Jam/Jelly makers - Need some Help

Bleenie

Wyan-DO's
10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
5,014
84
268
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
Last night I made some beautiful Nectarine Jam, just a small batch of 6 1/2pt jars. There was a little leftover so i put it in a container to be used. My problem is that the extra I put in the container set kind of stiffly... I think I may have done something wrong? I made Mixed Berry Jam the night before and it turned out great.

The only difference in the two batches was that grandmother insisted i add a small amount of butter to the Nectarine to reduce foaming(it seemed like it made it foam more though). Could that have made it set so stiff?


Here is the recipe just in case there's something wrong there......
4c finely chopped nectarines
5.5c Sugar
1 box pectin
1 tsp butter(added by grandmother)
 

airmechreed

Songster
8 Years
May 17, 2011
328
3
134
Colorado Springs
My wife makes Jam I just help so I am no expert but from what we have read it is a balance of the fruit and pectin that gives the jam its stiffness. There is liquid pectin that she uses for peaches which seems to work better than the powdered stuff to keep it thiner and more of the consistancy of a thick syrup. Good luck with the jam hope that helps
 

jtbrown

Songster
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
1,795
25
179
Southeastern Ohio
I cannot help as to why, but last year, I made a pear butter (not real butter, think apple butter), it turned out stiff like that. Hard to spread, etc. It has good taste, but more like a gellied candy than true pear butter. I know this doesn't help, but I am not sure why it happens either.
 

vfem

Yoga...The Chicken Pose
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
7,324
29
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Fuquay Varina, NC
You got it too hot for too long. You need to soften the fruit slowly over medium heat. Add the pectin and bring to a boil for 1 minute (temp you want it 220 and not over or you are candying it rather then trying to create a soft gel) then add 1 tbsp of lemon juice, this helps with color and making sure the pectin sets correctly. Then add your sugar, bring back to a boil again 220 degree for no more then 1 minute and remove from heat. If its too thick and sheeting heavily off a spoon the gel will be hard, and you can put it back on the heat and add 1/2 cup water or sugar free fruit juice like apple. This will help thin it out and you'll have a lighter set.

Good luck!
 

Bleenie

Wyan-DO's
10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
5,014
84
268
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
Thank you guys for the help! I will have to be a little more careful next time. I made the first batch fine but I think having my grandmother next to me made me nervous... she's made a bazillion jars of jam/jelly!!

I appreciate the help! I am making Plum tonight so hopefully it'll go better
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4-H chicken mom

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 3, 2007
17,491
174
431
Oberlin, OH
Just a reminder that when you remove from heat, it literally means to remove pot from the heat, not just turning the heat off. The burner grate still remains hot for a period as well. Slide the pot to a cooled burner.
thumbsup.gif
 

Rniare

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 24, 2011
30
0
21
Agree x3. Heat too long is not good. One time I was so smart and sure of myself I forgot (unknowingly) the sequence of what was added first. Man did I end up with the best "cherry syrup" Best mistake I ever made. Good luck, great memories with Grandma!
 

Bleenie

Wyan-DO's
10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
5,014
84
268
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
I tried to make Pineapple jam & Pineapple mixed with other stuff jam last year and ended up with the yummiest ice cream topping! I think that was a problem with the pectin though. Everyone I gave it away to love it though, lol.
 

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