"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Canning and Preserving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-18-2010, 08:38 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 12
When Is Jam Set?

I've made jam a few times now for canning. Just actually canned my first batch a few minutes ago.

This is really confusing. Not worried about the canning part, but when do you know the jam has set VISUALLY while still inside the pot?

I've done all kinds of tests, drip, put in freezer, etc.

But it seems to me, there is a point when the bubbles get really big, and then the color of the jam gets really dark right after.

When it went dark on my blueberry, it turned into blueberry bubble gum. I put it back on the stove and added some apple juice and it came back to a good consistency.

I've so far made, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry.

Problem is, I am making about a pint at a time and there are no recipes for such small amounts. So I'm winging it. Most have come out pretty good using 1:1 ratio by weight of sugar and fruit. No pectin, lemon, apple, etc. needed. They all have jelled using the guidelines I found. Some have over-jelled, but none under-jelled.

Can anyone help me out as to what to look for while it's still boiling in the pot? Do I look for really big bubbles? Do I wait until the really big bubbles get smaller and the color of the juice turns darker?

Thanks!

__________________

__________________
gracewriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 11:41 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 18,893
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
I usually use two parts fruit to one part sugar (no added pectin), but sometimes I have to cook it for a lonnnnng time ;)

I test like this: I put a plate in the fridge. I take it out and drip a small amount of the jam on it. I turn the plate sideways, so the jam drips down the vertical surface of the plate. Then I turn the plate 90 degrees, while keeping it vertical. If the jam doesn't drip again, it's ready. Put the plate back in the fridge. I made some fairly stiff jams on occasion before I realized that the plate had to be cold. o_0
__________________

__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
Head Chef
 
mcnerd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,326
If you have an instant-read thermometer, make sure your jam reaches 220F before you remove it from the heat. That's the gelling temperature (at sea level) and is referenced only when you do NOT use commercial pectin. If using a recipe with pectin, follow its requirements of hard rolling boil for 1 minute after the sugar is added.
__________________
Support bacteria. It's the only culture some people have.
mcnerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 11:28 AM   #4
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 12
Thank you, but...

Thanks very much for getting back to me. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I have tried all these methods.

My thermometer doesn't really work all that well. I'm 980 ft above seal level. Not quite 1000, but suspect I'm a few feet higher.

Anyway, I was reading someone's post where she was talking about what the boiling bubbles LOOK like when it has jelled.

It was hard for her to explain. Something like they get big and spurt? Not sure

Was also wondering about the color of the jam when it goes dark.

I appreciate all your help.

Thing is, when you are learning, it's a lot cheaper to just do one pint at a time.

My bubbles get really big, then get smaller, then the jam gets a darker shade. I only really ruined one batch of blackberries. But was able to use apple juice to thin it back out. Tastes pretty good.


I wish I had someone standing next to me who knew what they were doing. Tough trying to teach myself how to do this. But at least with the smaller batches, it's a bit more economical.

Also with the smaller (tiny) batches, seems it cooks up a lot quicker than the recipes for larger amounts.

I have another question about raspberries, so I'll start another thread.

Thanks a million!
__________________
gracewriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 11:39 AM   #5
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 8,404
I usually use one to one ratio and at the end I add some citric acid as a preservative. To answer your question, I use drip check. I put just a tiny drop on my thumb nail and turn it around if it doesn't drip it is done. Another tip I use the amount of jam should decrease approximately by half.
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 11:43 AM   #6
Head Chef
 
mcnerd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,326
If you are not at sea level you can find your particular 'gel temperature' by bringing water to a rolling boil and measure the temperature and add 8 to it.

Not all fruit is equal with the amount of natural pectin in them. The whole reason for commercial pectin is to avoid the necessity to overcook some fruits in order to reach a gel state.

Making jams and jellies is still an "art" in understanding chemistry, so I would stick to tested and approved recipes and especially avoid making large batches which almost guarantees an inability to reach a gel state.

If all else fails buy Pomona Pectin.
__________________
Support bacteria. It's the only culture some people have.
mcnerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2010, 05:17 PM   #7
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 12
Thanks!
__________________

__________________
gracewriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.