10 Oz. Bag frozen cherries, about 2 cups
1/2 Cup plus 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider; more as needed
2 Cups plus 1 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. plus 2 Tsp. Powdered Pectin
1/4 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Granulated sugar
1/2 Tsp. Citric acid
2) To make cherry jellies, in a medium saucepan, combine the cherries and 1/2 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the the cherries are soft. Simmer about 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes off the heat.
3) Pour the mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer that is sitting over a large measuring cup or bowl. Press down on the fruit to extract as much juice as possible. You should get about 1 1/4 cups. If short of the 1 1 /4 cups, add apple cider to make up the difference.
5) In a medium saucepan, mix the pectin mixture, fruit puree, rest of cider, honey and remaining 1 /34 cups plus two tablespoon of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes. Whisk constantly. To test if help is the right consistency, spoon about a 1/4 teaspoon of the jelly mix on a plate. If you are able to peel off the drop of jelly in one piece after it has cooled for 30 seconds, it is ready. If you can’t peel it off, let it cook for another minute or so. Test again.
6) Once ready, using a spatula, scrape the jelly into the prepared baking pan. Let it site at room temperature overnight.
7) Lift the jelly out of the pan using the “handles” created by the overhanging parchment paper. Turn it out on a cutting board and remove the parchment paper.
8) Cut the jelly into small squares or use small cookie cutters to get different shapes.
9) In a large bowl, mix the 1/2 cup of sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid. Toss a couple of jellies at a top in the sugar mix and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
NOTES: These cherry jellies are an easy candy to make and are perfect for gift giving. The recipe makes a lot and you can change the flavors by changing the frozen fruit you use. I used cherries in this recipe which were perfect for Valentine’s Day gift giving but I’ve also made them for Christmas with cherries and cranberries. Raspberry jellies are another favorite around here so keep them in mind for another time.
You will be using a couple of ingredients that might not be in your pantry. Pectin and citric acid are need in this recipe to get the texture right and to preserve the candy and keep it from going bad as it sits. While they may be unfamiliar to you, they are easy to find online or in some stores in the baking aisle. I’ve given you links to where you can purchase those. They aren’t expensive and they are needed in this recipe. The good news is that you are going to love making these and will be making them often, so go ahead and invest a few dollars in those ingredients.
With that said, this is a pretty easy candy recipe. You don’t need a thermometer and will only do a simple test (outlined in the recipe) to see if the jelly is ready.
You will let this set overnight to let the candies solidify. They will be soft and jelly like but firmer than jello. Once you cut up the cherry jellies using a knife or hour favorite cookie cutters, it is just a matter of rolling them in the sugar and citric acid mix to coat. They will shimmer and look so pretty. You can serve them on a platter, or in a coup glass at parties. I love boxing these up as gifts around the holidays too.
For different flavor ideas, do consider these:
And for a slightly different way of finishing this candy, rather than rolling in the sugar, you can dip them in melted chocolate so you have chocolate covered jellies. I used to love those as a kid. Joyva made these chocolate covered jelly rings that we’d have on special occassions. So good.
If you like this recipe and want to try your hand at other easy candy recipes, check these out:
Dave’s Salted Black Licorice Caramels
Swirling Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Dark Chocolate & Pomegranate Cups