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xortch

Unset Jam?

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I followed the recipie for making jam on from Alton Brown available here. In the process I measured out 24 fl. oz. of blackberries instead of 24 oz by wieght and my jam did not set. So now I've got a bunch of runny preserves, is there anyway to correct this and boil it down some more or something to get it to set? It's still useable but id rather it be spreadable and not so liquidous.

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I followed the recipie for making jam on from Alton Brown available here. In the process I measured out 24 fl. oz. of blackberries instead of 24 oz by wieght and my jam did not set. So now I've got a bunch of runny preserves, is there anyway to correct this and boil it down some more or something to get it to set? It's still useable but id rather it be spreadable and not so liquidous.

Oddly enough I had the same thing happen earlier this week when I was trying to make freezer peach jam. I used Sure-Jell for low or no sugar jams (I tried low sugar). I followed the directions but I wonder if my fruit was a bit overripe, which they said would cause it not to set. Anyways, they do have directions for trying to salvage jellies or jams that didn't set. I'm assuming the regular Sure-Jell or Certo would have the same directions if you wanted to give that a try. You can either try saving a single test jar as they recommend, then doing the rest if the test sets ok, or jump in as I did and redo the whole batch cause I just didn't feel like doing it in two steps.... It did look to set up better. Good luck! If worse comes to worse, sounds like it would make a good topping for pancakes or waffles....

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Jam sets at somewhere between 200 and 220 (there is a jams and confiture thread here started by tissue, I think, that has the eact temperature). The weight of your blackberries really shouldn't really matter. I made berry jams with less sugar than that and no pectin. If you don't have a candy thermometer, try keeping a heavy cold plate in the freezer, and dropping a little bit of jam on the plate to see if it sets.

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You can cook it longer and check it periodically by dribbling a little on a saucer (I use a Pyrex custard cup) and to hasten the test, put the bottom of the saucer or cup in cold water. Once it mounds slightly when dropped and moves slowly when the cup is tipped, it should be set.

Or, if desperate, or nearly so, you can use

Melinda Lee's recipe for "Liquid Cement"

Which, I guarantee, will cause any fruit mixture to set, including apricot / pineapple preserves which are notorious for remaining runny.

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You say in your posting that you used blackberries. The recipe you linked to uses blueberries. Which did you actually use?

I've made blackberry jam many times. It's my favorite to make because blackberries have a very high natural pectin content and no additional pectin is needed. Just be sure some of the berries are not completely ripe.

I use the saucer in the freezer technique also, and it is really helpful. You probably didn't cook the jam to a high enough temp.

Eileen


Edited by etalanian (log)

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try ladleing about 2-3 cups into a skillet and cooking it over high heat, just until it sets. these small-batch jams are really easy to do and they usually come together in less than 5 minutes.

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I've never tried this myself, but I know that xanthan gum and other gums are used in addition to pectin or instead of pectin to thicken some low-sugar jams and jellies. Advantages would be that you would only need a very small amount, and you would not have to reboil the jam, so I imagine it would be a quick and easy method.


Edited by Patrick S (log)

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You say in your posting that you used blackberries. The recipe you linked to uses blueberries. Which did you actually use?

I use the saucer in the freezer technique also, and it is really helpful. You probably didn't cook the jam to a high enough temp.

Eileen

I used blackberries in the recipie. I just used his recipie as a basis and figured the berry in question really didn't matter too much. I found this site and followed its instructions and the jam mostly did set. At least much better than it did originally. I will use the spoon trick from now on to test if it is set or not before I preserve them.

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just a note

Blackberries, and even apricots as someone mentioned, do not need pectin to gel/set. There are many jam tricks - but cooking to a high enough temp and for long enough, usually do the trick.

Other info. you may want is that the commercial pectins like Certo impart a lot of flavor to your fruit, hence why I know that some fuits will still gel without pectin. However you can also find low methoxyl pectin which is really a must have for anyone who wants to make fruit preserves of any type. The most common variety of this is sold as Pomona's pectin and comes in a blue box. A little goes a long way. Feel free to PM me for more fruit or even veg. preserving if you want any detail.

Happy jamming, I hope the blackberry is to your satisfaction after reboiling etc.!

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Happy jamming, I hope the blackberry is to your satisfaction after reboiling etc.!

It still didn't quite set right, but I suppose that is part of the learning process. It's not always going to work my first few tries. Heck, I took me more than a month to finnaly make descent crepes. I'll just have to use the jam on desserts or something else, or just put up with really runny PBJs.

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