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Re: [nafex] Jelly Cone
Tom, My recipe calls for cooking first. I used an old "Joy of
Cooking". Crush enough currants that the bottom of the pot is wet, and
heat gently (berries, stems, and all) for 5 minutes. Then increase the
heat to moderate, and continue cooking until the fruit is soft and
colorless. I don't remember if it boils, but the cell walls break open,
allowing the juice to flow. The color change is the result of the cells
breaking down. Then I strain the mess through cheese cloth draped over
a big sieve. If you wet the cheese cloth first, it doesn't absorb too
much juice. (If you don't, it does - the difference is pretty
obvious.) I've never tried a fine steel strainer, but that would
probably work fine, too. Pressing the goo with the back of a large
spoon extracts a little extra juice but yields cloudier jelly. (I
always do it, but keep the last bit in a separate batch, as I enjoy the
beautiful clear ruby red of the jelly.)
I cooked the juice up with a little less sugar (by volume) than juice.
I have found that red currants jell very nicely with no added pectin -
if fact, if you cook the jelly too far it cools to be quite stiff. I
have no idea if the pectin is in the skin, the pulp, the juice, or the
stems, but after cooking, it certainly gets into the juice.
Thomas Olenio wrote:
> I used one of those strainers, but the recipe called for the currants to
> be crushed and strained before cooking.
> Guess I should have cooked them first as you suggest, as crushing them raw
> gets out very little juice.
> Quick question... Where is the pectin in currants to be found? The meat
> of the berry or in the skin of the berry?
> I only added back half of the pulp, and to be safe half a bag small box of
> pectin to the cooked jelly. Hope it sets up properly.
> Last question... Do Crandall currants contain as much pectin as regular
> black currants?
> Thomas Olenio
> Ontario, Hardiness Zone 6a
> On Sat, 21 Jul 2001, Don Yellman wrote:
> > For Tom Olenio:
> > Tom: Have you ever come across a jelly cone --- a perforated aluminum
> > cone which is placed on a tripod stand, and operated by a hefty wooden
> > pestle? I have had one for a number of years, and after I tried it,
> > dropped cheesecloth and jelly bags entirely. The cones are widely
> > available in local Co-op stores here, and several garden/kitchen
> > equipment catalogs. Don't know about N. of the border, but I would
> > expect them to be available there as well. Cost runs about $19 USD,
> > which is probably more than it is worth, but it is a well-made unit that
> > will last for years to come. If you use the pestle firmly, you get a
> > little bit of pulp in the juice, which we consider a plus as we do not
> > strive for crystal-clear jellies, just flavorful ones.
> > Of course you have to heat the berries (just to boiling) to get the
> > juices flowing, but after that you can pestle the results down to a dry
> > residue, then dump it out. We use the cone for jellymaking with grapes,
> > raspberries and blackberries. You can use the jelly cone right on the
> > kitchen countertop with a minumum of mess. I would expect using a home
> > built mini-press, even of good design, to be a fairly messy operation,
> > and I think you would still want to heat the berries to remove the
> > maximum amout of juice.
> > Best Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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