One of the most fun ways to use Honeybells before they go out of season is to make homemade Honeybell preserves. When you make jam or jelly with delicious Honeybells you can enjoy the sweet delicious taste of the Honeybell all year instead of just for a few weeks at holiday time. Honeybell preserves are wonderful presents to give to teachers, day care workers, secretaries and other people that you want to thank. Homemade preserves are also great gifts for holidays that don’t cost a fortune to make. Even if you’ve never made preserves at home before you can make jam or jelly using Honeybells. Most of the ingredients are easy to find at the grocery store, and using these tips from expert homemakers you can make delicious Honeybell jam or jelly your first time trying:
Get “no sugar needed” pectin – Pectin is a thickening agent that is used to make preserves. Usually sugar is used as a preservative and to aid in the thickening progress. But because Honeybells are exceptionally sweet you won’t need to add any sugar. The natural sucrose in the Honeybell juice and in the chopped up fruit will be plenty to help the preserves set properly. Honeybell fruit and other citrus fruits also contain natural pectin, so you won’t need a lot of pectin to make citrus fruit preserves.
Make the preserves in small batches – It’s very easy to overcook pectin and once you overcook it the jam or jelly won’t set properly. In order to avoid overcooking it you need to make small batches of preserves, no more than about six cups at a time. Focus on quality and not quantity. You can always make more jam or jelly with other Honeybells so make each batch as great tasting as possible and make more if you need to have more for gifts or if you want extra preserves for yourself and your family.
Chop the segments of some peeled Honeybells, but then crush them – Some recipes call for large chunks of the Honeybell segements to remain intact because they are delicious in the finished product but crushing the fruit will release the natural pectin in the fruit and help the thickening process. If you want to add chunks of segments for texture chop up extra segments and after you have crushed the fruit needed to make the recipe toss in a few chunks of the extra segments to add that delicious texture to the finished jams and jellis made from Honeybells.