Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mesquite Bean Jelly

The recipe:

a big handful of yellow (ripe) mesquite beans
4 cups of sugar
4 cups of bean juice
1 package of Sure Jell (may need extra depending on how thick you want the jelly to be)

The process:

Pick beans off tree that are ripe (they rattle when ripe) but be sure to check for holes. You don't want those beans. If you choose them you will end up with no telling what kind of bugs all in your house! Wash the beans, cut them into smaller pieces (2 to 3 inches), and put them in a pot covered with 7 cups of water.

Mesquite Beans

Boil for twenty minutes. Let beans cool and strain the liquid through a cheese cloth or if you don't have one a coffee filter will work. Discard the beans. The liquid should be the color of green tea and have a good clean slightly sweet earthy smell. The picture below is scratch 'n sniff, so you can know what it should smell like. ;)

Mesquite Bean Juice

Put 4 cups of the juice in a clean pot, add 1 package of Sure Jell and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Be sure to watch that it doesn't boil over! Add 4 cups of sugar (if you want to use half or none be sure to pick the correct Sure-Jell product), bring to a boil, and boil for another minute. One way to check if the jelly is ready is to use a metal tablespoon that has been sitting in a glass of ice water. Take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency you want, then you know it is ready. Otherwise, add a small amount of extra Sure Jell and boil for another minute.

Pour into clean canning jars and seal while it is hot. Refrigerate for 24 hours to let it gel and use within 6 to 8 months.

Mesquite Bean Jelly

The results:

Mesquite Bean jelly on toast

Yummy! It is tangy and sweet and not like any other jelly I have ever had. I made it with only one packet of Sure Jell and it was a little runny compared to commercial jellies. It wasn't anything that was unacceptable though.

This was the first time I have ever made jelly and the first time I have tasted mesquite bean jelly. Have you ever had mesquite bean jelly or made it yourself. Is there anything you can suggest to make it better?