Help! My jelly didn't set!!

Discussion in 'Food Preservation and Storage' started by Netty, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Clearly there is a learning curve to Jelly making. My grape jelly turned out great, my blackcurrent jelly set TOO well, and my pomegranate jelly still looks like juice. I had hoped to pass out the Pomegranate jelly tonight at Christmas, but this morning it still looks like canned juice. The recipe I used called for 5 cups of juice, 1/4 cup lemon juice, I package of liquid pectin, and 4 1/2 cups of sugar. I followed the directions exactly and then processed for 5 minutes in a water bath. Is there anything I can do to get this to set?
     
  2. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Re-heat the juice to a boil and then add more pectin or gelatin powder.

    *General tip: If it needs to be twice as thick as it now is, then you need to as much as you did the first time.

    You can also boil it down--that will help thicken it as well.

    You know, it is a guessing game, so I can't tell you the exact amount. Just experiment until it comes out like you want it.
    If after this attempt it is STILL too thin, just repeat the process until you arrive at the degree of thickness that you want.

    The thing is Netty, you can keep repeating this process so long as it is too thin, but for some reason you can't once it goes good and stiff.

    We've had to perform this a time or two.

    Good luck today.
     
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  3. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Thanks Sjoerd! I just noticed that the little bit I put in the fridge is slightly more 'jiggly' then the processed jars, but still not set enough. I will work with it, but my time is limited today. Good to know that I can keep repeating this process until I get it right!
     
  4. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    BTW Netty, what you had over in the fridge will set differently than what you have in the jars, often...so you can't necessarily use it as a guide.

    I have a little thing that I do when making jams and jellies....
    I place a small, flat plate in the fridge (or freezer even) before I begin making the jelly.

    When I think that the jelly is ready, I take a drop of the boiling jelly and drop a blob on the cold plate (about nickel or quarter sized).
    I let it sit while the jelly continues to boil a minute or two. Then I push the edge of the blob with my finger to see it wibble or wrinkle.

    You can see about how thick it is and decide to stop the process or continue.
    You can also do a little taste test with that blob. ;)

    I sure hope that you will have the time to continue.
     



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  5. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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  6. 2ofus

    2ofus Hardy Maple

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    Change the labels and re-name it desert topping or ice cream topping. My family loved to use it on their pancakes and looked forward to using my failures.
     
  7. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I use failures on pancakes, slices of pound cake and some of the peach that doesn't set gets used as a pie filling.

    I did the recooking method to thicken up some grape jelly a few years ago and the texture turned to that of Axle Grease but hubby loved it on toast anyway.
     
  8. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Very good answers. If you do it another time and it thickens just a little bit it would be great on pancakes...
     
  9. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    There are some fruits that take up to a week to set and gel. What recipe did you use ? The weather when the fruit was growing can also affect the gel. Lot of rain during growth does not make for good jelly. Wet years I have had apple jelly that did like yours and apples have a lot of pectin. I just added some cinnamon and nutmeg cooked it down a bit and re-named it apple-cinnamon syrup. Everyone thought they were getting something special.
     
  10. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    If your jelly never does set-up, you could mix it in with your egg nog. It would give it an interesting flavour. We here use It over our vanilla custard. Mart has the right idea.

    Do let us know how it came out though, oké?
     
  11. waretrop

    waretrop Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    I wish I could help better for you know I am into preserving foods. I just don't do jams and jellies anymore. I do know that most of the time the reason for not setting up is not enough pectin or not keeping it at the correct temp long enough.

    Sometimes things just don't work......
     
  12. Donna S

    Donna S Hardy Maple

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    I had the same problem this year with raspberry jam also. I was told if fruit is over ripe it can cause it not to set. It great of ice cream.
     
  13. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I finally had the chance to re-do my jelly yesterday. It came out a little thicker and I was OK with that ... I was just going to label it as Pomegranate Syrup instead. After checking on it in the pantry this morning, I noticed that it is a little thicker again. Maybe it needs to sit longer? Anyway, thanks all for your help!
     
  14. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    That's what I was talking about earlier. Some fruits need to sit at room temp a week or little longer to set and gel. I have had problems with the gel set when using Certo. But even with Sure Gel it still depends a lot on the fruit. I have grape vines and in dry years the fruit sugars/pectin are more concentrated,,therefore better gel set. Wet years,,you never know if you are going to get jelly or syrup.
     
  15. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Thanks Mart! I used liquid pectin for the first time too, so that may have had something to do with it.
     

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