[nafex] Jelly Cone

Ginda Fisher ginda at concentric.net
Sat Jul 21 18:00:39 EDT 2001

Tom, My recipe calls for cooking first.  I used an old "Joy of
Cooking".  Crush enough currants that the bottom of the pot is wet, and
heat gently (berries, stems, and all) for 5 minutes.  Then increase the
heat to moderate, and continue cooking until the fruit is soft and
colorless.  I don't remember if it boils, but the cell walls break open,
allowing the juice to flow.  The color change is the result of the cells
breaking down.  Then I strain the mess through cheese cloth draped over
a big sieve.  If you wet the cheese cloth first, it doesn't absorb too
much juice.  (If you don't, it does - the difference is pretty
obvious.)  I've never tried a fine steel strainer, but that would
probably work fine, too.  Pressing the goo with the back of a large
spoon extracts a little extra juice but yields cloudier jelly.  (I
always do it, but keep the last bit in a separate batch, as I enjoy the
beautiful clear ruby red of the jelly.)

I cooked the juice up with a little less sugar (by volume) than juice. 
I have found that red currants jell very nicely with no added pectin -
if fact, if you cook the jelly too far it cools to be quite stiff.  I
have no idea if the pectin is in the skin, the pulp, the juice, or the
stems, but after cooking, it certainly gets into the juice.

Ginda Fisher

Thomas Olenio wrote:
> Hi,
> I used one of those strainers, but the recipe called for the currants to
> be  crushed and strained before cooking.
> Guess I should have cooked them first as you suggest, as crushing them raw
> gets out very little juice.
> Quick question... Where is the pectin in currants to be found?  The meat
> of the berry or in the skin of the berry?
> I only added back half of the pulp, and to be safe half a bag small box of
> pectin to the cooked jelly.  Hope it sets up properly.
> Last question...  Do Crandall currants contain as much pectin as regular
> black currants?
> Thanks,
> Tom
> --
> Thomas Olenio
> Ontario, Hardiness Zone 6a
> On Sat, 21 Jul 2001, Don Yellman wrote:
> > For Tom Olenio:
> >
> > Tom:    Have you ever come across a jelly cone --- a perforated aluminum
> > cone which is placed on a tripod stand, and operated by a hefty wooden
> > pestle?   I have had one for a number of years, and after I tried it,
> > dropped cheesecloth and jelly bags entirely.  The cones are widely
> > available in local Co-op stores here, and several garden/kitchen
> > equipment catalogs.  Don't know about N. of the border, but I would
> > expect them to be available there as well.  Cost runs about $19 USD,
> > which is probably more than it is worth, but it is a well-made unit that
> > will last for years to come.  If you use the pestle firmly, you get a
> > little bit of pulp in the juice, which we consider a plus as we do not
> > strive for crystal-clear jellies, just flavorful ones.
> >
> >     Of course you have to heat the berries (just to boiling) to get the
> > juices flowing, but after that you can pestle the results down to a dry
> > residue, then dump it out.  We use the cone for jellymaking with grapes,
> > raspberries and blackberries.  You can use the jelly cone right on the
> > kitchen countertop with a minumum of mess.  I would expect using a home
> > built mini-press, even of good design, to be a fairly messy operation,
> > and I think you would still want to heat the berries to remove the
> > maximum amout of juice.
> >
> > Best Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
> >
> >
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