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Old 09-05-2017, 02:00 PM   #1
Dusty Britches
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Cameron & College Station
Default Mesquite Bean Jelly version 2

Now that I've gain some confidence and learned a bunch about mesquite bean jelly making, I thought I'd try to take pictures and do a step by step.

First, of course, pick mesquite beans. Did you know Texas is home to 7 different types of mesquite trees but Brazil has more mesquite trees than anyone else? The most common type in Texas is the Honey Mesquite, but we also are home to Velvet Mesquite, which I have a lot of. Velvet mesquite beans are covered in tiny flowers as the pods develop, then the flowers fall away and poof! you will see a green pod. I know, weird. I prefer the velvet mesquite pods because they are not as sweet and have a very unique non-smokey mesquite flavor. The honey mesquite is very sweet.

Regardless of the type of mesquite you have, pick the pods from the trees when they will easily pull away. Don't fight the mesquite tree for its pods. Those pods are not worth it. You can also pick them up from the ground, but you should inspect each one closely for holes from bugs and ants and for a white fungus/ mold. That's why from the tree is better. You could shake each pod to see if it rattles, but I think the dried pods make for a different and not as easily setting jelly. More on that later.

Most mesquite jelly makers online will tell you to measure out the pods and use x amount of water, but I ain't got time for that. After washing the pods off, break them up in half or thirds. I put mine in a crawfish boiler with the strainer. I filled the strainer by 3/4 and then put water up to the fill mark on the pot. You could to cover the pods by at least 3x. I think. The pods float, so it was hard to tell.

Once the water boils, set the timer for 30-35 minutes and keep her boiling, but keep it at as low of a boil as you can get. When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let the water cool with the pods.

Once it is cool, you can pull the pods out with the strainer or if you have a small batch you can just pour them into a strainer with a pot/ bowl underneath it. You will also have to pour through several layers of food grade gauze/ cloth to get the tiny stuff out.

For the pictures, I actually picked just a few to try something different, but I put a few handfuls in the pot in the kitchen, covered the pods with water and boiled it. This is when I learned that you should put 3X as much water. (These pods in this picture to start were actually a very dark red and each pod rattled when I shook it. The more fresh pods don't do that. The dark red pods make a darker jelly, so please don't judge your jelly's color by my color.) Since I didn't have any juice left over, I filled the pot again and boiled for 30 minutes - again.

These pictures are actually from 2 different batches. I forgot to take pictures a few times. This first pic is the beans. See how dark they are? Unusual. The second pic is not enough water. The 3rd pic is after I boiled it again and let it cool. See how dark the juice is? Normally, it is light blonde color. The color is from the dark pods. You can see the different colors in the 4th pic. The 4th pic I measured out my liquid and didn't have enough for 4 cups, but fortunately I had a partial bag from before that I added to make it 4 cups.

So at this point, you could just measure and pour 4 cups of juice into quart sized freezer bags and freeze. That's what I normally do. Then just thaw one bag at a time when you want to make jelly. My next post will talk about the actual jelly making.
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Last edited by Dusty Britches; 09-05-2017 at 02:18 PM..
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