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I am new to canning-just started this year. The first batch of jam I ever made (strawberry) set up beautifully-turned out so well I may just enter it inthe county fair. Then I made more, which did not set up, so I had to open the jars and re-cook it. The restof it, the blackberry (16 half pints) and the apricot-pineapple (12 pints) never set up. I am following the directions to the letter, but don't know what i m doing wrong.I am becomming a pro at opening all the jars and re-cooking all of it (it does set then). Anybody know what to do out there? Thank you in advance for your help!!
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I am not an expert but I believe that you didn't have enough pectin in your fruit. Locals around here use tart apples to add to their jam for pectin. I also read in a book that once it fails - just use it for a sauce on pancakes or ice cream - people call it sass. I love to can, not too experienced with jam and jellies although I am learning. Wish you luck,
Did you use certo or some other brand, they often have a 800 number to call for help with not setting up
Thanks ladies-- I am cooking down the apricot-pineapple jam today and it looks a bit thicker, I appreciate your help (this has the BEST flavor) so is still a sucess, but I pray for thicker. My kids dipped their toast for breakfast in it, and teenaged boys with homemade jam is a great combination!! I used some Certo pectin that I had and some by Ball (never mixing the two) so I hope it will turn out. The last jams that I made that did this and set up nicely with the second cooking, I was just hoping for ideas on how to make it set up the first time. I think perhaps my fruit was too ripe (what is better than fresh apricots, strawberries, blackberries, etc?), I appreciate your help!!
Well I hope you are still reading your replies :-) What I do is 1/2 again the amount of pectin it calls for in the recipe. You have to watch this though between the fruits that have an abundance of natural pectin, i.e. apples to those who seem to need that extra little amount otherwise you may come out with jams/jellies which are way to stiff.
ONE BIG TIP!!! CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE ON YOUR PECTIN!!! If it is expired or close to being expired throw it away. I used to be "cheap" about this but when you are dealing with 12-24-30 jars of jam/jelly and the time it takes you to open and reprocess all those jars that came out either soupy or unsealed you have a lot of time and money invested...far more than the cost of just buying some fresh pectin. some of my friends were having the problem of their jams/jelies not setting up and come to find out that their pectin expired 2-years previous :O
Hope this helps!!! :-)
if the jam is not setting properly, try to add the juice of a lemon and boil it.
I have been making jam for 30 years, and the only time the jam failed to set up was when I used Ball pectin. In the future, use Sure-Jell or Certo.~~Vicki
When you are cooking the fruit do you drain the liquid before adding the sugar and pectin?
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