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Help....My jam won't set
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# 1
betterbargains4u
Old 14-06-2007, 11:30 PM
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Default Help....My jam won't set

I had a very large glut of strawberries after massively over catering last weekend, so decided to make jam with them.
However, as am trying to be careful with what I eat, I hunted out a diabetic strawberry jam recipe off Google (see below)
I followed the recipe carefully and made the jam. Left it overnight and it didn't set.
Went out today and bought more gelatin, added a pack of gelation to every pint of jam. Made it early this afternnoon......just checked half an hour ago, and it still isn't set. What can I do???
Haven't frozen it yet...do you think that will make any difference?


Diabetic strawberry jam


4 cup Strawberries, halved
½ cup Concentrated white grape juice (simmered down from 1-1/2 cups)
2 ½ tablespoon Lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Grated lemon rind
1 ½ tablespoon Unflavored gelatin (1-1/2 envelops)
Place berries juices and lemon rind in saucepan. mash berries slightly to release juice. heat to boiling. Sprinkle with unflavored geltatin. Remove from heat, skim and pack into hot jars with hot lids. coool to room temperature before freezing. Because this is stored in the freezer, you may use any airtight, leakproof freezer container for sotrage, even plastic containers. Tastes better if allowed to sit for a week. freezes beautifully for up to 6 months
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# 2
Nile
Old 15-06-2007, 12:31 AM
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Hello betterbargains4u

I think the cooking experts in the 'Old Style' board will help you, so I'll move your thread across.

Hi, Martin’s asked me to post this in these circumstances: I’ve asked Board Guides to move threads if they’ll receive a better response elsewhere(please see this rule) so this post/thread has been moved to another board, where it should get more replies. If you have any questions about this policy please email abuse@moneysavingexpert.com.

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# 3
thriftlady
Old 15-06-2007, 7:07 AM
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Hi there,
Strawberries are famous for having very little pectin and therefore not setting well unless you add it.

I'm not familiar with diabetic jams so m not sure what the consistency should but if you've followed the recipe then you've probably got what you're supposed to get -thing is it won't be exactly like real jam. It sounds more like strawberry jelly.

I think you must resign yourself to the fact that if you want to make jam, you'll need lots of sugar -it'll keep for ages too without need for a freezer
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# 4
torbrex
Old 15-06-2007, 7:57 AM
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I dont know how it will fit with the diabetic recipe but my mother used to use strawberry flavoured Gelatine (jelly) cubes in her jam when it would not set.

Speaking for myself, I just add more sugar or lemon juice or I boil the jam for a little while longer.
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# 5
Penelope Penguin
Old 15-06-2007, 8:21 AM
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I agree with thriftlady - strawberry jam is notorious for being difficult to set.

My worry would be that adding more and more gelatine will affecr the flavour and *mouth feel* of the jam. If it were me, I'd cut my losses. Have a taste, if it's OK, get it into the freezer, then keep what you're using in the fridge - have it on toast and it may well be thick enough.

If it's too runny for toast, have it on Brymoor diabetic vanilla ice cream - enjoy!

HTH, Penny. x
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# 6
squeaky
Old 15-06-2007, 9:13 AM
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Yep

You can sometimes find pectin available to add to fruits like strawberries - otherwise you can do things like chop up a whole apple, put it in a muslin bag and boil it up in your strawberry mix to get the pectin level up. Then just lift it out.

If it still won't set... just use it on ice cream or other deserts as a strawberry sauce. It works a treat when poured over a basic sponge pudding, for example...

.. I bet you can't guess how I found that out!
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# 7
betterbargains4u
Old 15-06-2007, 10:47 AM
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Many thanks to you all.
The ...jam!!! is very runny and doesn't appear to have changed consistency at all, since I made it.
I am not a diabetic, but wanted to make something with less sugar in it, as I am very conscious of the amount of sweet things I eat.
I will try to add a strawberry jelly cube to each jar and then give up, if that doesn't work.
Unless anyone has any more suggestions??
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# 8
Gingernutmeg
Old 15-06-2007, 11:54 AM
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You can buy bottles of pectin from supermarkets and chemists, although you may have to hunt around for it - I think it's called Certo? I'm also wondering whether the jam may have been too hot when you added the gelatine? I've had a couple of occasions when I've let mine get too hot and the things I've added it to have never really set quite right. You could maybe try adding some more to the cooled jam, by melting it gently first them stirring it in. Although I'm wondering if it's meant to be *that* thick anyway? Gelatine (in my experience) doesn't really like to be frozen ...

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# 9
bunty109
Old 15-06-2007, 4:49 PM
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You can get Certo from Sainsburys in the sugar aisle.

Lemon juice will also help but as you haven't sugar in there as such I am not sure how that affects the lemon juice.
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# 10
Gironde Gal
Old 28-06-2008, 7:33 AM
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Default How can I guarantee that my jam will set?

