Please help - Hot 'n Sweet Confetti Jelly

chusseyNovember 20, 2007

I confess, I'm usually a lurker but you've all inspired me to try canning for the first time. My first attempt was Carol's Hot 'n Sweet Confetti Jelly aka Big Batch Habanero Gold. I think I followed directions to a T but the consistency seems to be too thick. I searched to see if I could find another example of this problem and could only find those who experienced a challenge getting it to set up properly and not be too runny. The good news is that it tastes excellent and looks pretty darn good in the jar.

Any advice would be welcome!

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booberry85(5)

Did you use liquid pectin? That stuff is unpredictable even when following directions to a T. The last round I made (Habanero Gold)came out a little stiff, still not bad. I've also made it and not had it set! I followed the directions correctly too. I think it's just the nature of the beast.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 6:44PM
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chussey

Thanks Booberry. I did use Certa liquid pectin. Should I try another brand or type?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:43PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

It doesn't matter which brand you use. I prefer Ball and I've also found it sometimes sets quite firm. (I've never had it not set.)

I just stir it with a fork to break the jell. Another option is to add 1 1/2 tsp. - 1 tablespoon of hot water. What you're doing is returning water that was cooked out. It doesn't do any harm, doesn't hurt the jelly, just lightens the consistency.

Carol

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:53PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

I have experienced the same problem. The last batch I made seemed very thick even before I added the pectin, so I put in an extra 1/4 cup vinegar to loosen it up a bit. It still set up, although a more slowly. I had to swirl for longer to get the bits distributed, but once cooled completely, it doesn't move around in the jars at all when tilted.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 2:47AM
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chussey

Well, I just prepped another batch last night which I will process today and interestingly enough when this batch cooled it looked different than the first batch. The first became whitish and opaque once cool. This batch stayed transparent gold. The only difference was the brand of sugar I used - the first being a bag of cheaper quality / generic that my neighbor gave me - the 2nd being a bag of C&H. I wonder if that could be part of the issue. It will be interesting to see how it sets up tonight when I add the pectin and process.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 4:03PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

About the only pectin that is nearly foolproof is the Pomona. I have tried liquids and powders and prefer to make larger than a standard recipe batch. Its interesting that you had a jelly that was too thick. Most of the time, they don't set up if someting goes wrong.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 4:10PM
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ottawapepper

Hi Chussey,

I fully concur with ksrogers, once you use Pomona you wonÂt use anything else.

This past weekend I did double batches of Habanero Gold, Jalapeno and Sweet Red Bell jellies.

Everything turned out perfect with loads of Pomona to spare from one box. I really like the fact that you can use as much sweetening agent (sugar, Splenda, or honey) as you want without affecting the jelling quality. I'm going to test different amounts of Pomona for different consistencies of jelly next canning season sometimes looser (runnier) is better LOL.

Bill

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 10:11PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I choose not to use Pomona. It's a good product, especially for anyone who wants to reduce sugar, but it's not for everyone. It has a chalky aftertaste I don't care for. Nor do I like the dullness of the jell.

Regarding the earlier question, I doubt the sugar was the issue. It sounds like there are air bubbles in the jell. That's the most common cause of cloudiness (i.e. opacity).

Carol

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 3:09AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I do think that the 'chalky' aftertaste is extremely minimum. Its got less than a 1/4 teaspoon of calcium per batch of jelly, and that equates to about a few grains per jar of jelly. I do notice a high calcium in Lactaid milk and don't care for that consistancy though, even though milk has lnatral calcium in it as well. In many cases, people will read the ingredients and when they read about an ingredient that they don't seem to like, they seem to notice it in a finished product which is not to their liking if its added even in a minute amount. I hate anchovies and would dislike anything thats made with them, even if its something that uses such tiny an amount, I would still dislike the final taste. Many fruits, including berries, citrus, etc contain natural calcium. The same holds true to Pickle Crisp, which is added to act as a buffer for acidic vinegar. It essentially is used in pickles to reduce the acid that softens pickles and tomatoes. I personally don't know its in a pickle, and counldn't tell if it was there or not. Unless your taste buds are so fine tuned to detect a slight calcium trace in something, I seriously doubt it would ne noticed. The gel set is different from regular pectin, but thats due to the fact the Pomona pectin is a larger molicule, compared to regular pectin. Pomona is made from citrus.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 1:34PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Hmmn, I might infer from those comments that if I detect a chalkiness in Pomona Pectin, it's "all in my head" or that I'm pre-disposed to taste calcium because merely reading the ingredient list makes me susceptible.

