Pickling Trials 3: Beets & Jelly

DSC02574Pickling has taken over my life!  I have done little else for 2 weeks and although it has been great, I now have a desperate need for more pantry space.

I had a relaxing long weekend at the cottage… by which I mean I spent the majority of the time in the kitchen, and the rest reading. I made some great burgers, I candied some bacon and walnuts for a salad (cause even salads need bacon sometimes!), we did a fondue and had amazing corn.

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God I love the cottage!

My pickling project was beets this time.  After the success of the beets in the egg recipe I wanted more beets but with a simpler flavour.  I found some tiny beets at the farmers market and they were so cute, of course I had to pickle them.  And then there is the beet jelly!

I have never been a jam fan. It has this feeling of being soggy. No matter how much I want to enjoy it, it’s always disappointing. Jelly is another story, however.   Not quite sure what it is, but I love it. Grape jelly on croissants or red pepper jelly on soft cheese, there is always a fantastic way to eat it.  I’m really excited about my beet jelly.

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I found golden beets as well as purple beets at the market and I love the golden ones and they’re not easy to find. I used the golden ones for the salad and I kept the red ones, some large and some mini, for the picked beets.

I used a recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook for the pickled beets.  I left out the bay leaf, since I really don’t like the flavour. Well, actually, I was going to do two jars with and two without but I forgot. 😛

I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ll post an update with comments.

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In the beet recipe is where I first discovered the existence of beet jelly, but she provided no recipe despite many requests in the comment section.  I set out to look for a recipe and discovered that 90% of them ask for the addition of grape Jell-O or a Kool-Aid package! eww. Those ingredients seem so contrary to the idea of preserving fresh veggies that I just couldn’t add them.  And besides, then my jelly would taste like grape Jell-O and as much as I like Jell-O, this was beet jelly!! Its supposed to taste like beets, right? No. Apparently even the straight juice recipes taste like berries anyways, so yet again, why add those flavouring packets?

It took a while before I found enough recipes to take a cross section of them and omit the crazy flavourings.

Jelly Recipe

4 cups beet juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
6 cups sugar

Add the beet juice and lemon juice into a large pot. Stir in the pectin.

Bring to a rolling boil over, high heat.

Add all the sugar at once and bring back to a boil for about a minute. (Be careful, mine kept bubbling up and threatening to overflow… until it did.)

Remove the pot from the heat and pour into hot, sterilized jars.  Leave about 1/8″ headspace.  Place the hot lids on and tighten the rings.

Water bath times vary for the jelly, as far as I read, and some even say you don’t need to do it at all.  I processed these for 20 minutes – mostly because I’m paranoid.

I got almost 8 pint jars full.  I was only short by about 1/2″ on the final jar, but I didn’t boil it. I will just eat that one first.

I am still not sure how long it should take to fully set. I was expecting overnight, however the next morning it was thicker, but not set.  A friend said it could take weeks but most online guides suggest only a couple hours – faster it you put it in the fridge or freezer.  I have many jars so maybe I will put some in the fridge. *crosses fingers* I just hope it works!

*UPDATE*

It’s been a couple of weeks now and the jelly is pretty much set, but I’m not confident enough to try it yet 🙂

 

*UPDATED UPDATE*

I’ve tried it. See here.

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One thought on “Pickling Trials 3: Beets & Jelly

  1. Taste Test Pass! | Sweet N' Tiny September 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm Reply

    […] finally opened a jar of my beet jelly on Labour Day weekend at the cottage.  I had no idea what to expect.  I refused to believe what […]

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