Making Bread Spreads Using Commercial Pectin - Multiple Recipes!

by James R. Coffey
Spring is the time to make delicious, easy fruit spreads that will preserve the flavor of spring all year! First, I'll teach you how to make your own spreads - then share many fantastic recipes! This column includes recipes for Cranberry Apple Jelly, Pomegranate Jelly, Dandelion Jelly, Rhubarb Jelly, Raspberry Rhubarb Jam, Blueberry Rhubarb Jam and More!

General Directions For Making Bread Spreads Using Commercial Pectin

Wash and rinse jars (this can be done using a dishwasher). Prepare canning lids according to manufacturer’s directions. Measure sugar and set aside for later use. This is where the two pectin methods now change.

Liquid Pectin Method

Measure prepared fruit or juice into a heavy saucepan. A 6 to 10 quart saucepan is ideal.
Open liquid fruit pectin and stand pouch(es) in measuring cup or a glass. Add sugar and lemon juice, if used into fruit. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium high to high heat, stirring constantly. At once, stir in pectin. I like doing this off heat and then after I add the pectin I return it to the heat. Stir and bring back to a rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down). Boil hard 1 minute to 1 minute 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim. Finish as directed below.

Powdered Pectin Method

Measure fruit or juice and put into a large saucepan. Add powdered pectin and lemon juice (if needed). Bring fruit mixture to a full boil over fairly high heat. At once, stir in sugar. Bring back to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down). Boil hard 1 minute to 1 minute 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim. Finish as directed below.

I usually cook mine , using the old time jelly test as well before removing from heat.. After you have skimmed the product, fill clean jars, leaving 1/2” headspace. The U.S.D.A. only uses ?” headspace. I feel this is not enough. Wipe jar rims, seal and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. The U.S.D.A. only recommends 5 minutes, but they require you to sterilize your jars prior to filling. I have never sterilized my jars and prefer to do the 10 minute time and use just washed, clean jars. This can be done as you choose. If doing fair competition, follow fair rules as to headspace and processing as some are just too picky about this area.

The following two recipes are what I call anytime jellies and are made with bottled unsweetened juices. The last one is Dandelion Jelly for this time of the year and also a rhubarb jelly is given as it is also seasonal.. It tastes like honey and is a good use for the weed!

Cranberry Apple Jelly

2 C. cranberry juice*
2 C. apple juice*
1 T. lemon juice
1 box dry powdered pectin
5 C. sugar

Make according to Dry Pectin method. Yields: 6 half pints. You may substitute bottled cranberry raspberry juice for the cranberry juice and apple juice (4 C. total juice).

Pomegranate Jelly

3 ? C. unsweetened pomegranate juice (I use the bottled)
? C. lemon juice (I use Realemon)
6 ? C. granulated sugar
1 pouch (3 oz.) liquid pectin, such as Certo)

Make according to Liquid pectin Method. Yields: 6 half pints.

Dandelion Jelly

Pick 1 quart of dandelion blossoms without stems attached. Do not wash, but pick in a clean animal free area. Make sure it is a weed killer free area too! Add 1 quart water to flowers and cook 3 minutes. Drain, reserving juice. Strain through cloth or coffee filter to remove any residue. Then make the jelly as directed below:

3 C. dandelion flour liquid (juice)
1 t. orange or lemon extract or 1 T. lemon or orange juice
1 box powdered pectin

Bring to a boil. Add 4 ? C. sugar. Bring to a boil and boil 3 to 5 minutes. Finish as directed in General Directions above. Yields: 6 half pints.


Rhubarb is the earliest of all Spring time fruits. Rhubarb is actually a vegetable and was known as pie plant in the early days. Do not eat the leaves as they are poisonous. Rhubarb is usually available until early July, if weather permits.

Rhubarb Jelly

This comes from Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service. They have excellent materials for making bread spreads.

5 C. prepared juice
1 box powdered pectin
7 C. sugar

Use red strawberry rhubarb. Do not peel. Cut in pieces and put them into a saucepan. Cover with water and cook until soft (10 to 15 minutes). Strain juice as usual and prepare according to the Dry Pectin Method. Makes 8 to 10 half pints.

Rhubarb Jam

5 C. rhubarb
3 C. sugar

Let stand overnight. Then cook slowly 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, add 1/3 C. strawberry gelatin. Fill jars, leaving ?” headspace. Wipe jar rims, seal and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes 5 to 6 half pints. This recipe also won a Blue Ribbon in the Cecil County Fair.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

You may use frozen thawed strawberries. Do not drain the juice, if you do. OR you can wait until fresh ones come in by May or June.

2 C. crushed strawberries
2 C. chopped rhubarb
1 box powdered pectin
? C. lemon juice
5 ? C. sugar

Make as directed above using Powdered pectin method. Yields: 6 half pints.

Raspberry Rhubarb Jam

2 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen raspberries, thawed
1 pound fresh rhubarb, cut in 1 inch pieces (4 C.)
1 box powdered pectin
5 C. sugar

Make according to the Dry Pectin Method. Yields: 6 half pints

Blueberry Rhubarb Jam

4 C. ground rhubarb (cut rhubarb in short pieces prior to grinding)
4 C. ground blueberries
14 C. sugar
1 (6 oz.) pkg. liquid pectin, such as Certo

Combine rhubarb and blueberries in a large pot. You may vary the amounts of fruit as long as a total of 8 C. of total fruit is used. Add sugar and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pectin. Return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute to 1 minute 15 seconds. Remove from heat and finish as directed above.

Rhubarb Conserve

A conserve is a fancy preserve with either nuts or raisins added.

10 C. diced rhubarb
8 C. sugar
3 oranges
1 lemon
? C. nuts (pecans,walnuts or almonds)

Place the rhubarb in a heavy saucepan with the sugar. Add the juice from the oranges and lemons, which have been strained. Remove peel from both oranges and lemons and put them into a saucepan. Cover the peel with cold water and bring to a boil. Drain and rinse in cold water. Repeat the cooking and rinsing twice more. This removes all trace of bitterness. Chop, dice or grind the peel and add to the rhubarb mixture. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until sufficiently thickened (about 40 to 60 minutes). A few minutes before removing from the heat, add the nuts. Finish as directed above. Yields: 12 to 14 half pints.

All information and recipes in this column are true and correct to the best of our knowledge. The author and Mid Shore Life disclaim any liability in connection with the use of this material.

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