Jelly Biscuit - yum!
The grape jelly I made from grape juice has been working out really well! So well, I canned another batch of jars this weekend. When I opened my first jar at room temperature, it had a decent soft set to it. Once refrigerated, it firmed up similar to store bought jelly. So, I think I made the right decision to increase the amount of pectin called for in the original recipe. The homemade jelly has a great taste and we've been enjoying it on peanut butter & jelly sandwiches as well as warm homemade biscuits (see recipe below!).
About the sugar...I'm sure you'll notice the grape jelly recipe (as well as other recipes for jams, jellies and preserves) calls for quite a bit of sugar. The sugar works with the pectin to help with gelation and also acts as a preservative. But if you prefer less sugar in your life, there are no sugar/low sugar pectins available. Sure-Jell makes a no sugar pectin (it's in a pink box) as does Ball. And according to their website, Pomona's Universal Pectin can be used for no sugar recipes or with natural sweeteners like honey and stevia.
My Momma's old biscuit pan
- it's older than I am!
When it came to making biscuits from scratch, my Momma was one of the best! I remember on one occasion we had a lady over for Sunday dinner who was visiting from out of town. She was so impressed with my Momma's biscuits, she asked my Momma to bake her a pan, freeze them and mail them to her in Ohio! And my Momma did! It's my understanding, the lady ate all the biscuits except for one. Which she kept in her freezer as a reminder of the best biscuits she'd ever eaten. True story!
My Momma seemed to intuitively know how much flour, shortening and milk she needed for her biscuits to turn out just right. I'm not there yet! For our jelly biscuits, I used this recipe for baking powder biscuits:
Baking Powder Biscuits
from The Modern Family Cookbook, Meta Givens (1953)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 - 7/8 cup milk
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add shortening and cut into flour with pastry blender or fork until particles are the size of rice grains. Add milk and stir until dough stiffens up. Turn out dough on a floured counter, knead, then roll out to 3/8 to 3/4 inch thick. Cut out with a biscuit cutter dipped in flour (I used a half pint mason jar as a cutter). Place on greased baking pan and brush tops with melted butter. Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
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