help - added the sugar before the pectin

ruthm(YonkersNYz7)August 25, 2007

I'm making peach jam, intending to follow the Ball Pectin recipe, but I got distracted and added the sugar to the crushed peaches and lemon juice, instead of adding the pectin, cooking it, and then adding the sugar. I haven't cooked it yet, and am wondering the best way to rescue. I'm not sure of the purpose for cooking the pectin with the fruit and lemon juice, so can't figure out a way to rescue it. One possibility that occurs to me is to bag the pectin altogether, and try to make jam without added pectin. I had 6.5 cups of crushed peaches, on the ripe side, and added 8 cups of sugar (based on the 4 cups peaches to 5 cups sugar ratio of the recipe). That is a lot of sugar for the no-pectin recipes I have. What's the best way out of this mess? There is a store I could probably buy more peaches at tonight, if that helps. Thanks.

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Um, in my limited experience I believe you now have peach syrup, or maybe the makings of a couple of peach pies. I don't think there is any way to undo it (but again, I'm still a freshman or maybe a sophmore at canning, compared to the wise ones here.)
Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 1:37AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

If you haven't cooked the mixture yet, I'd go ahead and add the pectin and cook it as per usual. You already know it's iffy getting it to thicken without it. Odds are it will turn out OK.

The only thing I'm thinking is that the pectin added at this point may clump. If it isn't cooked yet, you could strain off some of the juice and whisk the pectin in for a smooth mixture. Return to the fruit and cook.

You've got nothing to lose and you may discover a new method.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 2:42AM
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I know the frustration you are feeling. I went through the same thing when I made strawberry jam. It happened with two batches. There is nothing you can do that will end up as nice jam. I tried more pectin, boiling it longer to no avail. It is still syrup. A nice thick syrup though. Wonderful on pancakes and ice-cream.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 6:47AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The main reason sugar is usually added after the pectin is because the pectin needs some cooking time to dissolve properly in the other liquid. Adding sugar afterwards helps to reduce any possible scorching and sugar dissolves much faster than pectin. I think you can still add the pectin after sugar, but do it very slowly while the liquid is just slightly simmering and stir continiously so it doesn't clump up. Pectin, when it comes in direct contact with a lot of sugar can set very fast.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 11:49AM
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moosemac(Z5 NH / Z3-4 ME)

I did the same darn thing last week with my blackberry jam. I just added the pectin a little at a time to the fruit sugar mixture until it was all incorporated. Then I cooked per directions except I let it hard boil for 2 minutes instead of 1 minute. It came out fine.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 7:44PM
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. As it turned out, I remembered as I was going to bed that I had purchased some liquid pectin a few weeks ago. I refrigerated the fruit and sugar mixture overnight and then started again this morning. While it did require that I add even more sugar, it had the advantage that liquid pectin is added after the fruit is cooked with the sugar. After all that extra sugar, the mixture was very liquid and didn't seem to gel up when I tried the cold spoon test, so I sprinkled in some powdered pectin and reboiled. It still didn't seem to be gelling but I didn't want to add any more pectin so I put it in the jars. By the end of the day it was definitely jelled. Hopefully it won't be rubber. I'll try some tomorrow. It looks more like peach jelly with peach bits in it than peach jam, but the foam I skimmed off was pretty tasty.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 12:04AM
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