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Old 09-26-2011, 10:24 AM   #1
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Jam and marmalade runny

Hi there

Im new to canning/jamming and I have tried to make Grapefruit Marmalade and Strawberry Jam.

Both recipes are from the Ball books and followed to the T. Ive had to reboil the marmalade and its still runny, tastes wonderful tho. Same thing with Strawberry Jam, only had to boil hard for 1 minute, fruit floated to the top and the syrupy stuff at the bottom is runny (this was made with liquid pectin). Do I reboil Strawberry Jam with another pack of pectin??

thanks

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Old 09-26-2011, 11:52 AM   #2
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Unfortunately following a recipe to the T has different meanings for different people and can only improve with experience. If you have an instant read thermometer (especially the probe type), use it next time to see if you are really getting a hard rolling boil -- temperature should reach 220°F or very close to it. Failure to get and sustain that high temperature prevents the chemical reaction of gelling to occur fully, though it may eventually occur days or weeks later. Sometimes patience is the best recommendation.

Recipes using pectin require less hard boiling, usually only for a 1 minute period, otherwise you use the cold plate/spoon process (pg 29 of the Ball Blue Book) to find the gel stage.

I would anticipate that your jams might have been runny to begin with and needed to cook longer to evaporate some of the moisture first before going to the final step of setting it up for gelling. That, and temperature, are two of the main biggies you have to pay attention to.

Even experts gets 'syrups' at times. They are good on waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. or you can keep some 'Instant' ClearJel® on hand to add when you open a jar to thicken it up.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for answering =)

I dont have a thermometer and was just looking at one in the shops, will go peek at Amazon. Id like to make a jam that gels when it should, so will keep on trying =)

Will keep a bit just to put on son's waffles =)
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:55 PM   #4
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Mc gave you an exelent advise. However, before you even venture into next atempt i want to warn you that you tookup the hardest jams to make. Both Grapes and strawbery are full of liquid and are hard to make becasue of that. I know I would not. I make other things though. My mom is a seasoned jam maker and even she has hard time with strawbery.
if you are going to try again look for the fruit/berry that are easier to deal with.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for that tip CharlieD, I will think again before doing strawberry and marmalade Im wondering what I should do next really. I think I will flip thru my books again and see. Im sure I will be back soon with more ?s
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