I recently made several batches of peach jam. In one batch all the jars had a peachy color liquid layer at the bottom of about 1/2 inch. Also the jam is a slightly liquidy. Is the jam edible and what happened?
E.E. from Ames, IA
Is it actually canned? Or wax on top? If canned, I would stir it up and use it on pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. If waxed, I would put it back in a pan and boil it until it thickens. Or, boil for several minutes to thicken it somewhat and kill any germs, then use it as a topping.
If it has simply been refrigerated, either of the above would work.
Did you use pectin? Did you make any changes in the recipe -- like use less sugar? I don't think there is anything wrong with your jam. It just sounds as if there was not enough pectin in the last batch. I always use Certo -- either liquid or crystals, but any brand will do I think, and my jam is always fine. You could do as the last poster suggested and use it as a peach syrup, or you could re-do it using pectin. There are recipes for fixing jam that did not set included with the pectin. Another thought I have is that this particular batch was juicier for some reason, and therefore required more cooking if you did not use pectin, or perhaps was so juicy that it required more pectin than ordinary. Whatever, the jam is edible. It will taste the same -- just isn't quite as solid.
How long ago did you make the jam? It sometimes takes 2-3 weeks to set up. Since it is still liquid and slightly separated, if it is properly sealed (boiling water bath) just invert the jars for a week or so and see what happens. I had some corn cob jelly once that took a month to set up. If it flops, it will still be heavenly on pancakes and ice cream. Have fun!
Please be careful of the safety issues of contamination. If in doubt, throw it out. Your combination of sugars, fruit and pectin must not have been true science. Did you fudge on sugar or use Splenda?
I make sugarless or low sugar jams/jellies, but must have the pectin that states that. If you don't use the reduced or sugar free, you will have the syrup.
I did this with plums and used frozen apple juice from the can and of course, that threw off the sugar basis. I tried to redo it, just came out the same. BUT it is delicious. Tastes like Bing Cherry sauce. Use for cheese cakes, ice cream, pig out day finger dips, etc.
If you don't care for it, wrap it up for gifts at Christmas---Peach Ice Cream sauce, etc. My kids also liked my soupy mess for dipping pretzels, fresh bread, etc.
all you need to do is add more pectin. lemon juice is very high in pectin.(that,s why a lot of jam (jelly) recipes have it added)empty it back into a saucepan and get it to what,s called a rolling boil until setting point is reached.To test if it,s set put a small plate into the freezer, spoon a small amount on to it,wait until cold and when you push your finger through and it wrinkles you know that it,s set. bottle as normal.I make a lot of jam so I hope this helps. Jan UK
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