Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Science: Cranberry Jelly

At each holiday, I like to have Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean try new foods or familiar food in a different way.  They both love dried cranberries, but neither have loved cranberries served at Thanksgiving.  So, I decided to have the girls make their own cranberry jelly in hopes that they take pride in their cooking and enjoy what they made.  They will see how the cranberries breakdown and form its own thick liquid that is like jelly which they can enjoy on toast in the morning!

 First, sugar is dissolved in boiling water.
Whole cranberries are added to the sugar water.
After 10 minutes of cooking, the cranberries pop and breakdown forming a thicker liquid.
Curious to what happened with the cranberries, Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean observe the new mixture by smelling it, tasting it, and feeling it.  They notice that the sugar water is not so "liquidy" anymore.  It is thicker and jelly like.

Tasting the cranberry jelly was the best part!  And they took pride in their cooking- they both loved their homemade jelly!

What happened to the cranberries?  As the sugar water and cranberries heat up, the cranberries will pop (because they are full of air).  The cranberries also contain pectin which is like gelatin but from fruit.  The pectin begins to separate from the fruit cells as you cook them.  The pectin will thicken the sugar water forming a "jelly-like" substance.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups whole cranberries
  • pot
  • stove top or other heat source
  • spoon
  1. Measure out the sugar and water.
  2. Mix them in a pot and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the cranberries.
  4. Cook the cranberries for 10 minutes stirring often.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat source.
  6. Allow to cool.
  7. Place in mason jars or another container.

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