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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Fruits > Chokecherry Jelly Made From Wild Fruit

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Chokecherry Jelly Made From Wild Fruit

By Isabel D. Wolf and William Schafer

Revised 2011 by LouAnn Jopp, Extension Educator — Food Safety.

Jelly is made from fruit juice and sugar. A gel structure will be achieved only if the mixture contains sufficient pectin. Often commercial pectin will be added to obtain this desired structure. Extraction of juice from the fruit is the first step in the preparation of fruit jelly.

  1. When extracting juice for pectin-added jelly use ripe chokecherries.*
  2. Wash the fruit in cool running water.
  3. Add water to cover the chokecherries.
  4. Bring to a boil in a covered stainless steel or enamel kettle and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until soft.
  5. Cool and strain through cheesecloth or a damp jelly bag.
  6. One pound of chokecherries will give close to 2 cups juice.

* When extracting juice from chokecherries, DO NOT crush the seeds. These seeds contain a cyanide-forming compound which can cause illness or death if eaten in large amounts.

Chokecherry Jelly Recipe

  • 3 cups chokecherry juice
  • 6 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 box (2 pouches) liquid pectin
  • 1/4teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Pour juice into large heavy saucepan. Add sugar and stir to mix. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Bring to a full, rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir and skim off foam for 5 minutes. Add almond extract. Pour jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars to 1/4 inch of top and seal with two-piece canning lids.* Process in a boiling water bath for 6 minutes (10 minutes for cold, unsterile jars).

* The use of paraffin is no longer recommended. Minnesota Extension advises the use of two-piece lids.

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