Texas Jelly Making

I have been making jellies all my life but now that I am retired I decided to make jellies that I had never made before.  Then I decided to take this a step beyond by making a goal of making jelly, jam, or butter from every available fruit or jelly making material in the state of  Texas. In  2010 I made 21 different jellies, jams, and butters.

So what is on tap for 2011?  With a freezer full of jellies and juices I have decided that this time around I have to be more selective. I can only make one batch of each type of jelly. These are some of the jellies I want to make: Mesquite, Loquat, Papaya, Jalepeño, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Chile Pequin, Tomato, Mustang Grape Jam and Jelly, Turk’s Cap, Redbud Basil, Zucchini Jam, Mulberry, Texas Persimmon, Mayhaw, DewberryRosehip, Crab Apple, Apple, Pear, Apricot, River, Chickasaw and Mexican Plum, Farkleberry, Anacua, Blueberry, and Groundcherries. I am always looking for locations to pick fruit so if you know of places to pick any of the above or have ideas of other fruits let me know.

*Note: Any plant in red I have since made into jelly.

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10 Responses to Texas Jelly Making

  1. Harriett says:

    Ground cherries-I’ll have to try that. When is the latest we can plant them?I haven’t even got my seeds for the spring yet!

    • One needs to think tomatoes when one thinks of ground cherries. Their culture is approximately the same. In the case of ground cherries you can wait to put the seeds directly into the ground as soon as you can put tomato plants into the ground. I started mine early just so I can get a jump on the season.

  2. Zelinda says:

    Naveen and I can help empty your freezer if you need to create space for this year’s jellies!

  3. Denise Kocourek says:

    I have a Blanco Crab apple tree full of fruit I don’t know what to do with. In past years the fruit has never ripened past a blush. Are you familiar with the tree? I live in San Antonio.

    • Yes, I am familiar with the Blanco Crabapple tree. It produces a hard green fruit when ripe. The fruit will start to fall to the ground when ripe. The seeds inside ripe fruit will be black like the apple seeds from regular apples. If they are not ripe then the seeds will be white. Even after cooking the fruit will not soften much. I have seen and used many crabapples but this is the only one that stayed green even when ripe. It should make a fine jelly. It is recommended you wash the skin of the fruit with hot water to remove a thick, greasy covering.

  4. Angier Peavy says:

    I am making farkleberry jelly today. There is plenty here in Deep East Texas.

  5. Jason Montier says:

    I have just started into jelly making and have made some of the obvious, fig, orange marmalade, pear with craisens, and two i am pretty proud of, prickly pear cactus fruit and American Beautyberry. I found several farkle berry bushes with fruit in east Texas. It is hard to get enough to make s batch of jelly. Any suggestions? May have to add them to pear jam as a compliment rather than a stand alone. Only two cups, and not very juicy.

    • Jason-
      I too have had occasions where I haven’t had enough fruit of one type to make jelly. You have several choices. One, you could freeze the fruit in a freezer zip lock bag until you acquire enough berries (about 8 cups) or as you mentioned, add it to another fruit. Pear jelly is mild enough in flavor that you would be able to add the juice of the farkleberry and still taste the farkleberry. If they are not juicy you will need to cook them in enough water to cover them and then squeeze the juice out of them. Then add the juice to the pear jelly. It will of course change the color of your pear jelly, which should make for a pretty color. You could also add it to pyracantha, Turkscap, Barbados cherry, Apple, pomegranate or mesquite. Those are all available in Central Texas right now but I am not so certain if they are available to you in East Texas. Let us know how it turns out.

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