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Jam Batch 'Watery'

Posted by KathyInZ6 none (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 2, 12 at 12:50

Hello all! I'm new to canning and new to this forum. I've enjoyed reading through a lot of your posts and can see that I'll be learning a lot here! :o)

I canned my first jam yesterday. I made a mini batch of nectarine jam. Everything seemed to go well except it seems really liquidy. Is there something I can do post-processing to try to firm it up a bit like reprocess? I'm wondering what I did wrong.

Basically, my recipe was:

2 1/2 lbs nectarines (peeled and lightly pulsed in the food processor)

6 cups sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 3oz packet liquid pectin

Did I use enough pectin?

Any suggestions appreciated so my next batch will be more successful.



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Jam Batch 'Watery'

What was the source of the recipe? Some that require liquid pectin call for 2 envelopes. Otherwise just give it some time. Liquid pectin jams can sometimes take up to 6 weeks to set fully.

Personally I don't care for the softer set you get from liquid pectin and prefer to use powdered pectin for a more firm set but that's just a personal opinion.


RE: Jam Batch 'Watery'

Thanks for the reply Dave. I got the recipe from the New Cook Book Canning magazine. It was actually for peaches but I had nectarines on hand. :oP

I'll give it some time and see if they set more. At the very least they may be really good served on some creative dish or another.

I think I'll give the powdered pectin a try next time.

RE: Jam Batch 'Watery'

The reason I asked about the source is that is a lot of nectarines for only 1 pouch. Most liquid pectin recipes call for 1 pouch added to 2-4 cups of fruit, not pounds.

Since you are new to canning you might want to stick with tested and approved recipes to begin with.


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Jams and Jellies

RE: Jam Batch 'Watery'

Thanks for the link, Dave. I guess that I just assumed that the recipes in that publication where good. (And I did, admittedly, substitute nectarines for peaches... not sure if that made a difference too.)

I did, however, make a very successful batch of "Old-Fashioned Raspberry Jam" from Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard's book, "Small-Batch Preserving" yesterday.

Thanks again and I'll be sure to check out your link.


RE: Jam Batch 'Watery'

Small Batch Preserving is a well verified and tested source. No problems with it at all. That does not mean however that ALL publications, magazines, and online sources for recipes are. Many are not.

Food safety isn't a real issue with jams and jellies since they are, with a few exceptions, acidic foods. But the quality of the end result can vary greatly unless tested recipes are used.

There are many discussions here about what are approved sources and which ones are not.


RE: Jam Batch 'Watery'

Nectarines are the same as peaches, just "hairless" so subbing them should not have been a problem.

However, both they and peaches are very low in natural pectin and that means the recipe depends on the liquid pectin for a set. I'm not sure 1 package is inadequate (haven't made that recipe to know) but I do know liquid pectin is not 100% reliable. Even experienced preservers have had failures with this product. Not all the time, but it's certainly known to happen.

Also, check the expiration date on the box, if you still have it around. Sometimes old pectin does stay on the shelf and it can lose its setting ability.

Dave's advice is good. A lot of preserves do set up with time and that may be the case here. If not, I'd be inclined to just live with it thin because while a re-cook my firm up the set, you risk losing the fresh flavor with an overcooked preserve. It's still usable stirred into yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream, frostings. Or blended into smoothies with other fresh fruits. All kinds of uses.

And there's nothing wrong with "dipping" toast fingers either!


RE: Jam Batch 'Watery'

Ohhh! Thanks for the suggestions, Carol! You're absolutely right... All is NOT lost and I'm sure it would still taste pretty darned good on/in all the things you mentioned and I'll even add on french toast. YUM!


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