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Author Topic: My jam STILL won't set!!!  (Read 25822 times)

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GrannieAnnie

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« on: July 05, 2007, 22:26 »
I give up, I'm not making jam again!

Week before last I made strawberry jam, followed the recipe, fresh picked strawbs, jam sugar as they are low in pectin!!!!  Would it set???  NOPE!  So cheated in the end and helped it along with a strawberry jelly!!!!

Now, I've spent a week picking my first decent crop of blackcurrants, got almost 4lb, got preserving sugar as morrisons didn't have any other, but thought that would be okay as blackcurrants are supposed to be high in pectin, and some recipes even use just ordinary granulated sugar!

Followed the recipe, kept trying it for a set, nothing, another little boil, another little test!!!!  Nope!

But last year, my strawberry jam was if anything TOO set, you had to cut it with a knife, but used the same recipe (I think!!)
Any ideas??
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WG.

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2007, 23:04 »
Certo  :!:

GrannieAnnie

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2007, 23:21 »
Mmmmm, looks like I'll have to doesn't it?  Will it be okay boiling it up again?  My book says jam can have its taste spoiled by overcooking!?

Thanks David

WG.

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2007, 23:53 »
Quote from: "grannieannie"
Mmmmm, looks like I'll have to doesn't it?  Will it be okay boiling it up again?  My book says jam can have its taste spoiled by overcooking!?
Overboiling will boil off flavour as well as water but, unless you can use runny sauce in smoothies etc, then you don't have anything to lose.

 :idea: Use some of the runny blackcurrant stuff when you pickle beetroot.  Add a sachet of gelatin (if you aren't veggie) for beetroot in blalckburrant jelly.    Eeeeees gooood!

dawninspain

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 09:37 »
Do you use a jam thermometer grannie?  I find with some jams that the 'finger test' is equivocal.

Annie

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2007, 10:05 »
Add a few goosberries to the stawbs next time,you can`t taste the goosberries but will set well.

Oscar Too

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Re: My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2007, 16:55 »
Quote from: "grannieannie"

Any ideas??


Call it varenie, the new health sensation that is sweeping the world - Russian preserve, made with more fruit and less sugar, doesn't set, tastes fab in yoghurt or eaten with spoons before slurping your tea from a saucer.

wildeone

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2007, 10:54 »
could it be that with all this rain that the fruit has an unusually high water content???  We've been strawberry picking every year for 6 years and the strawbs are VERY different this year - Softer, larger and juicer! Farm says they are the same breed but the conditions are very different

WG.

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2007, 11:05 »
Quote from: "wildeone"
could it be that with all this rain that the fruit has an unusually high water content???
I did wonder about that myself.  Provided you are following a procedure which is based on setting point / temperature and not based purely on timing, then you should be okay.  Setting point is, I believe, 105 degs C, and this can only be attained when the water content has been sufficiently reduced.

ytyynycefn

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 16:57 »
It's 104C to set jam, just made my first ever redcurrant (with a few strawbs, rasps and rhubabrb to make it up a bit) jelly using my shiny new (cheap off ebay) jam thermometer, and it's setting a treat  :D

It also has "soft crack" and "hard crack" marked on it - I'm hoping this is for boiling sugar rather than making class A narcotics  :roll:

As I waaaay overboiled all my jams last year (first attempt at making any, so no idea what to do), and my marrow and ginger jam tasted like marmalade, I thought it was worth making the investment in the thermometer!

I've had a go at making picalilli today as well - I got four nice cauliflowers (minus caterpillars) from my viromesh tunnel, so mixed them with courgettes, onions, french beans, radishes, kohlrabi and carrots from the plot, plus a sweet potato, as I don't have any turnips big enough.  Smells great!  8) Had a bash at pickling some lemons as well.  I've still got about 6lbs of juicy blackberries in the freezer, so they'll be turned into bramble jelly this week...

Just got to chip the boiled over stuff off the cooker now...  :oops:

JCA

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2007, 18:12 »
There's loads of pectin in citrus fruit pips or add some fresh lemon juice. I made raspberry jam a month or so ago with raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. Set lovely!

lucywil

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2007, 09:31 »
i made some blackcurrant jam yesterday using the microwave recipe off this site, and i had the opposite problem, it's set too hard!! tastes good though!!

David.

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2007, 16:04 »
My wife's black cherry (very ripe and juicy)jam failed to set this morning. She didn't expect it to be a firm as normal jam, but just right for adding to yoghurt.

It's so runny that it's like bottled fruit and I was offered it for winemaking, but I've got enough pitted cherries in the freezer for that and suggested trying to remedy it tommorow.

She spoke with a local jam expert, who said that even her blackcurrant jam has failed to set this year.

I've suggested simmering to reduce the liquid, adding more sugar, extra lemon juice, gooseberries and even resorting to powdered pectin.

Any ideas for saving it?

mandycharlie

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2007, 16:34 »
I wonder if it was because the fruit was too ripe.  If the fruit is just or slightly under ripe it has more pectin in it, if its juicy and just going over it has less.

I would just keep boiling and testing.  My favourite jam disasters seem to be strawberry, which seems quite difficult to get a set with if you don't use pectin.

David.

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My jam STILL won't set!!!
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2007, 17:21 »
Went to Tescos and bought 3 kg of jam sugar (with added pectin) and a bottle of pectin sauce.

Pitted remainder of unused cherries, heated and added failed 'jam', then added jam sugar (including extra 1lb sugar/5 lbs fruit above the book recipe - which seemed a bit low), put lemon pips in with the cherry stones in muslim bag in with fruit, etc. and added bottle of pectin (to approx 3kg of fruit in lieu 2kg a reccommended).

The 18 jars of jam (actually still hoping it will turn out as a conserve to add to yoghurt) stuck to the pan, spoon, jug, etc. are still hot, but it seems to have worked!

But does a watery, low pectin fruit year mean a bad country wine making year?

Edit after cooling down: The jars with the fruit lumps in have turned into the expected conserve, but the jars I filled last with just juice have set into a perfect 'cherry jelly'. Must be the effect of residual juice in the lumps of fruit. When we do the next batch will make sure we have a jelly bag ready!



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