My Two Bits

Red Cream Soda Jelly

on a biscuit

Yupppp! You read the title correctly.

Red. Cream. Soda. Jelly

What you need (ignore my background mess!):

ingredients

  • 3 Cups Sugar

  • 1/2 Cup Water

  • 1 – 12oz can of Red Cream Soda (or Cream Soda that isn’t Red, you’re jelly will be sort of golden in color) I used Barq’s Red Cream Soda (obviously)

  • 2 – 3oz pouches of Sure*Jell CERTO® Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin (2 pouches come in the box pictured above)

  • 1-2 pats (about 1T each) Unsalted Butter (Yup, I forgot to put the butter in the picture)

Other Stuff you need:

  • Clean Sterilized Jars (my batch made two 12oz jars, one 4oz jar, and one 4oz jar that is about 3/4 full, so about 34oz worth of jars)

  • Lids & Rings

  • Canning Funnel(s)

  • Jar Lifter

  • Magnetic Lid Lifter

  • Ladle

  • Labels

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This makes approximately four 8oz jars (In this batch I was able to make two 4oz jars – 1 of which is 3/4 full – and two 12oz jars).

Prepare your jars by washing, rinsing, and then sterilizing them.  I put my washed & rinsed jars on the jar rack and immerse in water I already have boiling in my ‘canning pot’, then let them boil for about 10-15 minutes. OR you can run them through your dishwasher with the heated dry cycle on.  Leave the jars in the dishwasher or pot of hot water until just before you need them.  Then – if you boiled them – use your jar lifters to remove them from the pot, dumping all that good, hot water back into your canning pot, and set the jars upright on a towel/dishcloth near your stove. If you have them in the dishwasher remove them and set them upright on a towel/dishcloth near your stove.

I have 3 canning funnels so I usually go ahead and set them on top of 3 of the prepared jars so I don’t have to do it later.

Prepare your rings and lids in another small/medium pot of boiling water.  Turn the heat off and keep the rings and lids submerged in the hot water until needed.

Cut the tops off your pectin pouches and stand up in a bowl or measuring cup so they’ll be ready when you need them (this makes it a whole lot easier!)

 Next I set the timer on my iPhone (or the built-in timer on my stove-oven) for one minute, so it is ready for me to hit ‘start’ later.

In a large pot (I use my 5qt chicken & dumpling pot so I don’t accidentally boil over) combine the sugar, water, and Red Cream Soda; heat over medium until all the sugar is dissolved.

At this point I like to add a pat (1T) or two of unsalted butter to reduce foaming. (Yes, I forgot to include the butter in the picture of the ingredients), stir until butter is melted.

stir butter

Then raise the heat to medium-high to high and stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil (a rolling boil is a boil that you can’t ‘stir down’/it keeps bubbling while you stir it)

Immediately squeeze both pouches of pectin into the mixture in your pot, stirring constantly to combine and return to a rolling boil.

Now hit the start button on your pre-set timer!

Boil for one (1) minute, stirring constantly.

rolling boil

When the timer goes off immediately remove from heat and ladle into prepared jars.

ladle in

Once the jars are filled you’ll see that a skimmy/foamy film is on the surface. Yuck!

yuckyfoam

Use a spoon and skim all that yucky stuff off! Discard the yucky stuff into the trash!

skim

Now, with a damp paper towel or dishcloth wipe the rims of the jars; as well as the outside part of the jar where the rings screw on. (Ignore my fat fingers that desperately need a mani!)

wipe rims

Using a magnetic ‘lid lifter’ – that’s the scientific term for it 😉 – get the flat lids out – one at a time – and place on top of your nice clean jar rims.

getlids

lids

Next screw the rings down rrrrreeeeaaaaallllly tight – or as tight as you can get them.  Use a towel (or your shirt tail like I did) to hold the jar to tighten the ring… the jars are HOT!

rings

Now check the water in your canning pot.  Get it to a boil and use your jar lifters to GENTLY lower each jar into the pot and onto the jar rack inside, ONE by ONE.

put in pot

Be sure there is at LEAST 2″ of water over the tops of your jars! Add water if needed (like I had to)

in pot 2 inches

Return to boil and put the lid on your pot

cover

Set your timer for TEN MINUTES for locations below 1k feet elevation; increase by +5 minutes for 1k-3k feet elevation, +10 minutes for 3k-6k feet elevation, +15 minutes for 6k-8k elevation, and +20 minutes for 8k-10k elevation. (yeah, so what? It took me 7 seconds to grab my phone and take a picture and yes, I *know* I dribbled jelly on the front of my stove…. I’ll clean it later)

10minutes

Hurry up and fix a cup of coffee, put your feet up for the remaining time, and enjoy it

coffee(Gratuitous shot of LSU coffee mug – it’s gameday afterall)

DING DING DING DING! Choke a bit on your coffee and jump up and turn that dang timer off!  Turn the eye on your stove off too while you’re at it.

