Saturday, September 29, 2012

Autumn Olive Recipe - Autumn Olive Jelly


There are several sources online for a red, pulpy autumn olive jam (Elaeagnus umbellata). We make this jam,   but it does not keep for very long, separating into pockets of  whitish goo and red pulp after a few months.

One of the characteristics of the autumn olive berry we have noticed is that if you run them through the food mill raw, the resulting juice will separate into two distinct layers: one opaque, red and pulpy, and one translucent, light pink, and tart. If you first cook the berries, then run them through the food mill, the pulp will be less likely to separate from the juice. However, even using the cooked berry pulp results in a separated jam after some time. The red pulp of the berry contains the lycopene, but the translucent juice is what adds the puckery element to the flavor. We decided to make a less-nutritious, but clear, tart jelly from the juice alone by milling the berries raw and hanging the resulting juice in a jelly bag to further clarify the juice. The result is a tart and jewel-like jelly, filled with just a few speckles of red pulp. The resulting leftover, thick  lycopene-rich pulp that is separated from the juice is used like tomato paste in dressings or sauces, or we add it to the previously removed seeds to make wine. Considering the abundance of this invasive berry, even just discarding the pulp is a possibility.

Autumn Olive Jelly                makes 6 pints

16 c. raw autumn olives
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 box (1.75 oz) Sure*Jell low sugar pectin

1. Run the raw autumn olives through a food mill to remove the seeds and small stems, passing it through at least twice.
2. Hang the resulting juice and pulp in a jelly bag for an hour. You need to have 4 1/2 cups of the light pink, clear juice. Discard the pulp in the jelly bag.
3. Mix 1/4 c.of the sugar with the pectin in a small bowl, and then whisk it into the juice in a large pot.
4. Bring the juice to a rolling boil, and add the rest of the sugar all at once, stirring.
5. Bring the jelly back up to a rolling boil, and boil 1 minute. Remove from the heat, skim the foam from the top, and ladle into hot, sterilized jars. Process 15 minutes in boiling water. Cool.


4 comments:

wildcraft diva said...

Amazing colour. I've never seen this plant before, although I think it grows here....I'll have to do a search.

Kristina said...

I always like to see what you create.

Can you tell me how to harvest my black walnuts for baking breads etc? I only have a bagful this year, and have not used them for cooking, but may use some for dyes this season too. I would love any tips. We have a black walnut tree on our own property.

The 3 Foragers said...

When harvesting the black walnuts, the staining outer green hull has to be removed. We do that by running them over with the car or stomping on the hull. Then we wash the nuts, wearing thick rubber gloves and with a wire brush to remove the soft bits. Dry and age the nuts for a month or so in a dark, dry place. Crack them with a hammer on a hard surface. It is a huge pain to do that, then use a nut pick to get bits of meat from the nuts. Store the shelled nuts wrapped well and bagged in the freezer, they tun rancid quickly.

Kristina said...

Thanks!