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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Jams and Jellies > Soft Jams and Jellies

Jams and Jellies

Soft Jams and Jellies

Deb Botzek-Linn, Extension Educator — Food Safety

Reviewed 2014

It's frustrating when jelly or jam does not set or gel to the desired consistency.

Jams or jellies that are too soft may be the result of:

You can re-cook the mixture or enjoy the soft jelly on ice cream, angel food cake or pancakes.

To remake with powdered pectin:
For each quart of jelly, mix 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons powdered pectin. Bring to a boil while stirring. Add jelly and bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil hard 1/2 minute. Remove from heat, quickly skim foam off jelly, and fill sterile jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust new lids and process half-pints and pints in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

To remake with liquid pectin:
For each quart of jelly, measure 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons liquid pectin. Bring jelly only to boil over high heat, while stirring. Remove from heat and quickly add the sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute. Quickly skim off foam and fill sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process half-pints and pints in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

To remake without added pectin:
For each quart of jelly, add 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice. Heat to boiling and boil for 3 to 4 minutes. To test for doneness, pour a small amount of boiling jam on a cold plate. Put this in a freezer for a few minutes. If the mixture gels, it is ready to fill. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam, and fill sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process half-pints and pints in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. When making jams and jellies, always follow directions on recipes and packages.

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