100% Food Storage: Making blueberry cherry jelly from frozen fruit

100% food storage.  Last trip to the grocery store was November, 2023.  Today is March 17, 2024.

I believe in wasting no food when there are other options.  Yesterdays canning task came about because last summer I had bought a bag of wild blueberries that were really awful - and not really good for fresh eating, as well as a bag of cherries that were also just not good; very blah.  I tossed them into the freezer for use in 'something else' down the line. 

I also do this with the last apple or two that has been ignored and starting to get old looking (peel, chop and freeze) and I pick out all the peaches from our favorite frozen fresh fruit mixture, because the peaches are never, ever ripe tasting or sweet and always sour and ruin the rest of the mix (strawberries, mango, papaya and pineapple). 

Yesterday I opened the freezer and decided it would be the day to use up these bags of yucky blueberries and bland, awful cherries.  I'd make jelly.  The fruit(s) would be great with all the sugar used to make jam and jelly - it would really bring out the flavor.

Regarding the cherries.  Normally you have to clean, pit and cut them.  Because they had been frozen and were softer than fresh, I started just taking off the stems and cutting them with my paring knife, which was a lot faster than pitting them.  But then I realized since I was making JELLY and not JAM, I was going to mash them a bit and boil them and then strain them through cheesecloth anyway... so I wasn't going to bother cutting.  Instead I took off the stems and just cut them in half quick and tossed them into the pot. 

To the cherries, I added the frozen wild blueberries as well.  Looking at them, I figured I wouldn't have quite enough juice to work with according to the directions, so I added a bag of my frozen apples as well.  As it all cooked down, I mashed with a wooden spoon.

Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. 

Poured everything into a cheesecloth lined bowl and tied the ends so I could hang it up to drip and drain.

When it stopped dripping I squeezed it all around to get more juice out - turning and squeezing until I had nothing but pulp left in the cheesecloth.

The juice equaled right at 5 cups.  Since I was mixing cherry and blueberry, I went with the 5 cup average.

Juice according to package directions
Sugar according to package directions
Low Sugar Sure Jel Pectin

Boil for 1 minute

Ladle into jars.
Wipe rims.
Top and add rings.
Water bath the jars 5-10 minutes.
Remove and let cool.
Remove rings.
Wipe down.




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