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Old 08-28-2015, 03:25 AM   #1
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New to canning; jam did not set

I'm a little confused here as to what I could have done wrong.

I made strawberry jam following the instructions I found here:

National Center for Home Food Preservation | How Do I? Jam and Jelly

I followed those instructions to the letter and the jam did not set.

I then followed the instructions given here: How to Fix (or Remake) Jam or Jelly That Turns Out Too Soft or Runny in an attempt to rescue the unset jam.

This also did not help as the Jam still has not set.

I am a total canning novice, this was my first attempt at doing anything like this.

I have tried searching the net for answers and just find myself even more confused.

What could I have done wrong to cause this jam not to set?

Does anyone have a link to a proper step by step tutorial on making jam for a total beginner? All the videos and things I have found so far all either assume you have done it before or just take huge leaps and don't give enough information.

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Old 08-28-2015, 06:06 AM   #2
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I don't like the way that your recipe lists the amount of pectin. Things may have changed since the original recipe was published in 1982/2005. You can't tell if the original recipe called for a 3 ounce pouch of pectin or a 6 ounce pouch of pectin.

I would look for a recipe that gives the ingredients in ounces, cups, etc... or use a recipe from the pectin manufacturers website.

In the meantime it sounds like you have a great ice cream topping, pancake topping or milkshake syrup!

Good luck!!!
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:08 AM   #3
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Marisa from Food in Jars does a great job of describing how to make different types of preserves. She has a lot of recipes online and also has a couple of books about it. Here's her strawberry jam recipe: http://foodinjars.com/2009/06/strawberry-jam/
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:52 AM   #4
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Do you get Surejell/ Certo pectin products? The boxes contain a nice comprehensive insert for making jams and jellies. Also, there are several different types of pectin, as the insert states, they are not interchangeable.
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:04 AM   #5
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And I would also suggest that you take a look at Ball Blue Book site on canning.

Recipes

It has all the recipes for canning any food that can be canned. And it will answer any questions you may have. But it does sound like you have a pectin problem. We have a lot of folks here that can every year. They are really good at giving you the right answer and information.

The Ball Blue Book on Canning is the Bible of canning. Any other site you may have found on line, you can safely bet, they got their information from the Ball Blue Book.
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:43 AM   #6
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I made freezer jam for the first time and I thought it wasn't setting, but did after I let it rest. When I take it out of the freezer it's hard as a rock! Put it in the fridge overnight and it's defrosted but a bit runny. Still delicious, but not how I remember it from the 70's when my neighbor use to make it.
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Old 08-28-2015, 12:57 PM   #7
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Thank for the replies

I have certo and bernardin liquid pectin.

Surejell is not sold here and is very expensive to import.

I did look at the ball site but again all the recipes they have there specify Ball powdered pectin which we can't buy here and costs way too much to import.

There are recipes in the pectin packets so i'll try one of those and see how it goes.
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:22 PM   #8
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New to canning; jam did not set

I've found better results with powdered pectin. Also, check the expiration date on the pectin package. I rolled the dice and used a 2 year expired packet of liquid Certo in my rhubarb jam, it was tasty but also a bit runny.

It also never hurts to throw in a bit of minced apple with peel, which has pectin and may help with setting.

Good luck! Homemade jam is so good!
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I've found better results with powdered pectin. Also, check the expiration date on the pectin package. I rolled the dice and used a 2 year expired packet of liquid Certo in my rhubarb jam, it was tasty but also a bit runny.

It also never hurts to throw in a bit of minced apple with peel, which has pectin and may help with setting.

Good luck! Homemade jam is so good!
Cooking apples are not common here and as such very hard to find.

Pectin itself is very difficult to find here and on ebay it's mainly sold by Americans that for some unknown reason insist on screwing Europeans on postage. I know for a fact it does not cost as much as they charge to send things over here, nowhere near.
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Old 08-28-2015, 02:21 PM   #10
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Two things. First cooking time seems extremely short to me.
Second strawberries could be very juicy which is a good thing if you eat them, but very bad if you make jam. I have not been able to make strawberry jam for years now, because of that problem. And then the first problem becomes even worse if that's the case, because you really need to cook to the point where all juice/liquid is evaporated.
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