I saw this recipe in the December 2009 Everyday Food and it called to me. It brought me back to being a child and having a package of Chuckles. Peeling back the wrapper. Giving my Mom or Dad the black one (yuck). Eating them in order of flavor from least to most favorite. Sharing them with my sister, taking half each. How wonderful to be able to create these little beauties on my own.
Nothing was going to deter me from making these – not even Ernie proclaiming…..why, why, why. (Note to self, must remember to listen to Ernie occasionally!) Now for flavor pairings… definitely cherry, the red Chuckles were my favorite. I wanted to try lemon and lime and orange, but the jelly end of those made that dream impossible. I settled for cherry, grape, peach and pear. For the price of these jellies, I could have bought the factory that makes Chuckles, banned the black ones and had a package delivered each and every hour.
The process was fun. Accomplishing the task was pride inducing. The end result – well, not so much. Far too sweet for me and a little cloying after the first flavor, so trying each was just not an option.
- 1 1/3 cups fruit juice
- 4 packets powdered gelatin
- 2 1/2 C sugar
- 2 C fruit preserves or jam
NOTE: I made, grape, cherry, peach and pear. I had read that folks had mixed flavors of juice and jams, but I went for straight flavors, cherry/cherry, grape/grape, etc. WIth the exception, perhaps, of the Welch’s, I used the best quality preserve and juice I could find.
Pour 2/3 cup of juice into a small bowl and sprinkle powdered gelatin over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes.
NOTE: I sprinkled the gelatin over the juice as the juice in the saucepan started to bubble. This way they both finished at the same time.
In a medium saucepan, pour in remaining 2/3 cup of juice and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add preserves and whisk until preserves are combined. Bring this mixture back to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes until think and syrupy. Add gelatin mixture and whisk until gelatin dissolves.
Pour through a fine mesh strainer into and 8×8 square baking dish.
NOTE: You really can pick any type of jam or preserve, this straining bit takes out any pieces of fruit.
Let cool. Refrigerate until set.
NOTE: I couldn’t figure out how to prevent all those air bubbles. The first had them just in the center, so I then tried moving the strainer as I poured, that just moved the bubbles all around! Not to worry though, the bubbles are covered by the sugar.
When ready to serve, cut jellies into 1″ squares. Place 1 cup of sugar in a pie plate and toss cut fruit jellies in sugar.
NOTE: I didn’t see the reason for this. So I experimented and sugared some and let them sit. They absorb the sugar AND start to melt. Totally not good!
The question is, would I do this again? Heck, no! Am I glad I at least tried? Heck, yeah! What’s life without curiosity on how things work and taste and succeed and fail? I had to try the jellies when I saw them, so I did. This chapter is closed.
Hey, they can’t all be fabulous, can they?