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I made strawberry jam, it didn't set. Can I do anything to correct this?
By rth gillan
Homemade strawberry jam is yummy. But what do you do if it is runny. Read on for a recipe to fix failed strawberry jam.
It is summer. Strawberry season is winding down. Raspberries and blueberries are just around the corner. Berries are just wonderful; about anyway you can eat them. I enjoy them fresh in a bowl, on my cereal or ice cream, in a frosty smoothy or in a pie. Come fall and winter, there is nothing like homemade strawberry jam on your favorite toast or on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
There are many good recipes for jam. I used a standard boxed pectin recipe with fresh picked strawberries from a local farm. My mouth was watering for homemade strawberry jam. I have not ever had a failure in my jam making, but this year I did. It was runny. It would make a great ice cream Sunday topper.
Most cooking mistakes can be fixed, so I researched my options. I called the 800 number on the pectin box. The help line operator had no information on how to fix runny jam. Next I called the local Cooperative Extension. Over the years, I have found them to be a great source of information. This year, they came to the rescue, again.
Here is the recipe to fix failed strawberry jam. You can use this recipe to fix up to 8 cups of runny jam. These portions are per cup of jam.
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of water
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered pectin
Mix pectin and water; bring them to a boil while you are stirring constantly. Add runny strawberry jam and sugar and stir constantly. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat. Boil for ½ minute. Then remove the pot from heat. Skim the top of an foam that may have formed. Put jam in hot jars and use new lids. Process the jam in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let the jars sit over night.
There is nothing like homemade strawberry jam. I invite you to try your hand at making a batch. If you have ever made jam and it didn't set up, don't be discouraged. Tuck this recipe away with your jam recipe for future reference and "just in case." It does work. I tried it this year! Yum. You can visit me at healthworks-lifeworks.com/
There is a recipe on the bottom of the instructions in the pectin box, depending on if you made jam or jelly. I have a batch of peach jelly that I have to remake because it did not set. Just remember to use new caps when reprocessing. Good luck!
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 tried making peach freezer jam and followed the instructions to a T. It is almost finished sitting out for 24 hours and it looks like it may not be quite thick enough. It looks a bit watery. Any ideas as to why?
By Sandi from IL
Sorry I don't know the answer to your question but this link below has a lot of info re: jams & jellies and the science behind them. There is also a recipe near the bottom on re-making freezer jam from a failed batch. I didnt know you could do that.
We always make raspberry freezer jam and once I had it turn out not quite as gelled but gelled enough. It of course will be firmer in the fridge and even firmer in the freezer. We always keep ours in the freezer and often I forget to take it out a few minutes early and actually like it on sandwiches when it is frozen.
Or you could use it on pancakes or Dutch Babies in place of syrup.
Thanks Kaelle for that site info. I went there and I may try to remake the jam if it doesn't seem to get gelled enough after putting it in the fridge.
I am now wondering if the peaches I used were too juicy?
My jam did not solidify. Can I re-cook and re-can? Help!
Hi Erika, yes, you can redo the jam. I'm assuming that you didn't use Sure-Jell (if you did, disregard this advice). Put the jam back into your pot and recook it.....bring to a full boil and continue to boil for the number of minutes given by the recipe. Stir constantly and vigorously. Be sure that the jam comes to a full boil before starting the timing. Can as usual. Also, you may not have added enough sugar to the juice. Be sure to use a reliable recipe. Another possibility is that your fruit was so ripe that it didn't contain enough natural pectin. If that's the case, then you will need to add Sure-Jell to the juice. This happened to me once with over-ripe blackberries. Making jellies and jams the old fashioned way (without SureJell) is an art; like me, you'll screw up alot of batches until getting it right. The good news is you can use the syrup for icecream or cakes. Hang in there! Joni
Cook the juice until it sheets off the spoon. Also you may need to add pectin again. I have had this happen a few times and I question the pectin quality. I always use Ball pectin as it has no preservatives.
I made some jelly on Oct 14 of this year. I followed the directions and sealed my jars and let the stand for 24 hours. The mixture was runny. So I refrigerated it and I just opened the jars and poured the content in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap.
My question is, can I use this mixture and try to reprocess it again?
This is not a good idea and it has sat now for over a month. You will either have to deal with runny jelly, make another batch, or try cooking it down a bit to see if it will thicken up a bit more. Other than this to cook and seal the jars again is not a good idea.
I made peach jam yesterday and it still has not set. I used Sure Jel pectin and followed the directions. Is there anything I can do fix it?
You could try cooking it again.
I personally wouldn't bother to recook as you could totally ruin it and that would be sad.
What I used to do was just use it like syrup on pancakes, ice cream, or over strawberry shortcake (a surprisingly yummy combo). It needs to be refrigerated and keeps a week or so.
I never could figure out why one time it would work and the next time not. It is disappointing. It is good as a "condiment" though.
This probably happened because it wasn't cooked long enough for it to jell. It isn't a good idea to try and cook it again. You should just use this now as a topping on cakes, ice cream or even waffles or pancakes. it will be excellent.
The next time you cook a batch of jam, you should take a spoon and let it cool for a second to see if it will start to jell. If not you will need to cook it a bit longer.
Perhaps try another recipe, one with a lot of good reviews?
Thanks I will Do That
My jam turned out runny. I followed the directions with Sure-Jell and redid it, but it is still runny. How do I thicken it? I don't know if it was because it was tomato jam.
How do I fix my runny jam? I made it 4 days ago, but I cut the sugar in half because it was so super sweet when I have made it before. Is it fixable or do I throw it out?
How do I fix runny strawberry freezer jam?
Some say you can just redo it with the appropriate number and proportion of ingredients: www.kraftrecipes.com/
"Remember do-overs when you were a kid? Sometimes they're necessary for freezer jams and jellies, too. Here are remake directions for SURE.JELL creations."
Reheat it and add more pectin.
I put the sugar in before the pectin when making jam. Now it's too thin. Anyone know how to solve the thickening problem?
What about using gelatin to thicken it?
i made a batch of Christmas jam used liquid pectin it still is not setting up. should I recook it?
I prepared jelly from Sure Jell, sugar, etc. The jelly is not thickening. My jars of strawberry jelly are sealed, but I didn't boil them in the hot water bath. Can I put it in a canner with the jars already sealed to boil it? Is it safe to boil them now in the canner?
I've made a batch of plum jam which is not very firm. Can I re-boil the jam until it becomes the right consistency or are there any other tips, please?
By Mai from Sheffield, England
Runny jam is sometimes caused by the chemical make up of the fruit, or getting the pectin too hot. You may be able to "force" it to thicken by cooking it again and bring it to a good boil. When the sugar gets hot enough it will thicken when it cools. It is the same concept as when making candy. As the sugar gets hotter it eventually reaches the hard crack stage. You don't want it to reach the hard crack stage, but you can refer to a candy thermometer for the desired temperature. This has worked for me on occasion.