Is my first attempt edible?

tomatoesandchickens(9)May 25, 2012

I just got done making my first batch of jam. I made it following the recipe in the USDA book, pear-apple jam and it is processing now. I am not sure if I cooked it right, it got to a rolling boil I think and boiled for a minute. But, there wasn't much foam on top, and it only made 5 half pints (said will make 7 or 8). Did I not cook it enough? Will it be ok to eat? I'm not concerned with it not making enough, just want to enjoy it, plus I want to take some to my parents on Sunday for breakfast. Thanks!

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Charcuterie

You probably just didn't chop the pears finely enough so you didn't get as much volume as you should have.

Is this the recipe you followed? If so, as long as you put the correct amount of bottled lemon juice in and processed for the amount of time recommended for you altitude they should be fine to eat. Next time chop a little finer.

Pear-Apple Jam

2 cups peeled, cored, and finely chopped pears

(about 2 lbs)

1 cup peeled, cored, and finely chopped apples

6-1/2 cups sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup bottled lemon juice

6 oz liquid pectin

Yield: About 7 to 8 half-pints

Procedure: Crush apples and pears in a large saucepan and stir in cinnamon. Thoroughly mix sugar and lemon juice with fruits and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam, and fill sterile jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process as recommended in Table 1.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 4:58PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Yes, it will be fine. Jam is one of the safest things you can make. Most fruits are high acid.

I'm not familiar with "the USDA book" you mentioned. Without knowing what recipe you used, it's difficult to discuss what might go wrong. Did you use pectin? What kind? How much fruit to how much sugar, etc.

However, it isn't a safety issue! You may end up with thinner or thicker than expected jam. Apples have lots of pectin in them naturally, so it should set.

If it's thin, call it syrup!
If it's too thick, heat before using.

Most of all.....just enjoy it. Safety isn't an issue here.

Deanna

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 5:03PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I agree with Deanna. Either it's thicker or thinner but there's no risk to anyone.

Another alternative if it sets up too firm is to stir in a spoonful of warm water to thin.

This is not one of those worry-about foods. Enjoy what you made and share it freely.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 5:16PM
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tomatoesandchickens(9)

Charcuterie, that is the recipe I used. I was afraid I didn't chop them up enough - how little do the darn things need to be?! I'm not too good at chopping and I had some trouble mashing them, so that probably accounts for a bit of the weight - would have never thought about that!

Deanna and Carol, thanks! Glad to know I couldn't screw this up!! The recipe posted was the one I used - I wasn't sure of the name of the book, it was one my canning instructer printed up for us and said it was an approved one. I can't wait until Sunday to share with my parents, and, it turns out, my grandfather will be there in time for breakfast too! :)

Thanks for the replies!! Next step, attempting pickled carrots!

Oh, one more question, once these are opened I have the plastic lids to screw on the bottles, how long will the jam last in the fridge? I can't find an answer anywhere. We're going to open one Sunday morning but then will be leaving to go out of town for a week. I'm assuming it will be ok when we get back, and I heard it'll last quite a while, until we notice mold or something growing on it. Is that right? I can safely keep in the fridge with the lids for a while and eat until it looks like something is growing?

Thanks everyone, I'm learning a ton from everyone on this site!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: My blog, with a pic of the finished jam

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 4:18AM
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Charcuterie

I don't know, that is one of the aspects of canning that drives me bonkers. It is a trail and error experience which makes it unnecessarily complicated. If the recipes would move towards weight based measurements you would have a much high level of precision and control.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:25AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Properly capped it will probably keep months (not that I recommend that but a week is nothing).

What may happen over time is syneresis or weeping where some liquid appears on the surface or crystallization as the dry air of the refrigerator evaporates out remaining water in the preserve. Neither is harmful. Lquid is stirred in. Crystallized preserve is crunchy and not very appealing to eat, so if it got to that I'd discard it.

Mold in a fridge I'd consider the least likely option.

Those Ball plastic caps are not airtight, so if you use one, for the best seal use the original flat from the two-piece lid and screw the white cap over the top.

This is something to keep in mind when you refrigerate opened pickled carrots or something. With just the plastic cap if the jar tips in the fridge you will have a mess with the pickling solution dripping all over the place.

Carol

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 1:15PM
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