Saturday, May 21, 2011

It'll Do. Strawberry Jam.

File all attempts at jam and jelly making under the F file for FAIL.  Paul and I just aren't very good at it.  Yet we keep trying - we must be gluttons for punishment because it's a lot of work and time that goes into making jam. 

We do things right.  We wash the jars and sterilize them and the lids.  We put them in the oven at 180* so they'll be just the right temp for pouring jam into.

We get the boiling water ready for the canning.  We follow the recipe for the jam itself to the letter. 

And then, after boiling for the prescribed 1 minute, we pour into jars, so full of hope. 

They all sealed perfectly.
Then they cooled.
And, as always, our jam is runny. 
Ah well.  It still works on toast, and is wonderful on pancakes or stirred into oatmeal or poured on ice cream. 

Any ideas folks, why our jellies and jams never set up?  We used Sure-Jell this time.  Apparently, Sure-Jell isn't such a SURE THING after all....

27 comments:

Laura Railing said...

I've heard that cooking it longer to cook it down some more can work. Maybe try that and see? They suggest putting a spoonful into a bowl to see how it sets up. If nothing else though you're right- you have some yummy pancake topping!! I hope you can get it some year!!! I've decided to can this year. We have SO much awesome local produce but I've never had the time until now to do anything, but it all changes this year! We'll see how it goes :-S

Laura Railing said...

p.s. Here is an actual recipe of what you can add to a mix that didn't set:

Liquid Cement


This Is The Formula For Setting Up Jam Or Jellies That Did Not "Set"

For 8 cups of un-jelled recipe:


Place the un-jelled mixture in a saucepan
Add 1/2 cup, granulated sugar
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly


Then add:


1/2 cup, lemon juice
1/2 cup, liquid pectin (such as Certo)


Return the mixture to a boil
Boil for 4 minutes only
Pour into freshly washed, sterilized hot jars
Seal with lid or wax.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Strawberry syrup and sauce sounds great. I have never made jam before so, I am no help.

Karen said...

I'm about to START my canning/jarring... made applesauce for the first time and it was great, although I only got 2 quart jars out of many apples. I'm looking forward to your remedy so I can do the same thing. Let us know if you figure it out!

cat said...

Make freezer jam. Then you don't have to worry about whether it sets or not. And it keeps that "just picked" flavor. Google strawberry freezer jam for a recipe.

farmer said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
For your jam did you use crushed fruit?
It is very important that it is not whole,it wont measure right,causing it to be runny.
Also the rolling boil is boiling hard enough that you can not stir it down.
you may not of got to that hard of a boil..

Samantha said...

My runny jams were caused by not boiling hard/long enough, as farmer mentions.
STILL waiting on strawberries to ripen here!!

Greenacresmama said...

(Don't need to publish this if my first comment went through)...Pomona's Universal pectin has been foolproof and much easier for me. You can also use honey instead of sugar and it takes less sugar to make jam, which is nice. You can find it on Amazon or maybe at small, local groceries.

texwisgirl said...

ooh. send some of that yummy runny goo over to top my toast this morning! :)

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

We take the easy road and make freezer jam every year. I'd love to learn to can and make preserves.

Dawn said...

I was running into that all the time...the I found the easy and wonderfulness of FREEZER JAM:)))
I don't think I can go back to all that work now:)

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the freezer jam, it is much more forgiving. Boiling a little longer will also help.

Mary Jo

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Wow this looks like some good jelly! I have never done this, so you do not want my advice :)

Angela said...

I've made blackberry jam and peach jam in the past with no problems at all. I have a recipe where you don't use pectin and it calls for less sugar. Mine firms up really well. I'll find my recipe and get it to you if you'd like.

Valerie said...

I've had that happen before too and I'm not sure why. You are right though-it is still good on pancakes, oatmeal,toast and ice cream-and I get so much satisfaction just looking at the beautiful jars of jam:)
I keep meaning to do freezer jam, but my freezer is stuffed full of rhubarb!

Shanae Branham said...

Hi Lisa,
Great looking jam. Good job on the the core workouts and all the running. You are amazing especially since you are still in a "healing-phase".
Cheers,
Shanae

Trisha said...

I have always had the same prob. with jam :) I've been reading threw the comments in hopes of finding out how to firm it up. I like freezer jam too. I haven't had a prob. with that one :D

Texan said...

If your using the same recipe every year I would switch to a different one. and I agree that hard rolling boil takes a bit to reach. If you can stir it and it isn't a rolling boil then its not boiling hard enough yet.

Nancy said...

Sounds like you have gotten plenty of good advice, Lisa. I was also going to say let it boil longer. You can usually tell it's ready if it drops off of a spoon slowly and is not runny. :) Good luck!

Debbie @ Swampbilly Ranch said...

I am with the crowd that says boil it longer. I keep a metal tablespoon in a cup of ice water. When you can spoon out about half a tablespoon and it sets up in the spoon, it is ready.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Oh no. If you can't do it then there is no hope for me!!! ;) Sorry it's runny but glad it still tastes yum!

Farmchick said...

I am no help! I don't can...yet!

jennohara said...

Hmm...I haven't attempted jam making yet, so I'm no help...
But I think yours looks delicious! I'd have that on pancakes every morning! :)

Chatty Crone said...

I don't but I know some others will.

Marilyn said...

I'm with Cat... Freezer jam for sure.
No fail and always so easy and SO delicious : D

Myya said...

The only jam I've ever managed to set up is Freezer jam. No tips from me. LOL

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I've never had trouble with jam--hm, maybe you didn't boil it long enough? No idea! But those jars sure look pretty.