What an all around FIASCO

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What an all around FIASCO

Post by Connie on Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:25 am

No kids this time... just JAM... The other day I was at the fruit stand and they had two plastic bags of plums that needed to be used for $1 each.. SO I decided.. hey I can make jam! Woohoo! Bought the two bags plus a bag of peppers AND the same size bag full of jalapenos... Hey they were $1 a bag... gotta take advantage right? ROFLMAO

Now these are the plastic bags you grab in the grocery store to put your fruits and veggies in... Do you KNOW how many plums fits in one of these bags? Stuffed full?

This is only my second time trying to make real jam.. my first time was grape jelly and I ended up with a ton of grape syrup... I forgot how LITTLE fruit it takes..

So today I dig everything out and I need about 4 1/2 cups of chopped fruit... Guess what? That isn't much... lol I had peaches in the freezer from last season that I thought I would use up... this recipe took all of about 6 peaches and maybe 10 plums...

Then to top it all off... I followed the recipe EXACTLY after the grape syrup disaster.... chopped fruit.. add the lemon and water.. add the sugar.. bring to a rolling boil... add the pectin bring back to a rolling boil.. boil for ONE minute exactly... remove from heat, ladle into jars... water bath etc... It's NOT setting up! Now I have seven half pints of plum peach syrup... I DO NOT get this whole jam making thing!

The ONLY think I varied on at all was the rolling boil after adding the pectin... the paper says a rolling boil is a boil that can't be stirred down.. so once it started boiling after adding the pectin, dh set the timer and I DID let it go an extra 10 seconds simply because I wasn't positive it was a "rolling boil" when he set the timer.. I counted...

I give up... will just have to stick to freezer jam.. at least that always seems to work.. What a Face
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Re: What an all around FIASCO

Post by Lori on Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:37 am

Connie, you can redo the jam, don't worry! It all has to do with how much pectin the fruit has in it naturally. The older the fruit gets, the less pectin, and when you say the plums had to be used up, I suspect that that's what the problem was. Not sure where plums fall on the amount of pectin that occurs naturally. I've made marmalade that specified boiling the orange seeds and some of the rind along with the fruit because that's where most of the natural pectin occurs. Some recipes will say to make sure that some of the fruit is unripe, and I'm assuming that it's to insure that it sets up.

I had the Ball Preserving House Party and they sent a great book that helps explain a lot.

Anyhow, here's a link to a problem solver pdf file:

http://www.freshpreserving.com/filebin/pdf/howto/Soft_Spreads_Prob_Solver_2.pdf

And How to Remake Soft Spreads:

http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/remake_soft_spreads/40.php

I've also heard that any time you're afraid your jam won't set you can use more than one box of pectin. The drawback is that the more you use the cloudier your finished product will look.

Good Luck!


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Re: What an all around FIASCO

Post by edbson on Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:42 am

Some jams ans jellies can take up to a week to set right. I had some Muscadine that took several days.

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Re: What an all around FIASCO

Post by chelle on Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:02 pm

Yep, both are right- and I always let it boil for a little longer than a minute. I very seldom use real fruit except muscidine and mahaw anymore- I do mine from fruit juice. LOL lazy I know.. Smile and like erin, I've had it look like syrup for a few days. I think humidity has something to do with it... (I blame everydamn thing on humidity... EVERYthing.. LOL but its usually 90% around here. LOL )

and when you have a roiling boil, you will know it. if you are boiling and when you stir it kinda stops, you aint rollin yet. boil is actually when the bubbles come to the surface and pop.

I might check into reboiling it. adding a bit more pectin.

just change out your jar lids. remember those cant be reused.
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Re: What an all around FIASCO

Post by Connie on Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:04 pm

You are all correct! After the third day it started setting up and looking good... good enough that I gave a couple of jars to the neighbors... whew...

Now if that grape jelly I made a few years ago would magically turn into jelly.. haha

Lori, thanks for those links and the hint about the older fruit not having as much pectin! I never knew that.. I thought I was just getting a great bargain with the discounted fruit!
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