Jelly Problems

Discussion in 'The Rural Life' started by Hobie, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    This week was my first, and probably last, foray into jam-making.

    Long story short, I now have 24 half-pint jars of plum syrup. I am so frustrated! Is there any way to save / fix my jam, or have I just wasted my time, money, and wonderful plums?

    I've read that you can not save over-cooked jam, and I'm afraid that might be the problem. I followed the recipe directions, and after boiling one minute, it was still completely watery. I tested it on a chilled plate... nothing. So I cooked 30 seconds more. Nothing, In desperation, I dumped in more pectin and boiled another minute. Still liquid. Frustrated, I jarred and processed the whole batch, hoping I could unseal and fix it later.

    I'm beside myself. This was supposed to be for gifts.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I had that happen a number of times. The pot I was using was too large around and the syrup was only an inch deep in it. I have learned to use a smaller diameter pot that will let the syrup be about 3 inches deep. I get a much heavier boil and it jells every time.

    Yes, you can rebatch it and it will jell fine. If the boiling bubbles don't get 6 inches deep, you have too large a pot.
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Do I need to add anything? More pectin? Sugar? An apple core or two?

    My pot was large, but so was the amount of jam. I was using an 8 qt pot with 6 qts of plum stuff in it, so the syrup was probably 8-9" deep. Perhaps too deep and you shouldn't make double batches of jam?
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Where did you get your recipe? I have never seen one that calls for more than 5 to 6 pints. The Ball Blue Book says NEVER double the recipe.

    No, add nothing to it. With that amount, Use the slow boil method. Bring it to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
     
  5. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Oops. I doubled the recipe. :oops:

    I got the recipe from AllRecipes.com. The person submitting wrote, "...it disappears quickly. Through the years, I've learned to make more than one batch!" Not having the basic knowledge, I misinterpreted that.

    If I'm re-batching, I could easily only boil half at a time. Would that be better? How long of a boil?

    I suppose I'll need to go out and buy new lids, though. Dang it, I hate waste.
     
  6. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Iddee is telling you right Hobie. Bring it to a boil slowly , then boil it for 5 full minutes. You will know it's right when it "sheets" off the spoon. You shouldn't need to add anything to it all.

    Here's a secret: I almost always reuse my lids. I never pry them off the top of a jar to keep them nice and flat all the way around, they come off easily when you slide a fingernail under and use finger pressure. The only ones I don't use twice are those that accidentally get bent on the edge, or the ones I use to can meat with.

    If your jelly still doesn't jell this time you can give everyone a jar of the syrup and carbonated water to make their own homemade-much-healthier than storebought-fruit sodas. :D
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I was thinking the same thing, only plum pancake syrup :lol: :lol:
     
  8. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    with a note that reminds everyone that it's the thought that counts. :mrgreen:
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You guys can back off. Me, Mama Beek, and Hobie are gonna make it jell. SO THERE !
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Lids? Mom poured parafin on top of ours. With four boys it didn't have a chance to go bad. :lol: Jack

    PS we ate the parafin too. :mrgreen:
     
  11. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I'm going to be optimistic and say we'll get it to jell! Will keep you posted. Besides, my jelly jars don't have pouring spouts.

    Iddee & Mama Beek, thanks so much for the instructions. You folks are the kind of people I always wanted to be like! I think next time I want to try something new like this, I will do a little reading up beforehand instead of just jumping in and assuming I will figure it out.
     
  12. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    But you sometimes learn so much more by just jumping in :D I learn more and more that sometimes mistakes are easily turned into "happy accidents". A large batch of failed blueberry jelly is how I learned to make blueberry pancake syrup, and my favorite homemade skirt (that I've since outgrown :eek: ) only fit so well because I made a mistake on the waistband and had to adjust it as I sewed.

    Keep on jumping in Hobie...... it's good for ya! :Dancing:
     
  13. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    I'm only teasing cause I'm jelous that she's made it this far. Around here "extending the harvest" means that we start eating a week before its ripe and continue until it falls off the pit when you pick it. :roll: Thankfully we have fresh fruit year-round cause we'd die of scurvey relying on our preservation skills.
     
  14. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Thank you, Iddee and Mama Beek! :D :D :D

    Since a picture is worth 1000 words:
    [​IMG]

    (I put the milk in there so you know I wasn't holding the camera sideways!)

    I never really did see the "sheeting off the spoon" thing, and it was a little hard to tell exactly when the "full rolling boil" started, but it's solid now. And not rubber, either. This little bowl was the dregs that did not fit into jars, and I had some on toast this morning. Cinnamon Plum Jam!

    Interestingly, I put in 24 8-oz jars, and got out 20. That's quite a bit of evaporation, even accounting for the stuff stuck to the pan.

    And even better... all of the used lids re-sealed!
    I really can't thank all of you enough. Fixing this really made my week.
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That's the way....

    Now pick out another recipe for jelly or jam and make a single batch while it's fresh in your mind. It will work the first time and stick with you.

    Confidence builder.
     
  16. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Looks good to go Hobie, glad you got it to jelly for ya!!
     
  17. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

    I knew ya could do it!!
     
  18. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    I made apricot jam a year or so ago and it didnt gell well at first so I just wrote syrup on the jars. Later on I went to get some "syrup" and it had gelled up nicely. Sometimes it will work out w/ time!
    Grandma always said NEVER alter the recipe when making jam. Mine usually works unless I add that "extra" bit of fruit that wont make another complete batch.
    Also dont plums have alot of pectin in them too like apples?
     
  19. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Sadly, I never got to learn at my Grandma's elbow. Luckily, that's what beekeeper friends are for!

    I've heard apples have lots of pectin, but never heard either way about plums.
     
  20. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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