Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600889


Use only firm fruits naturally high in pectin. Select
a mixture of about 3/4 ripe and l/4 underripe fruit. Do not
use commercially canned or frozen fruit juices. Their
pectin content is too low. Wash all fruits thoroughly
before cooking. Crush soft fruits or berries; cut firmer
fruits into small pieces. Using the peels and cores adds
pectin to the juice during cooking. Add water to fruits
that require it, as listed in the table of ingredients
below. Put fruit and water in large saucepan and bring to a
boil. Then simmer according to the times below until fruit
is soft, while stirring to prevent scorching. One pound of
fruit should yield at least l cup of clear juice.


To Extract Juice
Ingredients YIELD
Cups of Water Minutes Added to Each Cup From 4
To Be Added to Simmer of Strained Juice Cups of
Per Pound Fruit Before Juice
of Fruit Extracting Sugar Lemon Juice (Half-
Juice (Cups) (Tsp.) pints)

Apples 20 to 25 3/4 l-l/2(opt) 4 to 5
Blackberries 5 to l0 3/4 to l None 7 to 8
(None or 1/4)
Crabapples 20 to 25 l None 4 to 5
Grapes 5 to l0 3/4 to l None 8 to 9
(None or 1/4)
Plums l5 to 20 3/4 None 8 to 9

When fruit is tender, strain through a colander, then
strain through a double layer of cheesecloth or a jelly bag.
Allow juice to drip through, using a stand or colander to
hold the bag. Pressing or squeezing the bag or cloth will
cause cloudy jelly.

Using no more than 6 to 8 cups of extracted fruit juice
at a time, measure fruit juice, sugar and lemon juice
according to the ingredients in the table above and heat to
boiling. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Boil over high
heat to the jellying point. To test jelly for doneness, use
one of the following methods.

TEMPERATURE TEST--Use a jelly or candy thermometer and
boil until mixture reaches the following temperatures at
altitudes of:

Sea l000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000
Lev. Ft. Ft. Ft. Ft. Ft. Ft. Ft. Ft.

220 F 218 F 216 F 214 F 212 F 211 F 209 F 207 F 205 F

SHEET OR SPOON TEST--Dip a cool metal spoon into the
boiling jelly mixture. Raise the spoon about l2 inches
above the pan (out of steam). Turn the spoon so the
liquid runs off the side. The jelly is done when the
syrup forms two drops that flow together and sheet or
hang off the edge of the spoon.

Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam. Fill hot
sterile jars (see directions below for sterilizing jars)
with jelly. Use a measuring cup or ladle the jelly through
through a wide-mouthed funnel, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
Adjust lids and process.

Sterilization of Empty Jars

To sterilize empty jars, place them right side up on
the rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill the canner and
jars with hot (not boiling) water to 1 inch above the tops
of the jars. Boil 10 minutes at altitudes of less than
1,000 feet. At higher elevations, boil 1 additional minute
for each additional 1,000 feet elevation. Remove and drain
hot sterilized jars one at a time as filled.


Process Times at Altitudes of

of Jar 0- 1001- 6001-
Pack Size 1000 ft. 6000 ft. 8000 ft.

Hot Half-pints 5 min. 10 15

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