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Chokecherry jelly made from wild fruit

Food safety starts with cleaning!

Wash hands for 20 seconds

  • Wet hands under hot running water. Add lots of soap.
  • Rub and wash back of hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails for 20 seconds.
  • Rinse well under running water.
  • Dry with paper towels.
  • Use paper to turn off the water faucet.

Clean and sanitize sink and counter tops

  • Wash counter tops and prep sinks with hot soapy water.
  • Fill squirt bottle with 1 quart water. Add 1 teaspoon of unscented regular chlorine bleach or ¾ unscented ultra (6% sodium hypochlorite) chlorine bleach. Or use commercially prepared cleaner and follow directions on label.
  • Spray counter tops and sink with bleach solution. Let air dry.
  • Wash hands.

Clean as you go

  • Wash dishes, utensils, cutting boards, etc. in hot soapy water.
  • Let air dry.
chokecherry tree

Chokecherry jelly recipe

Jelly is made from fruit juice and sugar. A gel structure will be achieved only if the mixture contains sufficient pectin. Often commercial pectin will be added to obtain this desired structure. Extraction of juice from the fruit is the first step in the preparation of fruit jelly.

Steps for extracting juice

  • When extracting juice for pectin-added jelly use ripe chokecherries.
  • Wash the fruit in cool running water.
  • Add water to cover the chokecherries.
  • Bring to a boil in a covered stainless steel or enamel kettle and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until soft.
  • Cool and strain through cheesecloth or a damp jelly bag.
  • One pound of chokecherries will give close to 2 cups juice.

When extracting juice from chokecherries, DO NOT crush the seeds. These seeds contain a cyanide-forming compound which can cause illness or death if eaten in large amounts.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chokecherry juice
  • 6 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 box (2 pouches, 6 ounces) liquid pectin
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Procedure

  1. Pour juice into large heavy saucepan. Add sugar and stir to mix.
  2. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Bring to a full, rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir and skim off foam for 5 minutes. Add almond extract.
  4. Pour jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint or pint jars to 1/4 inch of top. Seal with two-piece canning lids.
  5. Process in a boiling water bath. The time in the boiling water bath varies by elevation. For Minnesota, it is 5 minutes for half or quarter pints and 10 minutes for pint jars.

Isabel D. Wolf and William Schafer

Reviewed in 2018

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