I love to make jams and chutneys from the glut of produce in my garden. However in the last couple of years I have failed to get any of my jam to set, so I am very nervous of making any more as the fruit will be spoiled. OH doesn't mind as he would prefer to make wine with it

I usually follow recipes in Marguerite Patten's 'jams, preserves and chutneys' book, which has an excellent selection, but she is rather vague on cooking times and setting points.

Any pointers appreciated!
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# 11
Penelope Penguin
Old 28-06-2008, 8:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gironde Gal View Post
I love to make jams and chutneys from the glut of produce in my garden. However in the last couple of years I have failed to get any of my jam to set, so I am very nervous of making any more as the fruit will be spoiled. OH doesn't mind as he would prefer to make wine with it

I usually follow recipes in Marguerite Patten's 'jams, preserves and chutneys' book, which has an excellent selection, but she is rather vague on cooking times and setting points.

Any pointers appreciated!
Hello, there - I love the Gironde but I did get burnt the only time in my adult life at the Cote Sauvage

Are you testing for set, and if so, how :confused:

You may find your answer in The Complete Jam Collection.

Penny. x
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Last edited by Penelope Penguin; 28-06-2008 at 9:17 AM.
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# 12
horsechestnut
Old 28-06-2008, 9:01 AM
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Get the book "Home Preservation of Fruit and Vegetables" a HMSO publication.
All you need to know about jams and other preserves and easy to follow.
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# 13
freyasmum
Old 28-06-2008, 10:51 AM
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I cooked mine ever-so-slightly too long, and it's, ahem, very well set


It was all completely intentional of course...

Maybe you need to add some more pectin? Either by way of jam sugar (which is actually cheaper than granulated, per kg) or adding a fruit which is high in it.
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# 14
Gironde Gal
Old 29-06-2008, 7:53 AM
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Thanks for those tips. I usually test with the 'plate in the freezer' method. My book also states that if you miss the setting point, ie cook it for slightly too long, then you have missed the boat and it won't set at all, which doesn't give me much confidence. Not sure that we can get jam sugar here, but I'll have another look.
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# 15
Mrs Cupier
Old 29-06-2008, 8:29 AM
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Default I think that's only marmalade!

I have always understood that if you miss the setting point on marmalade, yes, you've had it. But with jam, once you're there, you're there, and if you keep boiling, it keeps stiffening, until it won't come out of the jar (like the disastrous Dried Apricot Jam experiment).

If you're not happy using the cold-saucer test, you could buy a jam thermometer (mine was about a fiver in John Lewis), although I've never had good results with it.

If you're short on pectin, add apples to the jam, or lemon juice.

Margeurite Pattern is pretty reliable, which fruit were you trying use? From my own experience, damson jam sets very quickly (3 minutes), blackberry and gooseberry can take up to 15 minutes. Are you boiling for long enough, or panicking you'll miss setting point and stopping too soon.

I hope you manage to find an answer, home made jam is one of the great joys in life (the small Cupiers now refuse any other kind of damson jam. )
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# 16
Gironde Gal
Old 29-06-2008, 3:08 PM
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You must all think I'm nurotic - or a rubbish cook! Last year we had runny rhubarb jam, runny plum jam, runny fig jam, runny blackberry jam... then they don't keep and go mouldy.

Does it really set that quick? Sometimes I have it boiling 1/2 an hour and still no apparent set so I give up and put it in the jars.

Perhaps one of you would fancy a free holiday chez moi and I can have a master class
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# 17
freyasmum
Old 29-06-2008, 3:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gironde Gal View Post
You must all think I'm nurotic - or a rubbish cook! Last year we had runny rhubarb jam, runny plum jam, runny fig jam, runny blackberry jam... then they don't keep and go mouldy.

Does it really set that quick? Sometimes I have it boiling 1/2 an hour and still no apparent set so I give up and put it in the jars.

Perhaps one of you would fancy a free holiday chez moi and I can have a master class
I had my jam on for ages!

It had at least an hour from starting till it was ready.

I'll book my ticket right now
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# 18
Chell
Old 11-07-2008, 7:32 PM
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I'm just making jam that is refusing to set, looks like we will be having lots of strawberry sponge puddings then!
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# 19
moneypooh
Old 11-07-2008, 7:47 PM
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The only strawberry jam that recently set was with fruit we picked at a PYO. They actually had a variety especially for making jam that has higher natural pectin levels. Worked a treat!!
Certo is also available at most Tescos (even in our local express) - sugar aisle again - never got on with it though. If it fails to set, it does make a perfect sauce.

My children actually want me to make some 'failed' raspberrry jam as last year I ran out of sugar and 2 x pots worth couldn't be made properly.
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# 20
charlies_mum
Old 28-08-2008, 12:07 PM
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Default Help !! My jam won't set

I am making plum jam using 2 lbs plums and 1 kg of jam sugar and have had it boiling for ages, but it won't thicken.

Any idea what I can do as it tastes lovely
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