Making Jelly with Gelatin – Failing into Success

So as you have probably read in my earlier post, I have played with Alise’s new toy – Ball® FreshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker. Reading a few articles I decided I wanted to test making jelly with gelatin. Now, before I get too far let me say this… do not use gelatin in the Freshtech machine. It is not designed for that. And here is why…

I used a basic recipe that I found only that had similar proportions to recipes that came with the machine.

Dark Cherry Jelly

3 cups dark cherry juice
3 packets gelatin
2 Cups Sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice

So after the procedure for the Freshtech, I let it sit, but within 10 minutes it was boiling over and on the counter. Of course, it wasn’t just liquid spilling but a sticky mess running over the counter so I was frantically moving item as the spill spread quickly over the counter. I did unplug the machine and take off the lid which stock the spillover, but it was a mess. And with only minutes before Alise was due to come through the door, I rushed to clean up my mess. Now, because I like to experiment and I noticed there was liquid left in the pot… I poured the remaining liquid into containers. I got 2 small jars (one pictured below).

Peanut Butter (crunchy) & Dark Cherry Jelly

Well, the mess cleaned up, the embarrassment wiped away, and now, I have 2 jars of who-knows-what. I let it sit for a day before I checked it, and noticed that it had solidified in the jar. So I thought, “Great, I was successful.” But, then I opened the jar. It was solid, but not in a spreadable way. It was solid like your Aunt’s worst Jello mold. As you can see from the picture, it did not spread it just balled up as the knife tried to smear it on bread. Well, then the question becomes, “What do I do with it?” I know exactly… first the cheese pairing. I could easily cut it into pieces that could be placed on cheese for a compliment when a sweetness is needed. I’ve been told that I can also throw it into certain dishes that may need some sweetness and thickening… like chili, a lamb sauce, but I will leave more creativity to better accomplished chefs. Even though I did not get what I was attempting to make I learned something. I had to think about it in new ways. I had to adjust and it was worthwhile. Cheers to experimenting, failure, and learning. This is how I get to the point of making something extraordinary.