Yield: about 60
Purply-red, a little tart, and a little sweet, these pretty bite-size candies are a great homemade gift during the holiday season. See our test kitchen tip, below, about working with pectin.
While testing this recipe, the Fine Cooking test kitchen tried a variety of pectins. We prefer the brand we mention in the recipe, Pomona’s Universal Pectin, because the jellies set up quickly, retained the beautiful red color of the cranberries, and had a wonderful texture and consistency. Be sure not to use the calcium powder in the Pomona package, only the pectin powder. You can find pectin next to the gelatin in supermarkets and citric acid in the baking aisle.
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I followed the recipe exactly, using Pomona's Universal Pectin without the calcium water. It set up beautifully and looked great. It was a hit at a staff potluck. I don't know how it would keep, given that it was gone in one day! Thought it was a lot of fun to make and really happy with the results.
After reading this recipe several times, I realized something was missing: Pomona's Universal Pectin is a two-part product, and there was no mention of part two, the calcium water. After a conversation with a Pomona's rep, I got her take on the instructions (add an equal amount of calcium water before bringing mixture to a boil) and went to work. The Jelly set up perfectly. But by the next day, it had started to weep, and coating it with the sugar mix did not help. After two days in storage, the jellies were beginning to liquify.
There's a problem with this recipe, and it needs to be clarified, as it does entail a lot of work, as the previous poster mentioned.
Followed the instructions exactly, the recipe did not set up at all. Cooked for over 20 minutes but could not get it to that stage. Unfortunate, as it was a bit of work and I was really looking forward to them.
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