I know you are probably scratching your head at the thought of making jelly from cucumbers. Just keep reading because I thought the same thing. My sister first introduced me to cucumber jelly many years ago. She had a bumper crop of cucumbers and had made all the pickles and relish she could stand. When she found this recipe, she knew she had to make it because cucumber jelly is a delicacy.
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Cucumber jelly is for when the Queen of England is coming for a visit. It is not a jelly for mixing with peanut butter for when the kids have a friend over. This sweet but yet a little tangy jelled concoction is for eating with meats and cheese and crackers. While we are not the cheese and cracker type family, my husband and son love eating it with venison and pork.
There is one thing you MUST do when making cucumber jelly. Use the CERTO brand liquid pectin. When we livined in Montana, our local store did not have CERTObut had Mrs. Wages liquid pectin. I used it instead, thinking it was the same thing. But is wasn't. I had seven jars of liquid cucumber and I had to order CERTO to redo the batch. While I can't promise if you use CERTO your jelly will set up, you will have better results if you do.
If you have a juicer, use it! If you don’t have one, chop the cucumbers in your food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, shred the cucumbers using a box grater.
One thing I don’t do is peel my cucumbers. I love the color the peeling gives to the finished product. If you want to peel yours, you can add a couple of drops of food coloring to the juice.
Those without a juicer… you want to shred or chop the cucumbers until they are mushy and releasing the water. Place the pulp in a jelly bag or cheesecloth or even a flour sack towel. I use a flour sack towel for my straining when my jelly bag is being used.
This is the JELLY BAG I use.
This is the JUICER I use.
Those with a juicer… cut the ends off and run through the juicer. Keep the pulp and strain it for any extra juice.
I juice my cucumbers and strain the pulp overnight in the refrigerator so I don’t have to squeeze the pulp. Squeezing too much will cause your jelly to be cloudy.
Also, if you have never made jelly… you need a large pot/dutch oven. I use an 8-quart pot for all my jelly making. This gives enough room for that fast, rolling boil that will try to boil over if you’re not careful.
While I used to hot water bath all my jellies, I don’t any longer. Now, I just make sure all the jars, flats and lids are hot when they are put together. Once they are together, I turn the jars upside down on the counter to cool. The lid should seal while upside down. When you go to turn them over, check and if they are not sealed when you touch the center of the flat, just store that jar in the refrigerator.
Sometimes, cucumber jelly doesn’t set up within a few hours like other jellies. It may take a little time. Depending on your batch it could take a couple of weeks. But when you have finished ladling your jelly into the jars, you should be able to tell if they will set up. If your pot has a thick sheeting gel of the last bit of liquid, your jelly will be fine.
I’m not sharing images of my jelly making because I’ve done that HERE. I do cucumber jelly the same way.
This recipe makes 7 half-pint or 4-pint jars.
Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Jelly
- 3-4 large cucumbers = 2 ½ cups of cucumber juice
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 7 cups granulated sugar
- 2 pouches CERTO
In a large pot, mix juice, vinegar, and sugar and bring to a boil; being careful to not allow the mixture to boil over. Boil for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in both pouches of liquid pectin. Return to heat and boil for 1-2 minutes more.
Skim the foam off the top with a spoon. Ladle into jars. Place flats and rings on the jars and turn upside down. Once cool enough to handle, turn the jars over.