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Old 08-11-2005, 01:18 PM   #11
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If my memory serves me right...you should never cut the recipe in half.


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Old 08-11-2005, 01:23 PM   #12
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You gave me alot of good tips! First of all I never thought of adding an apple, rather than pectin. Second of all, I never thought of "testing" with the chilled spoon, and third, your ratio of sugar to juice was very helpful. As I mentioned above to Alix, I cut the recipe in half, but neglected to cut the amount of pectin (powder) in half. Maybe that is the reason it did not set up? The good thing about my failure is that my husband like it over vanilla ice cream. I'm not sure if the pectin is the problem or the fact that I cut the recipe in half, because as you mentioned, it's best to follow the exact recipe. I am not sure if these grapes were actually concord grapes, the sign above them said "black grapes" which looked dark purple and were the size of a big toe hehe. I guess I have some experimenting to do with the exact recipe, and your version with the apple. Thanks!

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Old 08-12-2005, 04:11 PM   #13
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You're really making me think on this one Amber!

If I understand what Harold McGee said correctly - it takes a balance of heat, time, acid, sugar and pectin to get jelly to gel. Trying to figure this out ... if you followed all of the directions exactly except for cutting everything in half except for the pectin ... then it might be that there wasn't enough acid and sugar for the pectin to properly react with. I honestly can't say for sure - but that's my best guess.

Concord grapes seem to be the only ones that can be jellied without either liquid or powdered pectins (don't know - every grape jelly recipe I've run across specifies Concord grapes), and some other fruits and berries also require added acid (lemon juice).

One thing I noticed going over various recipes is that if liquid/powdered pectin is used the recipe always calls for more sugar (as much as double) than if made without it. The exception would be that there is a powdered pectin that is designed for low/artificial sugar jams ... and it contains Xanthan and another kind of gum to do the thickening.

Last observation ... several sources state that even when cooked to the proper gelling stage - jelly may sometimes take a couple of days to fully set up. They didn't mention if these were with or without liquid/powdered pectins.

I hope I've helped more than confused.

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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