Looking for something sweet to put on your toast, muffin, or crackers? Then look no further than this guide on how to make your own homemade jelly.
What Is The Difference Between Jam, Jelly, Preserves, Marmalades, and Conserves?
There’s quite a bit of confusion on what the difference between jam, jelly, conserves, preserves, and marmalades. In this section, we’ll break down what each variation is.
- Jelly: Jellies are typically made by cooking fruit juice and sugar together. The jelly should be clear and firm enough to hold its shape when it’s removed from the container.
- Jam: Jams are typically thick. The jam should be able to hold their shape once removed from the container, but it will be less firm than jellies. Jams are made from chopped fruits and sugar.
- Preserve: Preserves are made of small pieces of whole fruits. The consistency is a thick, jellied syrup type substance.
- Marmalade: Marmalades often are citrus fruits and contain small pieces of fruits or peels.
- Conserve: Conserves are jams made from a mixture of citrus fruits and are combined with nuts, raisins, or coconut.
What Equipment Is Needed To Make Jelly?
Before you start making your homemade jelly, there is some equipment that will help your process.
- Large Saucepan or Large Pot: A large saucepan is important for jelly making to help keep the fruit from burning while heating it up. When making jelly, it’s important to reduce the amount of water in the fruit. A thick bottomed pot will help you cook for a longer period of time without burning the items inside.
- Wooden Spoon: A wooden spoon or spatula is important so that they will not melt or release chemicals into the jelly when heating up the contents inside.
- Jelly Jar: It’s important to use heat proof, seal-able glass pint jars for storing your jelly after cooking. If you aren’t able to sterilize the jelly after making, it increases the change of growing mold.
What Fruits Can Be Made Into Jelly
While citrus fruits are usually made for conserves and marmalades, the fruit most popular to produce jelly are apples, crabapples, grapes, cranberries, and berries.
How To Make Jelly With Grapes
Step 1: Use fresh fruit instead of frozen fruit juice. Clean 4 pounds of grapes and remove the stems.
Step 2: Mash the grapes together with a fork or potato masher.
Step 3: Place the grapes in your heavy-bottomed pot or a large saucepan. Add one cup of water and bring it to a boil on high heat.
Step 4: Once boiling, lower to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Strain the juice from the grapes by using a jelly strainer or cheesecloth. Add water if necessary.
Step 6: Move the fruit juice to your pot and stir in 1 3/4 ounces of dry pectin.
Step 7: Bring your stove to medium heat and add 7 cups of sugar and a pinch of salt.
Step 8: Remove the saucepan from the head, skim off the foam, and ladle the hot jelly into a sterilized jelly jar.
Step 9: If storing in the fridge, let the jelly jar cool completely.
How To Store Homemade Jelly
Once finishing up your homemade jelly, you can either let the contents of the jar cool and then store in a refrigerator at 40°F or lower. You can also store your homemade jelly in a cool, dark, dry place between 50-70°F.
What To Put Homemade Jelly On
There are a number of ways to enjoy your newly made homemade jelly. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Jelly + Peanut Butter + Bread = Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
- Jelly + Bagels
- Jelly + Cookies
- Jelly + Meat, Poultry, Root Vegetables, or Winter Squash
- Jelly + Yogurt
- Jelly + Oatmeal
- Jelly + Toast
- Jelly + Cake Layers
- Jelly + Ice Cream
- Jelly + Cottage Cheese