Pyracantha Jelly from Pyracantha coccinea (firethorn, scarlet firethorn Rosaceae -rose Family-)
Once you have seen a pyracantha bush you will not mistake it for anything else. The colorful orange-red berries stab at the sky and leave you breathless. They advertise their presence. For someone who is always looking for fruit, that is good news. This year here in Texas the drought has meant that many fruits wither were smaller or they failed to stay on the plant. Amazingly, this is even true of the pyracantha. The bushes I had intended to harvest the red berries from failed to produce any fruit at all. So it is great that the plant stands out to let me know where it is. You can be whizzing down the highway and see this plant. It produces so many berries that it has spread itself to many places beyond where it was planted. My biologist friends remove it from all the parks they oversee. However, it is an easy fruit to identify and pick. I read that others have problem harvesting it because of the thorns on the plant. I use my leather gloves so the thorns don’t bother me at all. I pull the fruit into my bucket a handful at a time. The berries can vary from pale orange to bright red. Additionally, the later in the season you pick the fruit the darker they tend to be. The first year I harvested the fruit the jelly was a light yellow color. This year it is a dark orange color.
After bringing the fruit home I needed to remove all the leaves and stems mixed in with the fruit. After washing the fruit I added 8 cups of water to 8 cups of fruit. The fruit was boiled until the berries could be crushed with a potato masher. Then the berries were additionally crushed with a food mill. The juice from this was then poured through cheese cloth. If you don’t get enough juice you can add some more water to the pulp and boil the fruit again.
Bring the juice to a boil and then add the sugar and lemon juice. Then add the no sugar needed pectin. Bring to a hard boil for 1 minute. Let cool and then place into freezer containers. Place in the freezer when the contents are cool. To me it has a taste that reminds me of rose hips or apples.
8 cups of fruit producing 4 cups of juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 pkg no sugar needed pectin
Let me know what you think of this jelly if you make it.