Texas Mesquite Bean Jelly
This Mesquite Bean Jelly is uniquely Texan. Nowhere but in Texas does this tree grows so abundantly. What is interesting is that the Mesquite Tree and Salt Cedar are probably the most despised trees in Texas. They compete with natural rangeland grasses and are blamed for lowering underground water tables.
However to the Indians of Northern Mexico and Southern Texas the Mesquite tree was utilized in every aspect. The pods were high in sugar and protein, it’s hard wood was used for fuel, making tools and making musical instruments. The leaves were used for medicinal and ritual uses as well.
When cooked, the bean has a delicate, honey like flavor. It can be used on breads, vegetables, pork and roasted lamb. It can also be used to make glazes for your meats. Try it! I guarantee you’ll like it!
MESQUITE BEAN JELLY
You can sometimes find the beans for sale at certain "Farmers Markets". If not, that means you will have to pick the beans. Trust me, if you live in Texas you won't have a problem finding Mesquite Trees. Almost everyone will allow you to pick the beans if you just ask nicely. However, if they have horses or cows you are in for some serious competition while picking the beans!!!!
You will need to pick approximately a 1/2 bushel of the beans. Look for mature beans that have a red tinge on the outer pod. Discard the ones with bug holes. Once collected, you should wash the beans thoroughly and literally snap into small pieces.
- 16 Quarts (dry) Mesquite Beans
- 1 Cup Lemon Juice
- 6 Cups Sugar
- 1 Box Sure-Jell
Take the cleaned beans and add the lemon juice. Add 3 quarts of water (add more if your beans are not covered thoroughly) and then cook for approximately 1 hour. Next let cool and drain the juice through a cloth and put to the side. Then pour 5 Cups of your juice in a pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the sure jell and stir vigorously while bringing your mixture back to a hard-boil and then add sugar. Once your sugar is added you will need to cook for another 5 –7 minutes on medium to high heat. Then pour into your glass jars making sure that your jars are hot so as to not break the jars. You should pour in jars and seal while hot. Then allow to cool down, making sure you jars are sealed for storage.
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