Expired Sure-jell

2ajsmamaSeptember 22, 2011

I picked up 14 boxes of Sure-jell today from Freecycle - close to DS's dentist appt, not out of my way. I thought the lady said she bought them in 2010. Turns out they expired in April/May 2010. I don't tend to use much pectin (use the fruit instead) but have tried the Ball N-S kind. Figured this would keep me set through the winter making jelly from storebought juice. Now I don't know.

Would you suggest making a test batch (1C of juice to 1-1.5 Tbsp pectin?) each time I use a box? Is there a way to do the alcohol test with powdered pectin (maybe mix it with the juice, but not sugar, then try a Tbsp with alcohol b4 heating the rest and adding sugar?)? Hate to waste it, but hate to waste the juice/fruit more. Thanks.

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

Not that old so I wouldn't worry about it. Wife has often used pectin several years old. Do a test on one box if you wish and if it ok then the rest is too.

Dave

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:48PM
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2ajsmama

Thanks Dave, but I was going to be using this over the next several months. If it tests OK now (I can make a batch of pepper jelly with it), will it still likely be good in, say April (2 yrs after expiration!)? Or should I test each time (or each month, may not bother if I'm making a couple of batches a week or 2 apart)?

Would the alcohol test work? Seems like that would waste less juice - add the pectin to the 4C (or whatever) of juice, if doesn't have enough pectin in 1 Tbsp I could always add more to the remaining juice til it tests OK?

Good thing it's not liquid pectin (so I can test b4 adding sugar), also good that I like things on the loose side (and can always make syrup LOL!).

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 7:09AM
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pixie_lou

I've never heard of the alcohol test working with powdered pectin.

I've had success with old pectin. The oldest I've used is about 3-4 years old. I think you should be fine. And fine for a while

Like Dave said - if you make a batch that doesn't set properly, then it may be time to toss the balance of your boxes. But, at least for me, if my jam doesn't set, I'm never sure if it is really the pectin, or the fact that I put in too much fruit, or not enough sugar, or didn't add lemon juice, or it was raining outside. So many factors can influence the set of jam.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 12:33PM
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2ajsmama

Rain! OMG, that's been a problem these last 2 months! The grape jelly I made today will take a little time to set up (the batch I made 2 days ago set up really quickly - too much apple I think) since I added a cup of water to the quart of juice. The batch I made 9 days ago set up OK (a teeny bit loose still). Of course the jalapeno jelly with Ball N-S powder set up almost instantly even with the rain (though I don't remember if it was pouring the day I made that).

Are you having trouble with rain and powdered pectin? I know it's a problem with pectin-free jellies (and after a year of practice now I can tell when it's done cooking, last year's jellies were soft b/c I didn't cook them long enough).

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 3:48PM
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gardnpondr(Zone 8)

Yeah I was thinking it would be OK to. If it was too syrupy you could use it for syrup on pancakes and such was my thinking.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 6:52PM
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