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Friday, June 8, 2012

What Do You Do When Your Jelly Doesn't Gel?


What do you do when your jelly (or jam) doesn't gel? First of all, wait 2 weeks. I've had jelly mysteriously gel overnight, on that 13th or 14th day. I have no idea, why, at that moment it gelled; but it did. So, wait 2 weeks. If after 2 weeks it still has not gelled, then you can remake it, following these instructions from Bernardin CA.

"How to Remake cooked jam/jelly using powdered fruit pectin

1) Measure unset jam/jelly to be remade.
2) For each 1 cup (250 ml) product, measure: 

  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated sugar,
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) water and
  • 1  tsp (7 ml) BERNARDIN® Fruit Pectin.
3) In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, whisk fruit pectin into water. Stirring constantly to prevent scorching, bring to a boil. Stir in the measured jam and sugar.
4) Stirring constantly over high heat, bring to a full rolling boil; boil hard 30 seconds. Remove from heat; skim foam, if necessary.
5) Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre new SNAP LIDS® on jars; apply screw bands securely until fingertip tight. Heat process 10 minutes in boiling water canner.


How to Remake cooked jam/jelly using liquid pectin

1) Measure unset product and place in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan.
2) For each 1 cup (250 ml) unset product, measure and set aside:
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) granulated sugar,
  • 1 tsp (7 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (7 ml) BERNARDIN® Liquid Pectin
3) Stirring constantly over high heat, bring product to a boil. Add sugar, lemon juice and liquid pectin.
4) Stirring constantly, return mixture to a full rolling boil; boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim foam, if necessary.
5) Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre new SNAP LID® on jar; apply screw band securely until fingertip tight. Process 10 minutes in boiling water canner."



Ball, M.P.C., Sure-Jell, or any other brand of pectin will also work with this recipe. Be certain to use the appropriate directions for your powdered or liquid pectin. 

The instructions should be followed precisely, measuring and mixing as stated, then boil hard for the allotted time. Sterilize your jars again and process for 10 minutes after sealing jars.



My recent experience
I made a batch of crabapple-red currant jelly a little over 2 weeks ago, using fruit juice that I'd extracted and kept frozen since last summer. I'm not sure if I overcooked the juice and killed off the pectin, or if I had too large an amount of water in proportion to the fruit when extracting the juice. In any case, the jelly didn't gel and needed recooking.

Following these instructions, I remade the jelly with great success. I can see the gelling take place in the jars as they cool.


What do you do with the foamy stuff from making jam or jelly?  Here are my uses, in the spirit of waste not, want not:

  • use it on PBJ sandwiches
  • add it to fruit cobbler, crisp, or smoothies
  • with the jelly-making pot, make jam milk (stir in a glass of milk, scraping down the sides of pot)
  • or add water, swirl around, and infuse tea for flavored tea  


More helps
For future batches of homemade jelly or jam, the following articles may be of help:

Extracting Juice from Fruits for Jelly-Making (How to select, prepare, and extract the juice from fruit.)

Testing for Doneness in Jelly-Making (This article contains a table of specific temperatures matched with altitudes to ensure doneness in homemade jelly and jam.)


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3 comments:

alex said...

nice post

Irene said...

Thank you for this. Very helpful.

Lili said...

I'm so glad this article could be of help, Irene.

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