Originally Posted by Gretchen
I will put in my endorsement of using SureJell as a foolproof method of making jelly, although I have made many a jar without it. SureJell makes it predictable for getting a good product. Clive is obviously VERY experienced and gets excellent results, but I would recommend following the directions in the SJ package--and do so exactly. Jelly is one thing that does not do well when "fiddled" with. The ratios are very key.
If I'm making jelly ( all my jellies are really weak versions of Pepper Jelly!) the pectin content goes up! As you said, if you're not experienced then follow the directions exactly. I'm lucky enough to be able to experiment all day long, so I try three or four different versions with more sugar, less sugar, more pectin, less pectin, etc., until I get it how I want it.
Generally speaking, if you use too little, you get fruit sauce.
If you use too much, you get a fruity version of pine resin