I, at least, was willing to concede there is a place for Pomona's in the preserving spectrum. I am entitled not to like it.

As to Pickle Crisp, I've never used it nor have I ever tasted Lactaid. I have tasted Calcium-fortified orange juice and hated it. It was probably my imagination ;)

Carol

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 12:47AM
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chussey

Well, the 2nd batch came out perfect! The finished product of both batches looks the same lovely transparent gold with nice suspension of the solids. The only diff is the thickness - the 2nd batch w/ the better sugar has a consistency that is just right! My novice theory is that the generic sugar was too powdery and broke down too fast. In any event, I am enjoying the process and appreciate all of your advice!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 9:42AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I too dislike calcium fortified milk and OJ, and lactaid milk is simply milk that is either calcium fortified or not, but its natural sugar is not lactose sugar, as they use an enzyme to convert the lactose sugar into another type that can be easily digested. Because I am lactose intolerent, I cannot digest regular milks and don't like the chalkiness of the calcium fortified type. Yes, I do feel that you may be a bit too critical when you stated that you don't like the chalkiness of Pomona. I think it may be due to the fact that it is derived from citrus, which are naturally higher in a form of calcium, and not because of the addition of a minute amount of calcium carbonate. Interesting point to note, there is more baking soda or baking powder (also the same calcium carbonate) in a biscuit, or another leavened baked food. You may be detecting the differences of the Pomona pectin's origin from what its made from, and not the added tiny amount of calcium used to get it to set. When kids are brought up in families and the parents had distastes for certain healthy foods, the kids seem to also be against eating these foods. An example was my sister inlaw who didn't like peppers or tomatoes, as well as all fish. She simply has never had these foods to taste, until she married my brother who, in our family had never been swayed by any food choice of any kind. Now, my sister inlaw cant get enough of these previously disliked foods. I'm not saying that you should give Pomona a try again, but to say its chalky, is something I have never encountered here, and have used it for many jams and jellies after having terrible results with Sure Jel, Certo, and most other common brands of pectin. I wouldn't even attempt to make a jelly without some added pectin of some kind, only because all the other types must have some massive amouunt of sugar, except the no/low sugar pectin, which is not one of my favorites either, its almost like adding a package of Jello when it sets up, and it gets quite watery after a very short time unopened or opened and refrigerated.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 10:00AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Oh, for heaven's sakes, Ken, she just said that she personally didn't like it.

We all have our likes and dislikes, and certain tastes we are particularly sensitive too.

Me, I eat almost everything in the world, but I can't stand mushrooms. Detest even the smell of them. People are always telling me that the amounts of them in some dish or other are so small that I "couldn't possibly taste them" but I almost always can. Blech!

Why anyone would want to eat fungus is beyond me. ;-)

Zabby

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 10:12PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

to each his own..

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 10:47AM
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love2troll

Zabby writes: Why anyone would want to eat fungus is beyond me. ;-)

Now THAT'S the last straw!!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 11:08AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

> to each his own..

Exactly!

I'll luckily, there are enough recipes in the world for all of us.

Hope you are all recovered from turkey overdose. I am back in Canada -- managed to restrain from over-shopping with all my valuable Canadian dollars while down in the US....

Zabby

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 9:52PM
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