Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pickled Beets and Jelly

We pulled quite a few beets from the garden. Wonderful, red yummies. I love pickled beets. Before they can be pickled though, they have to be par boiled. After we were done par boiling, we had several quarts of beet water or rather beet juice. A few cups had to be used in the pickling, but after that there was still quarts of it left. We really didn't want to waste it. I stood there and looked at the juice and thought, beets are tasty and kind of sweet...what about making jelly with it?

After some consideration, we decided this would be an excellent use to put the left over juice to. I jumped on the computer and looked up beet jelly, and sure enough, even though we had never heard of such a thing and beet jelly seemed like a new invention to us, someone else had already thought it. Not only had it already been thought of, but there were numerous recipes for it. I was thankful for the recipes. I would never have thought of putting a half a cup of lemon juice into it.

So armed with a recipe and the beet juice, we went to work. It turned out wonderful! A pretty red in the jar, it tastes absolutely fantastic! I am so happy we didn't have to pour away all of that juice. We had planned to use some in soups and stews and breads, but even with that there would have been too much. Now all of that extra is sitting in jars in the pantry. 

I can tell I will need to grow more beets next year. Not only are pickled beets a much loved food, but now beet jelly is a favorite and often requested jelly. My three year old was trying to eat some straight out of the jar with his hands.

A pint of beet jelly and a quart of pickled beets. The jelly looks so pretty with the sun shining through it.

From the other side. 

Beet Jelly:

4 cups beet juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
6cups sugar
1 box Sure Jell

You can either slice and cook six large beets until done in enough water to make 4 cups, or you can save the juice after par boiling beets for pickling. If you use the water left over from par boiling, save back a beet to cut up and toss in the water and boil until soft for richer color and flavor.

Boil plain water, pour into clean bowl and place lids and rings into the hot water and set aside.

Add lemon juice to the beet juice. Mix in Sure Jell and bring to a boil. Stir in sugar and stir constantly until it reaches a boil again. Continue stirring while it boils hard for 3 minutes. Ladle into clean jars (really? Do clean jars really need to be mentioned? Is there someone actually out there that would ladle it into dirty jars?) Fish lids and rings out of their bowl of hot water, place them on the jars (after making sure to wipe clean the rim and threads on the jar). Water bath them for 5 minutes. Remove from water bath and let cool.

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  1. That is a wonderful use of the beet juice.

  2. I couldn't believe just how tasty it turned out.