Rhubarb jelly

Based on this recipe. I ended up with too much rhubarb juice, so I used the remainder instead of lemon juice in my iced tea. Very good! (I have occasionally had this jelly fail to gel. In this situation, I either use it as a syrup on pancakes or ice cream or use it in iced tea.)

It’s always a bit hard to tell if home canning is frugal, although the results are delicious. (And lower carb than I can get at the store.) I think I paid $2.49 for the no sugar needed pectin – I have one more package then I need to keep an eye out for good prices as it can sometimes be over $3. The bottled lemon juice cost about a cent, the rhubarb was free from my garden, the splenda cost about 24 cents, the sodium cyclamate cost about 19 cents = 3.92. (No idea how much 15 allspice cost – I bought the jar of allspice years ago.) I got 3 8-ounce jars + a little bit, so it worked out to about $1.30 per jar. The seals aren’t reusable, so if I didn’t already have those on hand that would inflate the cost to about $1.50 per jar.

  • 8 cups (2000 ml) rhubarb cut into 1″ pieces, about 3 1/2 lb (1.6 kg)
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 15 whole allspice (I’ve made it with and without and haven’t noticed a difference)
  • 1 pkg (49 g) No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
  • 6 Tbsp. generic Splenda
  • 9 packets sodium cyclamate sweetener (equivalent of 6 Tbsp.)
  1. Place 4 clean 250 or 236 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water, and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside; heat lids in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.
  2. Purée rhubarb in a blender or food processor. (As soon as it starts pureeing, it gets liquid quickly so you don’t need a specialty blender like a VitaMix to do this.) Pour purée into a dampened Jelly Bag or cheese cloth –lined sieve suspended over a deep container; squeeze to extract as much juice as possible. Add lemon juice to rhubarb juice; measure 3 cups (750 ml). If necessary, add water to reach required amount.
  3. Put allspice in juices. Stirring constantly, bring juices to a boil over high heat. Strain or spoon allspice from juices. Whisk in No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin until dissolved.
  4. Add sweetener and return mixture to a boil.
  5. Stirring frequently, boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Skim foam.
  6. Quickly ladle jelly into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jelly. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner ensuring jars are covered by water. Repeat for remaining jelly.
  7. When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.
  8. When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  9. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
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