June 20, 2011

Peach Jelly -- without a canner!

I bought a bunch of peaches last week. I made two Creamy Peach Pies, some peach jam, and a couple of gluten free mini peach cobblers (for my mom). (Don't get super excited...I haven't conquered gluten free cooking...the crust part was Gluten Free Bisquick.) So the peaches that were used for the jam and pies were peeled and pitted. I saved them! Did you know you could use them for something else? Yep. I'm super frugal. I happened upon the idea in an Amish cookbook.

Here's what I did. Don't worry, I won't bore you with a picture of every. single. ingredient, but I will share with you a few pics that are helpful. *wink*

Tools needed:  medium pan for making peach skin juice, large pan for making jelly,  medium large pan for boiling jars, smaller sauce pan for boiling lids and bands, wooden spoons, hot pads, towels and dish rags, ladle, canning jar funnel

Peach Jelly
4 cups peach juice (see below)
1/2 tsp. butter
1 package of pectin (I really like Kroger brand!)
5 1/2 cups sugar
canning jars, bands and lids (new lids!)

Get your jars in a boiling water bath to sterilize or you can put them in the dishwasher and run it on sterilize, but I think that uses a lot of electricity.

I just put a towel on the bottom of my pan, set the jars in, fill with water, then get them to boiling.  Turn it down to medium and get started on the jam.  They are sterile by the time the jam is ready to go in them (10 minute minimum).  Put the lids and bands in another small pot, cover with water, get them boiling and turn down on medium.

To make peach juice place the peach pits and skins in a pot and cover with water.  (I had about 15-20 peaches so this batch of juice made enough for two batches of jelly and then some.) Turn the burner on high.  Once it starts boiling, turn it down to medium/low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Let it cool a bit.  (I had to wait for hubby to get back from running errands, one of which was buying more sugar for me, so my juice sat a few hours.)  Then strain the juice.  You'll need 4 cups of juice for a batch of jelly. (If you have less than 4 cups of juice...like 3 or so, it will work if you add water to it to make 4 cups, but I wouldn't use more that one cup of water.)

Place the juice, butter (keeps the jelly from foaming), and pectin powder in the pan.  See how big of a pan I use? It's a must or you are going to get splattered with very hot jelly later in the process.  Trust me, I know!  Stir it on high heat until it boils.  A full rolling boil.

Add the sugar all at once and stir.  Keep stirring until it gets to a full rolling boil like in the picture above.  You want it to boil like that for 1 minute.  (Keep stirring...you don't want the bottom to scorch.)  Then take it off the heat and set a timer for 5 minutes. During that time I take all my jars very carefully out of the water.  I use a long skinny wooden spoon and pair of hefty tongs to do this.  I set them on a towel on the counter upside down.  Then I set the pan of jelly on a hot pad right next to them on the counter.  I also set the lids and bands next to those. 

When the five minute timer is up I skim the top of the jelly.  There will be a bit of foam, but not nearly as much as if you hadn't put the butter in.  Set a jar next to the pot, put the funnel on, and funnel jelly into the jar leaving 1/4 - 1/2 inch head space.  Move on to the next jar until all are full.  (I usually have a little bit left over that goes into a jar that will go in the fridge for breakfast the next morning.)

Once the jars are all full I wipe the rims of the jars with a hot damp dishrag.  You may need more than one, depends on how messy you were filling the jars.  *smile*  Next take a lid out of the water and dry it off with a clean towel, set it on the jar, take out a band, dry it off, then screw it on the jar.  Make sure it's tight.  Set jars upside down on a clean towel.  Repeat until all jars are tended to.  Place the jars 1 inch apart.  Once the last jar is flipped upside down set the timer for 5 minutes. (This helps seal the lids.) After 5 minutes flip them right side up and in an hour or so you'll hear little pops.  Check all the lids in a few hours to make sure the lids are sealed.  If you can press on the lid gently and there's some give then you need to pop that one in fridge and use within a few weeks.  There's no need to process the jelly/jam if your jars, lids and band are sterile and hot and your jelly/jam is hot.  I know what some people say.  I have done this for a few years now and never had a problem with my jelly/jam.  And I make a lot of jelly and jam!  The instructions on the box of Kroger pectin even tells you to do it this way.  Why waste the time and energy when you don't need to? Trust me.  It works.  Enough said?  Good.  *smile*

Phew. That was a process, but let me tell you it gets easier each time you do it.  I would much rather do several batches in a row this way because it becomes like an assembly line.  When my jars are inverted for 5 minutes I take the time to wash out the pan for the jelly, wash the jars and get everything set up for the next batch.  It's so rewarding when you're done to see all those pretty little jars lined up on the counter.  I love it and I hope you do, too!


Laura-Lisa said...

