removing all the seeds; put in the grated rind a quarter of a pound of sugar, or more if the fruit is sour, and a gill of water, and boil these ingredients together until a rich syrup is formed; meantime, dissolve two ounces of gelatine in a quart of warm water, stirring it over the fire until it is entirely dissolved, then add the syrup, strain the jelly, and cool it in molds wet in cold water.
The apples should be juicy and ripe. The fruit is then quartered, the black spots in the cores removed, afterward put into a preserving kettle over the fire, with a teacupful of water in the bottom to prevent burning; more water is added as it evaporates while cooking. When boiled to a pulp, strain the apples through a coarse flannel, then proceed as for currant jelly.
Pare the peaches, take out the stones, then slice them; add to them about a quarter of the kernels. Place them in a kettle with enough water to cover them. Stir them often until the fruit is well cooked, then strain, and to every pint of the juice add the juice of a lemon; measure again, allowing a pound of sugar to each pint of juice; heat the sugar very hot, and add when the juice has boiled twenty minutes; let it come to a boil and take instantly from the fire.
Pare the oranges, squeeze and strain the juice from the pulp. To one pint of juice allow one pound and three-quarters of loaf sugar. Put the juice and sugar together, boil and skim it until it is cream; then strain it through a flannel bag and let it stand until it becomes cool, then put in bottles and cork tight.
Lemon syrup is made in the same way, except that you scald the lemons and squeeze out the juice, allowing rather more sugar.
Allow pound for pound. Pare half the oranges and cut the rind into shreds. Boil in three waters until tender and set aside. Grate the rind of the remaining oranges; take off, and throw away every bit of the thick white inner skin; quarter all the oranges and take out the seeds. Chop or cut them into small pieces; drain all the juice that will come away without pressing them over the sugar; heat this, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, adding a very little water, unless the oranges are very juicy. Boil and skim five or six minutes; put in the boiled shreds and cook ten minutes; then the chopped fruit and grated peel, and boil twenty minutes longer. When cold, put into small jars, tied up with bladder or paper next the fruit, cloths dipped in wax over all. A nicer way still is to put away in tumblers with self-adjusting metal tops. Press brandied tissue paper down closely to the fruit.
Is made as you would prepare orange—allowing a pound and a quarter of sugar to a pound of the fruit, and using but half the grated peel.
RAISINS. (A French Marmalade.)
This recipe is particularly valuable at seasons when fruit is scarce. Take six fine large cooking apples, peel them, put them over a slow fire, together with a wine-glass of Medeira wine and half a pound of sugar. When well stewed, split and stone two and a half pounds of raisins, and put them to stew with the apples and enough water to prevent their burning. When all appears well dissolved, beat it through a strainer bowl, and lastly through a sieve. Mold, if you like, or put away in small preserve jars, to cut in thin slices for the ornamentation of pastry, or to dish up for eating with cream.
To each pound of fine and not too ripe berries, allow three-quarters of a pound of sugar. Put them into a preserving pan and stir gently, not to break up the fruit; simmer for one-half hour and put into pots air-tight. An excellent way to seal jellies and jams is as the German women do: cut round covers from writing paper a half-inch too large for the tops, smear the inside with the unbeaten white of an egg, tie over with a cord, and it will dry quickly and be absolutely preservative. A circular paper dipped in brandy and laid over the toothsome contents before covering, will prevent any dampness from affecting the flavor. I have removed covers heavy with mold to find the preserve intact.
Pick the gooseberries just as they begin to turn. Stem, wash and weigh. To four pounds of fruit add half a teacupful of water; boil until soft and add four pounds of sugar and boil until clear. If picked at the right stage the jam will be amber colored and firm, and very much nicer than if the fruit is preserved when ripe.
BRANDIED PEACHES OR PEARS.
Four pounds of fruit, four pounds of sugar, one pint of best white brandy. Make a syrup of the sugar and enough water to dissolve it. Let this come to a boil; put the fruit in and boil five minutes. Having removed the fruit carefully, let the syrup boil fifteen minutes longer, or until it thickens well; add the brandy and take the kettle at once from the fire; pour the hot syrup over the fruit and seal. If, after the fruit is taken from the fire, a reddish liquor oozes from it, drain this off before adding the clear syrup. Put up in glass jars. Peaches and pears should be peeled for brandying. Plums should be pricked and watched carefully for fear of bursting.
To five or six pounds of fine red raspberries (not too ripe) add an equal quantity of the finest quality of white sugar. Mash the whole well in a preserving kettle; add about one quart of currant juice (a little less will do) and boil gently till it jellies upon a cold plate; then put into small jars; cover with brandied paper and tie a thick white paper over them. Keep in a dark, dry and cool place.
Blackberry or strawberry jam is made the same way, leaving out the currant juice.
A NEW WAY OF KEEPING FRUIT.
It is stated that experiments have been made in keeping fruit in jars covered only with cotton batting, and at the end of two years the fruit was sound. The following directions are given for the process: Use crocks, stone butter-jars or any other convenient dishes. Prepare and cook the fruit precisely as for canning in glass jars; fill your dishes with fruit while hot and immediately cover with cotton batting, securely tied on. Remember that all putrefaction is caused by the invisible creatures in the air. Cooking the fruit expels all these, and they cannot pass through the cotton batting. The fruit thus protected will keep an indefinite period. It will be remembered that Tyndall has proved that the atmospheric germs cannot pass through a layer of cotton.
Suspend in the centre of the jelly mold a bunch of grapes, cherries, berries, or currants on their stems, sections of oranges, pineapples, or brandied fruits, and pour in a little jelly when quite cold, but not set. It makes a very agreeable effect. By a little ingenuity you can imbed first one fruit and then another, arranging in circles, and pour a little jelly successively over each. Do not re-heat the jelly, but keep it in a warm place, while the mold is on ice and the first layers are hardening.