Can you use home-canned juice to make jelly?
Each year before I start putting up garden produce, I go through the previous years canned and frozen goods to see what is left and come up with a utilization plan as I HATE to waste food. Last year’s muscadines were prolific to say the least! I still have 16 quarts of juice that need to be used before the one-year canning mark. So what to do?
Are there safety concerns when using home-canned juice to make jelly?
I knew that there was no safety concern in using the juice, but over the course of the year, the juice color has faded to a pinkish brown so I had doubts that jelly made from it would look appetizing. Staring at so many jars, I decided to give it a whirl! I elected to use powder pectin and followed the cooked grape jelly instructions included in the package. Popping the lid off the first jar, I immediately noticed the sweet aroma of grapes. (what does this tell a person if they smelled something else?? So far so good, I thought.
As the mixture hit the final rolling boil, doubt crept back into my mind as the foam created looked like a coffee with heavy cream- you know the light cocoa brown that is delicious in a foamy latte, but not so much as a jelly. It was too late to stop now so I finished the batch and ladled it into pint jars hopeful, that the end product would be in some way useable.
What's the verdict?
With the last teaspoon in the stockpot, I ventured a taste and was delighted by the full grape flavor homemade muscadine jelly is known for. Then the magic happened! As the jelly cooled, a lovely purplish pink hue with nice clarity began to shine through. A few hours later, I checked again and sure enough- the jelly was setting and the color was indeed attractive! So, can you use home canned juice to make jelly? Absolutely!
Need a great muscadine jelly recipe?
Get Howard County FCS agent Jean Ince's muscadine jelly recipe and tips!