I first saw striped jelly in a Facebook group and thought that it looked absolutely beautiful. There was only a photo, no instructions. The person who shared the photo said that her daughter had made some up for a local farm market. The daughter had planned to price it the same as the other jams, but the mom convinced her to charge extra because of the labor involved. Mom was right again, as the striped jelly sold out almost immediately, even at a much higher price.
I was inspired to give striped jelly a try, so during the season, I saved and froze different types of fruit juice and puree. When my sister came to visit last weekend, she asked if I had any extra jams or jelly that her granddaughter could use for a school fundraiser. Since trying new ideas is always more fun when you have a “partner in crime”, I dug out my fruit stash and my sis and I made up 15 jars of beautiful fruit striped yumminess. Here's how we did it.
By the way – if you don't have a stash of fruit puree, remember that you can always use fruit juices or frozen fruit for jellies and jams.
Striped Jelly – Tips for Assembly
Use a tall, thin jar with straight sides to better display the stripes.
I chose 12 ounce quilted jelly jars. You could probably also use wide mouth pints or straight sided 8 ounce jars, but the added height of the 12 ounce gives more room for stripes without needing as much jelly to fill it as a pint jar.
Figure out how much jelly and jam you want to make for the number of jars you need to fill.
We made five single batches of jam and jelly, three low sugar and two full sugar. This divided evenly between 15 jars to make striped layers that were just over a quarter cup with less than a pint leftover that didn't fit in a layer. We based layer thickness on the recipe that made the smallest amount of product, and having enough total product to fill all the jars started. The full sugar recipe made more jelly, so we kept a couple “spillover jars” to maintain even layer thickness.
Make single batches of jam or jelly at a time.
There's a sweet spot where the jelly or jam is warm enough to pour, but not so hot that it will melt and blend with the layer below it. You can to cook one layer at a time, two at max, or the jelly will get too cool to pour nicely. Jam tends to be firmer, so layers are less likely to bleed, but doesn't let the light shine through. Jelly gives an appearance like colored glass, but is more likely to blend the layers.
Decide on complimentary jam and jelly flavor combinations.
In our case, we wanted fall colors, and I had certain purees stashed, so we worked with what was available. Our layers are (from bottom to top):
- Low sugar honey apricot jam
- Full sugar currant jelly
- Low sugar lemon ground cherry jelly
- Full sugar currant jelly
- Low sugar honey cinnamon apricot jam
We repeated flavors because I had more of that type of fruit, and because I felt the flavors worked well together. You could do all different flavors if you like, or as few as two different flavors.
Other possible flavor combinations (or use your imagination):
- Blueberry, lemon and pear
- Strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb and apple
- Flower jellies – lilac, violet and dandelion
- Grape, pear and pineapple
Make sure your recipes have enough pectin.
I modified my full sugar lemon ground cherry jelly to make it low sugar for our striped jelly, and I should have used a bit more pectin. Our center yellow stripe didn't set up quite as firm as I would have liked, so we ended up with the layers in some of our jars looking more like the contents of a lava lamp. Still tasty, just not tidy.
Pour the new layer of jelly onto a spoon held over the previous layer, or gently ladle in onto the top of the previous layer.
If you try to pour one layer directly on top of the previous layer, odds are that they will mix. You can diffuse the pour with a spoon, or simply add each layer by the spoonful – your choice. This is the tricky part, and requires some patience. You should allow each layer to cool and set a little, but not completely
When jars are filled to 1/4 inch headspace, process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner.
Getting something to look funky is no reason to ditch safe canning practices. Unless you intend to eat all your striped jelly within a week or two, you should process the filled jars for ten minutes in a boiling water bath canner. Always keep your jars, implements and kitchen surfaces clean and sanitary.
What goes better with jelly than fresh baked homemade bread?
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