Jello, From Scratch

We rarely have jello salad, because I don’t like the idea of eating artificial color and flavor, and sugar. I could use plain gelatin and fruit, but several years ago I learned how to make it from scratch, and we love it! Therefore, every time we butcher chickens we skin the feet and freeze them. About once a year we have enough accumulated that I decide I need to clean out the freezer and make gelatin. This time, I took a few pictures of the process so I could show how I do it. This is my big 20-quart stock pot. There are a couple of turkey feet, but mostly chicken. And by the way, everything that has ever touched the ground or the air was peeled off.IMG_1634

Cover the feet with a lot of water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for a day…or two…or three, depending on how life is going. I keep the lid on most of the time.

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When you finally decide you have time to drain the broth, pour the whole lot into a colander. Discard the bones. I think I usually add some vinegar at the beginning of cooking, but I forgot this time. The vinegar helps pull the good stuff out of the bones.

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Chill the broth thoroughly, then scrape off all the fat you can from the top. The broth should be very firm. I remember one time it was so jelled that when I pulled a spoonful out it escaped and bounced across the kitchen!

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Next, clarify it. This is what I do; these instructions are from The Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery:

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I clarified this particular batch twice, and I wish I would have taken a picture of the second time. I did it right, for once, and was able to scoop out the egg white, with most of the solids in it. Fun! Next, add juice concentrate. I have never found frozen juice concentrate here, like I got when we lived in Michigan. I make my own, though, following some other of Carla Emery’s instructions. I cook plums in a little water till they are falling apart, then drain them in the colander and freeze the juice in a plastic milk bottle. I thaw the milk bottles of juice upside down so the juice drips out as it thaws. When the ice that’s left in the bottle is looking kind of clear, I refreeze what thawed and discard the ice that’s left. It is mostly water, as the sugary part of the juice is what thaws first. I repeat the process two more times and end up with a very thick, syrupy juice. It’s great for flavoring, and much sweeter than the sour plums I start with. Just add enough juice, and some sugar/honey/maple syrup/stevia, till it tastes right.

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Then, I add fruit. This is frozen plums, blackberries, and cherries, and fresh apples and bananas. I just put in whatever I have on hand. (No raw kiwifruit or pineapple, though; they contain enzymes that will prevent the gelatin from setting.) Put in the fridge and chill, then enjoy! It is softer than commercial gelatin, and has kind of a creamy texture. Delicious!

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About NZ Filbruns

A home-school family living in New Zealand, with a desire to share what Christ has done for us.
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6 Responses to Jello, From Scratch

  1. Ruth says:

    Ok, I read this when you first posted it and you got me inspired. I just peeled the first turkey feet in my life. I’m excited to try the broth. I only have a few feet, so I’ll freeze them till we butcher the rest in a couple weeks. thanks for sharing!

  2. Ruth Henderson says:

    Well, now I have a pan of broth! I’m getting ready to clarify it, and I thought I’d look it up in my book. What page is this, or, what section is it under? I just can’t seem to find it….thought I’d read the whole article. Thanks again 🙂

    • NZ Filbruns says:

      It’s in the section “Introduction to Animals”, Meat Products–Gelatin. I just looked in the index under “gelatin” and found it. I have the Ninth Edition of The Encyclopedia of Country Living, and it’s on page 585. Hope that helps!

  3. NZ Filbruns says:

    You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy the gelatin.

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