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Old 06-27-2011, 11:24 AM   #1
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Oops, no-pectin jam didn't set. What should I do?

I'm a canning newbie, and I made my second batch of no-pectin, low-sugar jam last night. I used the overnight sugar maceration method with a big batch of fresh-picked strawberries.

Tastes great, but it didn't set. I think maybe my quantity of berries was too high compared to the amount of sugar and lemon juice. Or else I tried to make too big a batch (used 7 pounds of berries); however I have a giant preserving pot with lots of surface area, so I don't feel that was necessarily the problem.

What's my next step to rescue my delicious jam?

Thanks!
-Kim

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:37 PM   #2
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You could use it as a sauce for pancakes, ice-cream, yoghurt etc. Or heat it gently for a few mins and add the pectin.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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Kim -

a bit uncertain as to your preferences with the low sugar, no pectin thing... however, yes it can be "re-processed"

if you do a search on 'reprocess strawberry jam' there's a couple sites with tips on how to do it. however, they all start with a new batch of pectin...

cooking pectin too long can destroy the jelling properties - you need the right pectin, sugar and acid content/relationship to make things work right.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC. I would not try to rescue the strawberry Jam.
I would be showing everyone what beautiful Strawberry Syrup that I made,

Josie
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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When this happened to one of my batches of blackberry jam (with pectin) I made icecream with it.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
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Smoothies with yogurt.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:53 PM   #7
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I don't have a real preference on the pectin, but I do like a very tart jam... thus the low sugar. I just stumbled on the low-sugar, no-pectin recipe on the internet when I wanted to make Blenheim apricot jam last summer, and it made -- seriously -- the best jam I've ever had. So I figured I should try it with some other fruits this year.

I have 6 pints of failed jam, and don't like strawberry ice cream, so I really would like to try to make it jell if at all possible.

I'm thinking maybe the reason it failed is that I cooked the jam too long over too low heat. My stove is lame, and while I was boiling my jars on the one good burner, I tried to cook the jam on a pathetic smaller burner. It took forever to come to a boil; in fact I think it didn't boil until I moved it to the bigger burner after the jars were boiled. Maybe that slow low cooking killed off the pectin?

I have a box of low-sugar Sur-Jell. Perhaps I could mix that with the 1/4c sugar they recommend and then re-cook the jam with that?
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:35 AM   #8
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The apricot jam probably set better because it has more natural pectin in it. I made no pectin strawberry jam and it was a little runny, but still tasted yummy. If you don't want to use powdered pectin, you can add in a fruit skin like apples to give it a little mroe pectin to set.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:46 AM   #9
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Not that this helps at all (and I apologise for that), but I made raspberry jam last year and the first time I tried it it came out rock solid lol, could bearly spread it on my toast
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:33 PM   #10
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What did you end up doing?

I'm in the same boat - strawberry jam didn't set. What did you end up doing to save yours?

I've made blueberry syrup that was more like jelly, and no-pectin cherry jam (David LeBovitz' recipe) very successfully, but I think those fruits have more natural pectin than strawberries.

Also, could you please share the link for the low-sugar, no-pecting jam recipe? We all love jam here, and I'm thinking we could do with a little less sugar! :)

Thanks,
Julie
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