Sunday, September 7, 2008

dogwood jelly

A success! Very tasty.

Corneliancherry Dogwood Jelly (edited 9/13/2011)
(make sure the fruit you gather is from Cornus mas. I'd advise looking it up in a plant ID book and making sure you have the right kind of tree before you embark on eating any of the fruit)
Makes 6 cups of jelly
  • 4 packed cups of Cornus mas fruit (measure after you pass whole fruit roughly through a food processor or blender)
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 packet of SureJell
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • canning jars (with two-part lid)
  • Fine mesh strainer
Instructions: Set fruit and water to boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Meanwhile, boil water and wash canning jars all over with boiling water.
When fruit and water mix is at a boil, turn heat down. Measure sugar and SureJell together into a bowl, then sprinkle into fruit mixture while stirring. Stir until sugar and SureJell are fully incorporated. Add cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes more.
Strain fruit mixture through fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Press on the fruit solids to remove as much liquid as you can. Ladle jelly liquid into canning jars. To clarify the jelly further, you can use cheesecloth or a small strainer as you ladle the liquid into the canning jars at this step.
Immediately as you fill each jar, wipe each jar rim with a moist cloth kitchen towel and twist the lids just into place. Wipe the jars down of any jelly liquid which has dripped on the outside. As the jars cool, continue to gently tighten the lids. Some of the jars may seal on their own (you will hear a *pop* as they seal and the lid will be concave on top). If you want to be sure your jars seal, process in boiling water per directions in SureJell packet or your canning equipment. Be sure to refrigerate until use any jars that do not seal. Cool on the counter for 30 minutes before storing.


EEJ said...

So exciting to hear what you're up to! Miss you much around these parts!

jeanK said...
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Jamie said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe -- My friend and I are planning to make this quite soon -- from her Summer Star dogwood.

Liz said...

Happy dogwood-jelly making, Jamie! I do want to point out, however, that you should make sure you are using fruit from the right kind of dogwood. 'Summer Star' is a Kousa Dogwood(Cornus kousa)cultivar. Cornus kousa also has edible fruit, but the fruit is very very different. It is a pink or light red spherical fruit with tiny little spines, many small hard seeds inside and pulp around those seeds which tastes a little like mango. I've never heard of people using the fruit of Cornus kousa in cooking, but you could try. The results would just be very different from mine. The dogwood fruit I used came from Cornus mas, Corneliancherry Dogwood. Cornus mas has small yellow flowers in early spring, and olive-size red fruit in early autumn. The fruit is intensely sour, deep red all the way through, has one hard seed, and is high in vitamin C. Cornus mas is not quite as common as Cornus kousa. I'm not sure about Connecticut, but here the Cornus mas fruit have almost gone by. Those you will find on the trees now (they will mostly be on the ground) will be almost purple, and have a deeper, more mellow flavor.
Some recipe suggestions: I would add the whole packet of Sure-Jell, and cook the jelly for 10-15 minutes longer. I enjoyed the jelly I made but I think I'd like it to be more set next time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to ask this question so many years later. Do you pit the cornels before cooking? I want the fruit in the final product and don't understand how to get it off the pits after cooking.

Liz said...

No, you do not have to pit the Corneliancherry Dogwood fruit before cooking. The pits are taken care of during the straining part. Another note: You can also follow the instructions on the SureJell packet for fruit, which calls for four cups of fruit (not a problem in the fall when Corneliancherry fruit is plentiful). Again, always make sure you have a positive identification for the tree from which you harvest! :)

Betty said...

Liz, I just made the Jelly and found I had 3 cups of fruit so I added 2 extra cups of water and followed the directions with additional sugar and a whole box of Sure Gell, and it taste great, but it did not jell. So what can I do now? my email: thank you so much.

tammy said...

hi I just made Kousa dogwood berry jelly and it is pink and delicious!I used only the ripe reddish fruit (soft ones). I used apple peels for pectin

Elizabeth Knox said...

Betty, it sounds like the problem is the two cups water. When you say "2 extra cups" does that mean 3 cups (1 as called for above plus 2 cups extra)? You should only need 1 cup of water as the fruit will release liquid as it cooks. It can be difficult to adjust jelly recipes up or down and the instructions for using SureJell always advise against it. From what you say, it would have been better to use *less* water, not more. You would have wanted to add something like 2/3 or 3/4 cups water. How much water would depend on how ripe your fruit was. The riper the fruit (Corneliancherry Dogwood fruit gets deeper red as it ripens), the looser the set of the jelly. Jelly-making experts (my uncle is one, I'm not to the point of writing my own jelly recipes, though I do with jam which is a bit more forgiving) make a point of gathering a combination of barely-ripe fruit for set and riper fruit for flavor. I'm sorry I didn't get to your posted question sooner, and better luck next time!

Anonymous said...

I have been making Cornus mas jam for the past 20 years and it is probally our favorite.
It needs no pectin as the fruit has plenty. It also need no spices.

We use it as a special treat with the turkey at Thanksgiving.