Your peach jelly caught my eye on the barn hop. I made some peach jam last week but will try making this jelly with the peaches I have left the only thing I was wondering was about the cyanide in the peach pits. Does it cook out and is there any trace of the cyanide in the jelly and is it safe for kids to eat?

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Good point Laura-Lisa,

It's perfectly safe. You can read more about it here: http://www.drgourmet.com/askdrgourmet/peachpits.shtml

Hope that helps!


MommySetFree said...

Great Idea! I love the fact that you can stretch those peaches even farther! What a neat method to try on the counter too - so much quicker. I am going to try something similar when I get my peaches this year. (I usally use honey or white grap juice instead of sugar in my jams. )That shouldn't be a problem should it?

I also like to through a peach pit into each one of my cliced peach jars too. I read it in an old canning book, they said it helps maintian flavor so I always did it. I alays have more than I need though - and now I'll put those skins too good use too! :-) Thanks!

MamaHen said...

I did this with my peaches last year. I made peach preserves and jam, and then made jelly with the pits and peels. And it was good too!

I never water-bath my jelly either. And it has always been fine.

Kristin said...

This recipe sounds great. I can't wait to use it later this summer when I can peaches. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Stubbs said...

Hi Carmen, Your jelly is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!! I love how it looks in your jars. Thank you for putting this up for us!

Blessings to your day sweet friend,

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Mommy set free...I'm not sure about honey or grape juice in place of sugar. I've never tried it. I'd love to, though. Let me know how it works! : )

Mama hen...glad someone else has tried it, too! Safety in numbers! LOL!

Homestead Wife...I hope you like it! Let me know how it turns out! :)

Linda...thank you for your kind words. Want to hear something funny? I found a new feature on our camera that I had no clue was there so I've been clicking left and right and enjoying some better pictures! (The camera is 5 years old! LOL!) Better late than never, right?!

Blessings all,

Megan @ Restoring the Roost said...

Looks so yummy and beautiful too! I'm just beginning to learn to can- made my first strawberry jam not too long ago. I would love to make peach jelly! Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

Journey11 said...

I never knew to save the pits and peels for juice! So many I have tossed to the compost pile... Your jelly is so pretty--I love the color! :)

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Megan...it's super easy! You'll love it!

Journey11...I never new either until I read it in that Amish cookbook. Who knew?!

Blessings ladies!

Anonymous said...

Do you have any concerns about sprays on the peaches, or are yours organic?

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

You know, I didn't even think about it when I went to the store. Apples...must be organic. Grapes...sometimes. Bananas...nah. Peaches...*blank look*. After some thought, though, maybe next year when I buy peaches they will be organic. However we've eaten peach jam and jelly made from store bought non-organic peaches for years and so far we're all good. *twitch* *shudder*

; )


Tracy said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and new to canning. This may be a silly question but can you can other jams this way or just peach?

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Not a silly question at all Tracy! Yes! You can can any jam or jelly using the flip upside down for 5 minutes method! Just make sure your jars and lids/bands are sterile (boiled for at least 10 minutes) and very hot when you put your hot jam/jelly in!


Mrs. H. said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! I made 10 jars of jelly after making 14 jars of peach jam...with stuff that I was going to throw away - amazing!! :-)

MommySetFree said...

I just did this too. Thanks so much for sharing it! I just made 15 pints from thre skins and pits I would have thrown out! The flavr was wonderfully nutty! Mine didn't set up thickly though. Not sure what I did. I am going to throw it back int he pot, add some more pectin and try processing it again some time next week (I hope), because I think it is worth it. I reduced the sugar - do you think that had anything to do with it?

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Mommy Set Free, I have read in various places that reducing or increasing sugar, fruit, or pectin with a jam or jelly recipe will yield odd results. I'm not sure that more pectin will help, but I would give it a go again. Let us know how it goes.


Anonymous said...

Ello *waves* am so excite to have found ur blog :D my bf n I are renting this tiny little country house (my first time on my own so excited!) I've never been big on fruit but we have a peach tree an apricot tree and a tangerine tree and I wanted to learn how to make jelly... The step for the juice... Can I do the same thing with the apricots n tangerines? And if one were to use honey how much do u think would be needed to achieve the same effect as with sugar? Thank u :D and have an awsome season <3

Many happy hugs I send,
From ur brand new canning friend,

Auntie Rita said...

Hi Carmen....what size is your "one package" of pectin? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I've read and found it to be true that it can take up to 2 weeks for jelly to set. So don't reprocess too quickly.

Anonymous said...

Do the peach skins need to have a little flesh on them still? I typically peel my peaches by boiling then putting them in an ice bath so I don't usually have flesh left on the skins that way. I am just wondering if this is going to work for this recipe?

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

Good question!

When I peel the peaches I use a paring knife not the slipping the skin off method. I would say there should probably be some flesh on the skin. If you give it a try without let me know how they turn out!

Carmen :)

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