The Joy of Canning: Jolly Rancher Jelly

Now that we are well through the middle of summer, many people are reaping the benefits of a well-tended garden. I have friends who have an abundance of strawberries, raspberries, and plums, which is absolutely wonderful. There are few things that are better than fruit picked right off the vine. The high you get from crack cocaine smoked in an alleyway is pretty close, however. But then you are always chasing that high. And when the cops see you smoking a fat rock, they are always chasing you. This is known as the circle of life. 

A good thing to do when you have a lot of fruit is to pick a bunch of it and post photos of it on social media to show people you are harvesting and eating local foods, which makes you morally superior to them. When people have too much fruit for themselves, a good thing to do is to turn it into preserves such as jams or jellies. These make great gifts during the winter season; you can make cute labels for the jars, and give them to family members. These preserves usually get put in the back of the pantry and thrown out the next year. It is a very good use for excess fruit.

Unfortunately, I do not have my own garden, so I must make the best of what I have, which isn’t much. There is, however, a shelf-stable fruit blend that is available year-round on supermarket and drugstore shelves: The Jolly Rancher.

Jolly Ranchers come in many flavors, including: Green Apple, Cherry, Watermelon, Grape, and Blue Raspberry. It is truly a cornucopia of flavors you cannot find in anybody’s stupid urban garden. “Dannis,” you ask, “I also want to create a gift that people will throw away. Can I do that with Jolly Ranchers?”

The answer, my friends, is a resounding yes.

Jolly Rancher Jelly Ingredients

Thankfully, to create Jolly Rancher jelly, you only need a few ingredients: Jolly Ranchers, fruit pectin, and water. 

Can you believe that? Harvey, Mr. Bee, and Peter Rabbit are still amazed by this fact. I think Mr. Bee is having a seizure by looking at all of those bright colors. Harvey is high on crack cocaine, just like your mother. Peter Rabbit is just clutching onto his carrot because it is permanently stitched onto his little paws.

Jolly Rancher Bowl

The first thing you need to do is to peel the  Jolly Ranchers. Jolly Ranchers naturally come with a skin that is made out of petroleum-based plastic wrap, which is inedible, and must be removed. You can easily do this in front of the television while watching Family Feud. I have been watching a lot of Family Feud lately, and let me tell you, Steve Harvey is a magical host. I enjoy his antics.

Jolly Rancher Water

Next, you’ll need to put the Jolly Ranchers in an equal amount of water, and put the heat on low until they are dissolved. This will take some time and some occasional stirring. Look at how those beauties scatter the light. The resulting liquid will be a funny-looking reddish purple which is not unlike actual simmered fruit juice.

As the mixture simmers, your house will smell like the inside of a Bath and Body Works store, which smells a lot like manufactured cancer.

Jolly Rancher Jar Prep

In the meantime, heat up a mason jar in water and let that come to a gentle persistent boil. This step isn’t actually necessary for you, since you will not be making this jelly. If you are making real jam or jelly, this is important because it prevents you from dying from my favorite potential bacterial death, botulism.

The toxin created by Clostridium botulinum is the same one they use for the anti-wrinkle treatment Botox. Your mother uses Botox frequently and my favorite thing about it is that her expression is that of permanent surprise. Doctors have such a silly sense of humor, don’t they?

Jolly Rancher Pectin Prep

After the Jolly Ranchers have completely dissolved, you’ll need to sprinkle in some fruit pectin and bring the mixture to a rolling foamy boil. Pectin is a carbohydrate that is made up of a few sugar molecules that are fused together. It’s why jams and jellies are naturally thick and spreadable. By nature, there usually isn’t enough pectin in some fruits so that’s why this is a common additional ingredient in jam and jelly. And yes, most grocery stores do have it — it’s next to the gelatin packets in the baking aisle. But this is important: If you don’t allow the mixture to boil, the pectin won’t activate to become a gel. Science, clowns.

Also, pectin is sometimes used to combat diarrhea. My favorite thing about diarrhea is that it is the funniest thing if it isn’t happening to you. Diarrhea.

I do not watch sports regularly, but this is my favorite sports interview of all time. It’s pertinent to today’s subject matter.

Jolly Rancher Jarred

Once the pectin is dissolved, pour it into your hot mason jar. If your jar isn’t hot there’s a chance it could shatter, so make sure your jar is at least heated somewhat. You do not want to bleed while making jelly, though it’s a fun thing to tell your friends that you bled into their holiday present.

After that, let the jelly set up in the fridge for at least a day if not longer.

Jolly Rancher Plated

I was in a hurry and only let the jelly set for a few hours, but by then it had thickened a fair amount. I know it looks runny but it’s actually pretty thick.

If you are feeling fancy, you can serve it to your stuffed animals with a little bit of goat cheese. “Dannis Ree,” you ask, “How does this horseshit jelly taste?” Quit it with all the questions, assbag.

Jolly Rancher Jelly tastes like aching teeth and abhorrent Yankee Candles. It is painfully sweet, with a tanginess that can only come from the delightful and sinister-sounding malic acid, one of the ingredients in a Jolly Rancher. It is, frankly, almost inedible, which is precisely why it is so charming. This makes a perfect gift for people you want to kill with diabetes. Jolly Rancher Jelly will destroy the flavor of anything else that comes near it and will easily eat through your teeth enamel. Basically, what I’m trying to say, is don’t make or eat it.
Jolly Rancher Sandwich

If goat cheese is too highbrow for you, you can easily settle for the common peasant dish, a peanut butter and Jolly Rancher Jelly sandwich. This is a terrific way to make the common children’s sandwich even worse for your child. But let’s face it, your child is probably already a dickface, so why not ruin their palate and BMI for them permanently? Little shits.

Jolly Rancher Jelly

  • 2 cups whole Jolly Ranchers, unwrapped
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons fruit pectin

Combine Jolly Ranchers and water in a medium saucepan and simmer on low heat until candy is dissolved. Smoke crack in alleyway and taunt police officers that are chasing you. Wow, that crack cocaine high is really something, isn’t it?

After candy is completely dissolved, gently sprinkle fruit pectin into hot Jolly Rancher solution and stir until dissolved. Bring mixture to rolling boil and crack jokes about your best friend’s mother while rocking in the corner of the basement. Touch your genitals.

Pour hot mixture into sterilized mason jar and let jelly set up in refrigerator overnight. Who cares? This is a bad idea. Whatever. Suck my balls.

[Hey, guys! Before I forget: I’m competing as a chef for the Gaper’s Block Third Annual Hot Dog Cookoff for Charity on this coming Saturday, August 1st. It’s for Reach Out and Read Illinois, which will teach children to read websites like The Pizzle and ruin future generations for years to come.

Tickets are $20, and I’ll have a funny and seriously delicious hot dog for you. I’m cooking for about 300 people so I’m scared shitless, but it’ll be a good chance for you to come say hello and try some real food from me.]




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