Because of the large proportion of sugar required in jellies it is not best to use them freely.
Fruit for jelly should always be a little underripe and should not be picked just after a rain. Combine the juices of such fruits as do not jelly easily, or of the more expensive fruits, with apple juice which jellies the easiest of all. With strong flavored fruits, apple makes the jelly more agreeable. Jellies may be made in the winter of canned fruit juices and the juice from apple skins and cores. The addition of lemon juice to sweet fruits will convert them into jelly-making products. A few pieces of rose geranium leaves dropped into apple jelly just before putting it into glasses and removed in a minute, give the jelly a nice flavor.
Always boil the juice the required length of time before adding the sugar. It requires longer boiling on damp days.
Heat sugar in flat pan in oven before adding to jelly.
Thorough straining is necessary to make clear jelly. For the finest jelly, use first a double thickness of mosquito netting; then the same of cheese cloth, and lastly, one thickness of flannel.
Wet the cloth before putting the fruit in, to save the waste of juice. Hang in a warm place to drain.
It is said that if a little jelly dropped into cold water falls immediately to the bottom, the jelly is done; or, if it jellies on the spoon it is done.
Glasses for jelly may be set cold on a cold cloth, or warm on a warm cloth. Fill to the brim, as the jelly shrinks.
When the jelly is soft, set in the sun for a day or two, covered with panes of glass. When ready to set away, turn hot melted paraffine over the jelly. The heat destroys any germs which may have settled on the top. Cover with paper or with tin covers and set in a dark place. When using the jelly, wash and save the paraffine.
If jelly is to be moved or shipped, use a covering of 1/4 inch of powdered sugar instead of the paraffine.
Or, cut rounds of toilet paper, two for each glass, large enough to overlap an inch; dip one at a time into a saucer of cold boiled milk, cover glass and press down, then put on the second piece quickly.
One thickness of Manila paper may be used instead of the toilet paper. When dry, a thick parchment-like cover will be formed and the jelly will keep well. Some housewives cover jelly while hot, thinking it keeps better.
To Make Jelly Tumblers
Soak a cord in turpentine, tie it tight around bottles and set fire to the cord.