I made elderberry jelly last night, it didn't set up. I used two pouches of liquid pectin. Any suggestions?
By Boo/Nana from Eldon, MO
My grandmother always added apple juice to elderberry jelly. I always thought it was because of the taste but perhaps it was because the pectin wouldn't set it up. (08/19/2009)
If the balance of acid, sugar, pectin and liquid isn't right, the network of pectin molecules may not form. If this happens, what's left will still make a good ice cream topping, but it isn't much use as a spread. (08/19/2009)
By scott E.
The simplest option is to melt a jelly in a small amount of water (you can do this in the micro) and stir it into your jam. (08/23/2009)
I have made lots of elderberry jelly, and it is notorious for not setting up. When I first made it, and this happened, I called the Sure-Jel help line. They told me to add just enough water to get it to get it hot again and add more Sure-Jel (or pectin of choice) according to the amount of jelly that you end up with. If need be, and you need a little more than one...just go ahead and add two. I've never had any failures this way. I have learned over the years, however, to add extra pectin to begin with and hope it works. I check the "jel-stage" the old fashioned way by letting it run off the edge of a spoon. If it doesn't set up to my satisfaction, I add even more at that time. To me it's worth it. There's nothing like elderberry jelly. It just takes a little extra coaxing. **LOL** (08/23/2009)
This recipe is from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. As you can see, it doesn't require added pectin. It could be that the vinegar helps the pH and gets it to set up.
Combine elderberries, sugar and vinegar in a large sauce-pot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to gelling point. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Add more time for higher altitudes. Good luck! (08/24/2009)
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