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  1. #1
    pumpkin cuddler is offline Seedling
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    Default Runny strawberry jam

    I read all the things that I could on the jam - do's an dont's.
    I still need more help though.
    We had loads of strawberries so I decided to have a go at jam.
    Found up a recipe and followed it to the letter, (not something that I usually do!)
    When you boil the jam how do you know when you have reached set point. Is it just the spoonful on a cold plate??
    If after the time stated on the recipe it still does not set on the plate does this mean that I need to boil it some more?
    I now have five wonderful smelling, great tasting, watery pots of jam.
    Tried it on toast and it literally soaks through all over to the plate. Not good when you are tired first thing in the morning and really dont want to have to worry about the mess. Let alone mushy toast, (not my thing)

    Is it possible for me to pour out the jam and reboil it. If I do should I add more sugar, the taste is very scrummy as it is and more sugar might spoil the taste. I did add a good squirt of lemon, should I add more?? Do I need to resterilize the jam pots again??
    Please help as we would really love not to have to use a straw to eat my jam. At least we have something to have a good laugh about though.
    thanks

    the pumpkin cuddler

    It does not matter what our specific fate is as long as we face it with ultimate abandon.

  2. #2
    pigletwillie's Avatar
    pigletwillie is offline Ohhh Shiny
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    Strawberries have no pectin which is required for jam to set. You can use more lemon juice or use jam sugar which has pectin added.

    You can tell if its ready as when you push your finger through the spoonful of jam on the cold plate, it will wrinkle up. if it doesnt carry on boiling for a few more minutes and try again. it is a bit trial and eror but with practice you do get a bit of a knack and know when its about right.

    You could try again with your jam by adding more lemon juice and getting a good rolling boil going before doing the plate test.

    Hygiene is everything with preserving foods and you will need to sterelise everything again, especially the jars.

  3. #3
    muckdiva's Avatar
    muckdiva is online now Tuber
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkin cuddler View Post
    I read all the things that I could on the jam - do's an dont's.
    I still need more help though.
    We had loads of strawberries so I decided to have a go at jam.
    Found up a recipe and followed it to the letter, (not something that I usually do!)
    When you boil the jam how do you know when you have reached set point. Is it just the spoonful on a cold plate??
    If after the time stated on the recipe it still does not set on the plate does this mean that I need to boil it some more?
    I now have five wonderful smelling, great tasting, watery pots of jam.
    Tried it on toast and it literally soaks through all over to the plate. Not good when you are tired first thing in the morning and really dont want to have to worry about the mess. Let alone mushy toast, (not my thing)

    Is it possible for me to pour out the jam and reboil it. If I do should I add more sugar, the taste is very scrummy as it is and more sugar might spoil the taste. I did add a good squirt of lemon, should I add more?? Do I need to resterilize the jam pots again??
    Please help as we would really love not to have to use a straw to eat my jam. At least we have something to have a good laugh about though.
    I'm no expert, but you don't have anything to lose by boiling it up again, maybe adding a little more sugar (I would warm the sugar in the oven a bit otherwise it may not dissolve very well and become 'crystally'). You will need to do the whole sterilising thing with the jars again IMO. And yes, I would always think it needs to pass the cold plate test regardless of the time on the recipe. When you stir the jam, hold the spoon sideways and let the jam dribble off the spoon, it if 'flakes' with bits sticking to the spoon rather than just running straight off into the pan, that's also a good indication that you are getting near setting point.

    When you make another batch, with fruits low in pectin I've found it good to add a bit of something high in pectin to give the jam extra setting power - redcurrants are very good to add to strawbs and raspberries, they don't really affect the taste too much so long as you don't add masses. I usually stew the currants and then put them through a sieve to get rid of the pips before adding to the strawberry pulp.

    Good luck - at least your jam tastes good, which is the main thing!
    Last edited by muckdiva; 15-06-2007 at 10:01 AM.
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  4. #4
    Headfry's Avatar
    Headfry is offline Early Fruiter
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    I have been making jam for 20 odd years now, and I am still never sure if it will set ok! I do the 'cold plate' trick and still sometimes its runny.
    they say if it does not wrinkle - boil some more- for how long?, I have done this for an extra half an hour before now, the jam just tastes over cooked and is very dark...
    If the fruit has lots of water in it will this need to be reduced before you add the sugar? does this affect the time to reach setting point?
    I love jam making but just wish I could sort this out!
    Last edited by Headfry; 15-06-2007 at 10:29 AM.

  5. #5
    Polly Fouracre is offline Early Fruiter
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    I always use home-made pectin(made by boiling down skins and cores from cooking apples,straining,reducing and sterilizing in Kilner jars) This guarantees a perfect set and a lovely flavour.
    I dare say any preserving book would tell you how to make it but if not come back to me and I will give you the recipe.

  6. #6
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    Alison is offline Gardening Guru
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    What quantities of fruit / sugar did you use. Made mine on Friday with 1.5kg strawberries, 1.25kg sugar and the juice of 1 lemon. Simmered the fruit and lemon juice for an hour, then added the sugar. When it had disolved brought it up to boiling point for a few minutes and it's set a treat. Did think it might be a bit runny but after I'd over boiled in the past decided to take the chance and it's spot on. Probably does make a difference how ripe your fruit is though.

    Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

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  7. #7
    swampie sue's Avatar
    swampie sue is offline Seedling
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    HI There

    I have been making jam for a couple of years now, and am no expert but I find the jam making sugar with added pectin very useful when it comes to jams with
    low pectin. I use the temperature method alongside the cold plate method and most of the time get it right. If it does go wrong put the jam back in the pot wash and sterilise the jars and try again. Do be careful not to over boil the jam otherwise it will never set. Good luck and if all else fails remember strawberry jam that is not set is delicious in rice pudding and on ice cream.

    Swampie Sue

  8. #8
    pumpkin cuddler is offline Seedling
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    All the information that I was given over the last few days has been fantastic.
    We reboiled the jam, added some more sugar and lemon juice. Used the chilled plate to check the setting point. We did have the jam cooking for quite a long time and it is now much darker in colour. Fortunately it does not taste burnt. It tastes great.
    Very childish I know but I love to pick up the jam jar and hold it sideways. No movement there!! Don't get me wrong I can still spread it and not crush the toast.
    We were so pleased with the results we picked lots more strawberries, ate what we could and then made more jam.
    All the tips were great we are so pleased with all your kind responses it has helped so very much.
    thanks

    the pumpkin cuddler

    It does not matter what our specific fate is as long as we face it with ultimate abandon.

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