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I remember my mom standing out by the side of the road, in her cat-eyes sunglasses waving down the Pinky-Dinky man.
She would buy me anything I wanted as long as it didn’t cost more than a dime….yes, a dime!
She always bought herself a push-up. Always. Mom loved those things, still does. As a treat for her Mother’s Day gift, I wanted to recreate that for her in a way that wasn’t ice cream based.
In the winter of 2010, I searched the Internet for something to make that was “push-up-like”. I came upon a dreamsicle jam. I made a mental note of the ingredients and moved on. The next year, when I finally got around to making it, I could not – for the life of me – find the doggone recipe on the Internet. I searched high and low to no avail. Eventually, I took what I remembered and tried to recreate it. The following are the results. My mother loves it and when my husband figured out what it was – he calls them creamsicles – he loved it too.
They love it so much that I had to promise I would not throw away any of it when I was experimenting for my Nano-canning book. Mom and the ladies at the Land of Old (independent living apt. complex where she lives) said they could find any number of things to do with it even if it wasn’t perfect.
So, whether you call it a Push-Up:
Or, a Dreamsicle, it is one of the tastiest jellies I’ve ever made:
- 4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
- Pat of butter
- 1 box pectin – optional**
Strain the orange juice through cheesecloth.
Combine orange juice, sugar, butter, vanilla bean scrapings and beans in a large pot.
Bring to a hard boil over high heat.
**If you add the pectin now, pour in the entire box and continue stirring until it reaches another hard boil. Continue boiling for exactly 1 minute.
**If you are not going to use pectin, make sure the hard boil reaches 220 degrees F. and maintains that for 3 minutes.
Take pot off heat.
Remove the vanilla beans from the pot and ladle jelly into prepared jars.
Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands.
Process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
Remove jars from processing pot and place them on a towel-lined countertop and let them cool in a draft-free area for several hours.
Every 10 minutes, turn jars upside down/right side up so vanilla specks will be evenly distributed and not all collect at the top.
When they are cool enough to handle, check the seals. Store any unsealed jars in the fridge and place the rest in your pantry.
I bet you are wondering what you could do with this besides spreading it on biscuits. As the picture shows, it is outstanding on ice cream. Mr. Picky-eater likes it on vanilla “because it has a lighter taste” but I love it on chocolate ice cream. However, it doesn’t photograph very well on chocolate so we went with vanilla. My girlfriend likes it stirred into yogurt. Mom and her lady friends like it on butter pecan ice cream, biscuits, English muffin, hot cornbread, warm and plain yellow cake just out of the oven, and toast. One lady eats it stirred into her morning rice – milk, butter, and instead of the normal sugar – dreamsicle jelly.
I recommend this jelly very highly and I hope you will try it soon!