Not enough sugar in strawberry jam

lyndapaz(6)June 7, 2014

Hoping someone can help me salvage my strawberry jam. DH decided to help me with the second batch. Couldn't figure out why it didn't make as much as it should have. When I took it out of canner the fruit was floating in foam at the top, Discovered while cleaning up that he had used a half-cup measure for the sugar. I used the Ball recipe that calls for 7 cups of sugar and 6 tbs. of classic pectin. Can I just redo it adding the sugar or do I need to add additional pectin as well?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Did it set? If so I wouldn't risk ruining it all by re-mixing and re-processing. Just add sweetener to it after opening the jars. You may find it doesn't need more.

Alternative - try the redo with more sugar on just a couple of jars first. Worst that can happen is you end up with strawberry syrup.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 11:10PM
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Thanks, Dave. It hasn't been 24 hours yet, so I haven't moved them. Not really worried about the sweetness, I just assumed it wouldn't set right. Hopefully it will be fine. If not, good idea to try a few at a time.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:15AM
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I've completely shifted to low methoxy (sp?) pectin for canning my jams and jellies. It completely removes the sugar requirements in the recipes, which means I add a good amount of sugar to maintain jam quality, color, and flavor, but whether the jam sets up correctly is not dependent on that at all. Low methoxy pectin (Pamona the best known, I believe) uses calcium to set rather than sugar. I got fed up with the idea that I needed 4 cups of sugar with 4 cups of fruit - I would never eat that much sugar with the fruit if I was eating it fresh. I found that I could make wonderful strawberry jam, 4 cups of berries, with only 1.5 cups of sugar, maintaining great sweetness, color, etc., with this pectin. Fix this batch, or use it as a syrup, or use it for making fruity drinks, but I have never had a failure since going to LM pectin, and although I still use sugar in my recipes it is based on what I like for flavor and consistency rather than the excess needed to set up high-methoxy pectin commonly available in grocery stores.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 4:25PM
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Well the jam did set. The berries are floating in a foam at the top, but otherwise looks fine. Thanks for the suggestion, drmbear. I have read mention of Pamona pectin on this forum before, but there seemed to be some concern about achieving a good set. After reading your post I did some research and, like you, think this would be a much better alternative. Next batch of jam I plan on trying it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:10PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

I also like Pomona's, and have had really good luck with it. I also have the cookbook for it, as well as some recipes I've developed on my own based on their instructions. All mine have set, some soft and a couple that did get a little too much, but it have been very happy with it. Would be happy to email a recipe or two if you need.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:14PM
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I've never had even the slightest setting problem with Pamona, but I have had it set firmer than I would like. Probably the worst problem I've had with Pamona is in not using enough sugar(or sweetener or concentrated fruit juice of some sort), with the taste a little too sour, and I think the quality, color, and texture gets off without sufficient sugar. In most of the recipes I've made I found that somewhere from 1/3rd to 1/2 the sugar required for conventional pectin maintains the color and texture without overwhelming the original flavor of the fruit which is why we are doing this anyway!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:45PM
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