Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pickled Beets & Beet Juice Jelly

A friend of mine was very generous recently and not only taught me how to make pickled beets, but also gave me all of the beets from her garden that she didn't want. Needless to say I was just tickled because they are one of my all time favorite foods. I grew up eating them. She also sent me home with a recipe for Beet Juice Jelly so that I could use up everything from the beets. While that may sound very unappetizing, I would encourage you to try it if you are able to. My daughter who hates beets with a passion tasted some of the jelly and thought I was lying about it having beet juice in it! I'll give you both recipes for pickled beets - the one my friend uses, and the one that my grandma uses.

Virginia's Pickled Beets

Scrub beets and trim. Cook in pressure cooker until tender (about 18 minutes for decent size beets). Unfortunately I don't remember how much pressure she used. Remove peeling from beets and slice and set aside. Strain beet juice through a coffee filter and set strained juice aside.

Put sliced beets in a large stockpot. Using 1 part beet juice, 1 part vinegar, and 1/2 part sugar, create enough liquid to cover beets (2 cups beet juice, 2 cups vinegar, 1 cups sugar). Bring beets & syrup to a boil. Fill hot, sterilized jars with beets and then add enough syrup to fill the jar, leaving about a 1/2" to 3/4" of headspace. Seal jars and process in cold pack canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let cool.

Granny's Pickled Beets

Prep as above. For the syrup, use 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups beet juice, 1 cup sugar, 3 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon mustard seed, and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed. Process the same as above.

Beet Juice Jelly

4 cups red beet juice, strained (what you don't use to make syrup when doing pickled beets)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 package pectin
1 package Kool-aid (grape, cherry, black cherry, or raspberry)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a hard boil. Add 5 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil again and boil for 3 minutes. Ladle into hot jars and seal.

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