Tuesday 6 September 2011

Little Miss Perfect.........

Lilttle Miss Perfect......haha....no much more like Little Miss Whoops, that's me.

For all the talk of how to bottle things yesterday, it doesn't always go to plan. Sometimes the jam just won't set, as was the case on Sunday evening. After watching the bl**dy stuff bubbling away for an hour......yes that's right an hour,  the Aga had lost so much heat that I had to give up.   I decanted it into jars in the vague hope that miraculously it would set all by itself overnight......it didn't.

Then yesterday I tipped it all back into the jam pan added a full jar of pectin (because I had it in the cupboard) and then poured it back into the jars.  This morning it is still a soft set, but at least when I tried it on my toast it didn't drip off and no doubt now the jar is opened it will firm up a bit more in the fridge.

This batch is Plum and Damson, now although plums only have a medium level of pectin, damsons are supposed to be very high in the stuff which is why I was baffled at it not setting.  Maybe it's because it's jelly rather than jam, I used my new straining bag and stand for the first time so I could have a perfectly strained jam (Mum and Dad don't like seeds, skin or bits in their jams so this one was to have been a treat for next time they're here).

If you have any explanations I would love to hear from you.  I did use my jam thermometer and although it didn't quite reach temperature on Sunday it definitely got there yesterday, so I was quite expecting a really firm set.  Well anyway, it's all bottled up now and perfectly edible, so I sort of got there in the end.

Now I've used up one of my two jars of bought in pectin I'm going to wait until there a few more ripe apples on our Crab Apple tree and then I'll make a batch of my own

Today my back is really painful. so it's going to be a lazy day, pottering about doing easy jobs.  I had a sore back all last week and over the weekend it really eased up, then last night I was just organising and photgraphing what I'm going to do for Thrifty Thursday, when ping....off it went again, twice as bad!!  Wait til you see just what I was lifting for the photographs I took for Thursday....you'll laugh, I guarantee it!!

Sue xx


  1. That has happened to me before, many times. It can be quite frustrating! This year I am making wild grape jelly for the first time, but using commercial pectin. I am hoping it all goes well, but you never know.

    Sounds like an interesting jelly!

  2. hi sue i had exactly the same problem with my plum jam put it back on to boil with some apple puree id just done and that did the trick love your blog.carole

  3. one point is that you mustn't boil it for more than four minutes when using added pectin.
    I tend to use the weighing method of reducing the pulp to a certain weight before and after adding the sugar, as well as the temperature.

    Both these are in the HMSO guide to preserving fruit and veg, which also has how to check for pectin- which, btw, you can use vodka to do, instead of meths!

  4. I did take it off the heat after adding the pectin and I did use almost the correct ratio of sugar to liquid after straining the pulp (which you don't use for a jelly).

    However I am experimenting a lot at the moment so I guess I have to expect some failures and less than perfect results.

    Thanks for the comments, wild grape jelly sounds wonderful, let me know how you get on.

    Sue xx

  5. Sue
    Hope your back gets better soon x


Comments are now turned off for this old blog of mine. Thank you for reading the posts, I hope you enjoyed them. xx

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.