All fruit juices do not contain sufficient pectose to form a jelly, and only a few kinds of fruit will make jelly without sugar. Those that are the easiest to jelly, are the Siberian crab-apple, Snow apple, quince, currant, gooseberry, cranberry, and grape.
The usual method of making jelly is to use equal quantities of juice and sugar. This, however, makes a sauce too rich to be healthful. Its transparent beauty as it stands upon the plate, pleasing the eye and giving an artistic finish to the appearance of the table, is something that the housewife naturally dislikes to banish; and hence her inventive powers are put to work to keep the beauty, and at the same time produce a toothsome and harmless dish.
There is certainly nothing injurious in the pure juice of fruit. Indeed, it is less harmful than the fruit in its natural state, as the skins, seeds, and fibrous tissue have been rejected. If in this state it could be made, without the aid of sugar, into jelly, it would be perfectly wholesome.
This has been found to be possible with some fruits. Other fruit juices which will not jelly alone, can be made to do so by the use of sago. When sago is used, it is best not to keep the jelly long, but make it as it is required for use.
The juice of the fruits may be extracted in the fruit season, and canned, ready to be used at any time. In making jelly always use a good granite or porcelain-lined kettle, as tin or iron coming in contact with acid fruit not only spoils its delicate flavor, but renders it more difficult to digest.
This may be made from almost any apples, although the Siberian crab-apple is the best, as it contains more pectose, and will jelly more easily. Do not pare, but core the apples, after washing well, and cutting into pieces. Slowly boil in a porcelain or granite stew-pan for an hour or more, and pour into a jelly-bag, allowing all the juice to drain out that will without squeezing. Pour juice back into stew-pan, and cook until one half of it has evaporated; then add just enough sugar to sweeten (about 2/3 of a cupful to I quart of juice), and allow it to boil for twenty minutes. Pour into glass jelly cups or glass pint cans, and seal in the same manner as fruit is sealed. It will not keep without sealing, as do jellies which are one half sugar.
Examine the cranberries, throwing out all soft ones. Put in a granite stew-pan, pouring in sufficient water to cover the berries, and cook until the skins burst. Put through a colander or fruit press to take out the skins. Boil the pulp and juice until one third of the quantity has evaporated, after which add sufficient sugar to make palatable,--about 1 cup of sugar to 1 quart of cranberries before they are cooked. Boil about twenty minutes after adding sugar. Can in self-sealing cans; or, if for immediate use, pour while hot into the mold, and set away to get perfectly cold, when the mixture should be very firm,-- sufficiently so to allow slicing with a knife. If only the juice of the cranberry is used, a much more clear and transparent jelly may be obtained. However, the pulp will cause it to become more solid and firm, with less boiling.