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kgb

Who has (successfully) re-set jam?

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kgb

Yesterday the wife and I put up a batch of ginger pear jam, or tried to, and it hasn't really set.  We've had other episodes in the past where jam failed to set and chalked it up as ice cream topping.  Today we made some caramel spiced pear jam and it's still warm from the final bath, wondering if there is a way to set that first batch.  I've searched a bit and found this page  http://pickyourown.org/how_to_fix_runny_jam.htm that seems to offer a solution or two, what have you done to get jam to set?

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SelbyLowndes

Add pectin, maybe sure-jell and mix.  Reheat it of course to mix...SelbyLowndes

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RJR

Make sure you get it to a rolling boil after adding correct amount of pectin. Also don’t make it all in one batch. A couple qts at a time works better. 

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kgb

The recipes call for one packet of Sure-Jell and yield is usually 6 half-pints plus part of a 7th.  Slight differences in cooking instruction and ingredients in the 3 recipes we've been using, all however say the same for cooking with medium-high heat and one minute after rolling boil you take it off the heat to skim/cool for 5 mins before putting into jars then jars into the canning pot.  One recipe is very specific about that one minute and not more than a couple seconds additional, but there are a few ticks of the clock where "rolling" is in question and I figure when the lava starts spitting out of the cauldron when you halt stirring for a second, that's a roll and I start the clock.  Not just the first sign of bubbles.  

 

The linked article describes the 3 elements required to set jam, plus the heat requirement.  Says riper fruit has less natural pectin, we were processing some pretty soft pears and I would think if the combination depends on natural pectin from the fruit we might have been a bit short in that batch.  It also describes going to a "hard boil" beyond the roller, indicating higher heat than our other instructions.  Finally, it shows a lesser time in the water bath, based on our altitude, the first time I've seen that and maybe the extra time in hot water was undoing some part of the process.  We'll find out.  Appreciate any and all practical experiences in the fix process.

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kgb

Also, how long does this stuff last? In digging out the supplies I ran across a few jars from 2015 that we'd set in a box and buried in a cabinet underneath the new jars.  Does it have a particular odor when it's "turned"?

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browndrake

Jam/jelly is pretty high in sugar and lasts quite a while.  I think officially, it is good for two years.  I just opened, and am using, a case of pomegranate jelly that  we put up in 2012. Looks/tastes like new.

If I have a batch fail to set,I will often add more pectin or some more lemon juice and cook a bit longer.

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kgb

The pickyourown solution worked, seemed a bit more pectin than should have been necessary but a success it was. The light jam is the crystallized ginger variety we treated, the darker version is "spiced caramel" (allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and substitutes brown sugar for some of the white) and set up fine the first shot. It boiled a little longer, maybe 15-20 seconds and that might have made the difference. We have a solution for future failures at least.  

IMG_20190923_093941.jpg

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Spin

This minor disaster happened to me when making a large batch of Elderberry Jelly. I tried twice to add more pectin and a bit more sugar.

Still too thin. However it wound up being the best pancake/waffle/French toast syrup I ever tasted and I continue to make it every year. There is 

bag full of ripe elderberries in the freezer as I write this, waiting to be rinsed off, stemmed and cooked and then put up.

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kgb

How big was the large batch?  Most suggestions I've encountered limit batches to 4 cups of fruit or a little more, one claim being it's too hard to get a uniform distribution of the pectin, acids and sugars throughout.  

 

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