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Cherry Jelly

Cherry Jelly is a very mild, unassuming jelly. It does not pack the same punch as say, blackberry or raspberry jam and jelly. So I do not make as much of it as I do raspberry and strawberry freezer jam. But it sets up very prettily and is a lovely taste of summer to put into Christmas baskets.

(Disclaimer here--I am not giving you a recipe for Cherry Jelly)

After picking cherries and making Cherry Syrup, (see my Cherry Syrup blog) I still have all this cherry juice left. Fruit juice can easily be frozen until you have "extra" time (which can be a real commodity during the summer months).

Using Sure-Jell, follow the directions for cooked jelly that come in the box. If you want success, do not skimp on sugar. Sure Jell has a Low or No Sugar Needed option on the market if you are interested in trying it. My mom has used it for jams, but not for jelly, so sorry, but I cannot give you an opinion on it.

Follow the directions exactly. Timing is very important with jelly. You do not want to go through all the work of making the fruit juice and all the cost of ingredients, only to have things not jell because you did not time things properly.

Two things I have found that help immensely to make my jelly firm and pretty:

1-Strain the juice of half a lime into the cherry juice when you measure it into the pot. This adds acid that helps the jelly actually ...well...jell.

2- add a bit of butter to the pot before the jelly begins to boil. This will help keep the foaming down. It really does help!

When your jelly has cooked and you turn off the stove, skim the bit of (inevitable) foam off the surface with a spoon. Immediately ladle the hot jelly into small, clean jars. With a wet cloth, wipe the rims and top with hot lids. Screw the lids down tight and set them on the cupboard, with space around each jar, to cool. You will hear the lids pop and seal - a very satisfying sound! Now they can be stored in the pantry until time to gift or eat!

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