This post is sponsored by Mighty Nest: An online store that provides you the ability to research, get advice and buy natural, organic and non-toxic products all in one place… plus they donate 15% of your order to your local school!
It happens every year around this time – my family starts to run out of our favorite berry jam’s that we preserved in the spring and summer of the previous year. I can usually tell we’ve run out of my boys’ favorite jam when they come upstairs dragging their feet after I’ve sent them to fetch a new jar from our pantry in the basement. They usually have a sad face about them as they slowly hand me a jar of peach or apple (It’s their least favorite).
Even though you can’t do a lot of jamming in the winter time, it doesn’t mean you can’t jelly it up!
That’s right… jam or preserves is made by using crushed fruit. So it ends up being filled with the fruit pulp. Jelly on the other hand is made with fruit juice. So it ends up being clear and gelatinous. Jelly, in my opinion is a great option for winter canning (well, besides marmalade and citrus curds but I’ll save that for a later post) since you can readily buy great organic fruit juices free of sugar at your local organic markets.
My boys’ favorite juice to make into jelly is an organic concord grape juice from TJ’s. Since I use Pamona’s Universal Pectin in all of my jam and jelly making, canning in the wintertime, couldn’t be easier.
But it can get better!
You see I partnered with Mighty Nest. I love their online natural and organic store, especially that they donate 15% of your purchases to the local school of your choice.
Weck jars are a popular canning in jar in Europe. They are unique in that they consist of a tempered glass jar, a rubber gasket, a separate glass lid, and metal clamps to hold the gasket and lid in place.
They’re becoming quite popular within the United States and Canada especially since their lids are BPA free – a reason why Mighty Nest carries Weck jars in their online store.
I’ve had my eyes on Weck jars for a long time but was honestly a little bit intimidated by them. I never understood how they could possibly get a good seal with a rubber gasket. So I was excited to put up a small batch of grape jelly in them. I was so pleased that the process couldn’t have been simpler.
How to Can Jelly With Fruit Juice in Weck Jars
If you’ve been a reader at My Humble Kitchen for awhile, you’ll know that I use Pamona’s Universal Pectin in my jam and jelly making since, in my opinion, it’s the easiest method and one that allows you to naturally sweeten or use less organic sugar in your preserve.
To make the grape jelly it literally takes about 10 minutes. I prefer to sweeten my jelly with organic sugar to ensure a thicker consistency. For jams, my sweetener of choice is honey. To make the grape jelly, all you need to do is heat up the fruit juice in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, add the calcium solution and lemon juice, and then bring that to a boil. Once the grape juice has come to a boil, add 2 cups of organic sugar mixed in with the pectin and whisk through for 2 minutes. That’s it. Simple!
You’ll know the jelly is done by giving it the spoon test. Scoop out a spoonful of the grape jelly and immediately place it on top of an ice cube to cool.
You’ll know the jelly is ready to can when it thickens and sticks to the spoon. (It makes a great taste test as well 😉
I was even happier to find out that using Weck Jars is just as easy as using a regular canning jar with bands and lids. Before you start using them, make sure to give the jars and lids a quick wash in the dishwasher to sanitize them.
Just like you need to heat up regular lids, you’ll want to make sure to heat up the rubber gaskets before using them. I placed them in a small saucepan simmering on my stove top while I made my jelly.
Once the jelly is done, fill the jars with the grape jelly and leave about a 1/2 inch headspace.
Once filled, all you need to do is carefully remove a rubber gasket from its simmering water and place it on the underside of the lid. It should fit right around the edge. Then all you need to do is place the lid with the rubber gasket onto the jar and snap it in place with the metal clips.
That’s it. Then process it as normal in a water bath. I processed the grape jelly for 10 minutes.
The most difficult part for me about this entire process was not being able to hear the “pop” of a sealed jar. With the Weck jars, you will need to let them cool completely before you can test for a seal.
Once cooled, snap off the metal clips and hold the jar from the top lid. It should be sealed and stay in place.
If the lid pops open, the seal did not work and you must save your jelly in the refrigerator. I had success with all of mine.
Weck jars are a bit more expensive than regular canning jars that we’re used to; however, they make beautiful gifts and you can use them for so many other things than just canning jam or jelly. You can use the larger sizes to store grains, legumes, or pasta. Or, you can even use the tulip jars to keep your sweeteners… really, they will refine a pantry.
Winter Canning 101 - How To Make Jelly With Fruit Juice. This is a simple recipe to make a small batch of jelly in the winter season.
- 4 tsp pectin powder (from Pamona's Universal Pectin)
- 2 cups organic sugar
- 4 cups organic fruit juice
- 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
- 4 tsp calcium water (from Pamona's Universal Pectin)
- Stir pectin into the sugar until completely mixed.
- Combine the fruit juice, lemon juice, and calcium solution in a pan and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the pectin-sugar mixture and return to a boil; stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes.
- Check firmness with a jelly test
- Ladle into jars and seal in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Giveaway From Mighty Nest!
I’m excited to share that Mighty Nest is giving away a set of 12 Weck canning jars and a set of 6 Weck tulip jars to a My Humble Kitchen reader!
To enter, check out the rafflecopter below!! You have a lot of chances to win!!
Mighty Nest is making a difference to many local communities by donating money and supplies to schools throughout our nation. The coolest thing is that you can help support your school by signing them up to start receiving donations.
So, in the comments below let me know if you like to can in the winter time? Have you ever used a Weck jar? What are your favorite fruit juices to make into jelly?
This post is sponsored by Mighty Nest but of course, I only partner with companies that I fully endorse and believe in. All thoughts and opinions are my own,