December 8, 2011

Jaboticaba Jelly No. 2

Remember guys when I made my first lot of jaboticaba jelly.   I certainly didn't have a problem with the jelling, that's for sure.  Also, Pa and Mitch thought it was too sweet.  The fruit was definitely ripe.  They are a funny thing the jaboticaba fruit.  If you recall, they can be green as green and appear to have ages to go before they ripen.  One week later, they are full, big, purple as purple can be and I was scratching my head wondering when the hell did that happen.  A few days later, and they've fallen off tree or left fermenting on the tree or the birds have helped themselves to the lot.   Bottom line, there isn't much time once the fruit has ripened.  You need to be prepared and you need to be on time.

Next time I think I'll make a batch a little earlier, if I can read the blessed things correctly, and see if that makes a difference.  Just to see how it goes.  Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with my second batch.  The first jell I made was way too firm.  Almost like a jelled lolly.  I don't want that.  A proper jelly should spread nicely and break up easily.  Mitch suggested to take out the added pectin stock that I added to the first batch.  You also recommended I reduce the sugar to 60%, didn't you Mitch.  That was a good thing.

Follow the method exactly as for the first jaboticaba jelly.  The measurements for the second batch were:

2.200mls jaboticaba juice
1340 gm castor sugar (60% ratio to the juice)

The only other thing I would add to the first recipe is; boil till you hear and see the mixture 'plopping heavily' and lift the wooden spoon high above the mixture to allow some of the jelly to drip.  If it's almost set, the last couple of drips on the spoon should be thick and not falling into the mixture.  Your wooden spoon is a good way to read the readiness of the jelly.  Also, run your finger down the back of the spoon to see how well the jelly separates and has jelled.  I find this so much easier than doing the "sample on a saucer", that all the books seem to recommend.

Don't hesitate to remove your boiling jelly if it looks like it will spill over the sides of the pot; it will!  Remove from heat; allow the mixture to drop; place back on heat and keep boiling.  That's the thing with jell.  It needs to be watched and you absolutely must not have a lot in the pan to begin with.   That's why I had to make my jelly in two batches.  This pot is perfect for a roughly two litre quantity.  Anymore and I'd be in trouble.  The picture above is not far from jelling point and I am using the rapid boil method. 

Oh just one more thing.  This fruit appears to be really quite acidic.  It really is rather like a grape and they sure can be acidic.  Perhaps next time only a little bit of lemon or lime juice needs to be added, if at all, and the apples I added with the jaboticaba fruit could also be reduced or even eliminated.  Anyhow it all needs to be played with till I reach the perfect texture and taste.  I must consider these things next year.

Oh and another.  Philomena and Romano came over and collected half a bucket of fermenting fruit underneath the tree.  Remember.  Mano distilled it with 'his recipe' and made almost a litre of jaboticaba grappa.  Gotta love our Romano.  Wasn't it amazing!  So clean on the palate.  I could of drunk the bottle and I never feel that way about Romano's normal grappa.   Next year, we must lay out a tarp underneath the tree to collect any fallen fruit.  Hopefully we'll have buckets of the fruit so our darling Mano can merrily distill heaps of the stuff.

Anyhow, I know you'll be proud of me Mitch.  I was cleaning up and found this scribble on some paper.  I almost threw it out.  You roused on me telling me to update and record exactly what I did when I made the better batch.  So here it is my boy.  Not to mention, it'll be easier for me next time round.


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