In making jelly, it is safer to make but a quart or two at one boiling. By adopting the plan of heating the sugar before adding it to the juice, the labor is very much reduced, and much more can be accomplished than by the old method. Use a porcelain kettle or bright tin. Brass may be used, but must be cleansed very thoroughly beforehand, and the jelly should not remain in it any length of time. Do not allow jelly to stop boiling. Sometimes when it will not harden it may be traced to this cause. Make jelly on a bright, sunshiny day. The weather affects it to quite an extent. When ready to fill jelly-glasses, set the glasses on a folded wet towel, and if thought best to still further temper them put a spoon into each glass as you fill it. The condition of the fruit makes a vast difference in the quality of the jelly. Those who raise their own understand this fact, while those who are dependent upon a city market can only select from the stock on hand. Fruit makes better jelly if not over ripe. Some of the nicest I ever saw was made of green grapes.
To preserve fruit jellies from mold, cover the surface one-fourth of an inch deep with fine sugar.
Test jelly by dipping some into a cold saucer. Set the dish on ice or in a cold place. If it hardens at the edges without spreading, it is done. Or the more common way is to dip a spoonful into a glass of cold water - ice-cold if possible. If it drops to the bottom without incorporating itself with the water, it is done.
Dip the glass or mold in hot water for a moment and the contents will come out unbroken.
Take tart apples and cut them up. Add a little water, and let boil until it becomes glutinous and reduced; then strain; put 3/4 pound white sugar to each pint of juice; flavor with lemon essence and boil until it is a fine, clear jelly. Then strain into molds.
Put the berries in a stone crock, and the crock in a kettle of warm water on the stove. Let boil till the berries are well broken. Then strain through a jelly-bag, coarse towel, or fruit-strainer. Weigh a pound of sugar for each pint of juice. Put the juice on to boil and then put the sugar in tins and pans and set in the oven to heat. Keep it from burning, but let it get very hot. After 20 minutes boiling, throw the sugar in, stir well until it is entirely dissolved.
It needs only to come to a boil, and your jelly is done. Fill your glasses.
Wash and quarter the apples and cover with water. Stew until well broken. Pour into a jelly-bag, drain without squeezing. Allow 1/2 pound sugar to 1 pint juice. Boil the juice alone for 10 or 15 minutes. Heat the sugar meanwhile, and add slowly, stirring constantly. Sometimes it will "jelly" by the time the sugar is all dissolved. It will require but very little boiling, if any. Stick cinnamon boiled with the juice improves the flavor. Remove it before adding sugar. The pulp of the apples is good for marmalade, as in wild plums.