Remove the lid from the pot (use a pot holder of some sort so you don’t burn yourself on the hot metal handle); then carefully one by one, and using your jar lifters, remove each jar……….

take out

…… and set on a dishcloth/towel to cool completely

set out to cool

Now you get to sit back and listen to the sweet ping ping pinging of the jar lids that confirms that they sealed properly.  You’ll also be able to see a slight indentation in the middle of the lid(s) which will also verify they are good and sealed.

It *MAY* take several hours for the jelly to completely and properly set up.  It should look like this when it has completely finished setting up:

tilt1

tilt2

If, for some reason, after several hours (sometimes up to 24 hours!) your jelly has not set up properly (looks runny/liquidy) you can do THIS.

Now go to your computer and make some pretty labels for your jars of Red Cream Soda Jelly and stick them on the jars!  Be sure to add a date to the labels; homemade jams & jellies have a two (2) year shelf life.

ACKKKK! Help! My Jam/Jelly Didn’t Set Up!

If for some reason your batch of  jam/jelly doesn’t set up properly (Be sure to wait a full 24 hours!) You can do the following:

(Yes it’s a PITA, but who wants to waste a batch of jelly?)

*Do not remake more than 8 cups of jam/jelly at one time!

Prepare jars, lids and rings as you normally do.  Set aside.

You will also need:

First you need to do a trial batch. So, take the rings and pry the lids off the jars of jam/jelly that didn’t set up.

  • Next use a liquid measuring cup and pour (yes from those same jars) the liquidy jam/jelly into the measuring cup until you have 1 cup of unset jam/jelly (the rest of the unset jam/jelly should be set aside and refrigerated until later).

  • Now pour the 1 cup of unset jam/jelly into a medium (so it doesn’t boil over) pot and bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when you stir it) over HIGH heat stirring *constantly*.

  • Add the sugar, lemon jice and liquid pectin to the pot and stir to blend well.

  • Return to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring *constantly*

  • Remove from heat.

  • Ladle/pour into prepared jar(s).

  • Skim off the yucky foam.

  • Wipe jar(s) rim(s) and on the outside of jar(s) where the rings screw on.

  • Place flat lid on jar, then screw the ring on tightly.

  • Process in boiling water bath in canning pot for 10 minutes for locations below 1k feet elevation; *increase by +5 minutes for 1k-3k feet elevation, +10 minutes for 3k-6k feet elevation, +15 minutes for 6k-8k elevation, and +20 minutes for 8k-10k elevation.

  • Remove jar(s) from canning pot and set on dishcloth and let stand for 24 hours to check set.

Refrigerate opened pouch of  CERTO® Liquid Fruit Pectin as well as the unused unset jelly/jam.

After the 24 hours is up and you’ve checked the set on the trial batch (hopefully it set up properly – you can tell by tilting the jar to see if the jelly/jam is, well, ‘jelly-like’/’jam-like’).  If so, you now get to process the remainder of the batch! (Oh Goody!)

  • Follow the recipe above, using the listed measures of sugar, lemon juice and CERTO® Liquid Fruit Pectin for EACH 1 Cup of unset jam/jelly.

  • Prepare jars, lids, and rings.

  • Go ahead and preset a timer (on your smart phone or on your stove) just don’t hit the ‘start button’ yet.

  • Measure unset jam/jelly into a large pot.

  • Bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when you stir it), hit the ‘start button’ on your timer and boil 1 minute, stirring *constantly*.

  • Remove from heat

  • Ladle into prepared jars.

  • Wipe jar rims and on the outside of jars where the rings screw on.

  • Process in boiling water bath in canning pot for 10 minutes for locations below 1k feet elevation; *increase by +5 minutes for 1k-3k feet elevation, +10 minutes for 3k-6k feet elevation, +15 minutes for 6k-8k elevation, and +20 minutes for 8k-10k elevation.

  • Remove jar(s) from canning pot and set on dishcloth and let stand until cool & set.

  • Label Jars

Discard ANY leftover CERTO® Liquid Fruit Pectin!

(Pictures to be added later)