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Ball Blue Book Peach Jam Recipe Didn't Work!

13 years ago

I'm new to canning and making jam. My first attempt at making jam didn't work out as I doubled the recipe - which I've since learned you cannot do! - and the strawberry jam stayed too loose and never set. It tasted fine, it was just too runny to make a sandwich for example. But we used it up as topping for pancakes, etc. I didn't use any added pectin for that either.

This time I bought the powdered pectin and peaches and decided to make peach jam. The recipe said to use 4 cups "sliced" peaches, 1 package powdered pectin, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 7 cups of sugar.

It said to mix the peaches with the lemon juice and pectin and "bring to a boil". Now I admit, the peaches are out of season and they were on the hard side. Not fresh, in season, juicy peaches!! Anyway, I chunked the peaches up a bit then added them to the pan with the lemon juice and powdered pectin. There was absolutely no liquid in there tho, so how could I "bring it to a boil"??? I kind of just stirred it all about for a few minutes but it was so dry. I finally just added the sugar and ended up adding about an eighth cup of water as it was just so dry. It finally all boiled up, but I just had big chunks of peach floating in the "liquid". I was glad I cut them up into chunks and didn't leave them as slices the way the recipe called for. I know I boiled it way too long because I was trying to get the peach chunks to soften and become "jam" instead of chunks of peaches floating in jel. I finally just filled the jars and processed them.

The jam is WAY too sweet and too sticky and thick, like glue. I'm putting that down to boiling it too much.

I really want to make peach jam!!! Do I simply have to wait to get better peaches before I make it? What's with boiling the pectin and fruit with no liquid? How does that work? I know you're not supposed to fool with quantities but as long as I use the pectin, can I use maybe 5 cups sugar instead of 7? I want it sweet, just not sickeningly sweet. Would that make it spoil even if you process it right? I also have pectin to make no sugar jams - I want to try and make some for my mom, but haven't tried that yet. I don't mind regular sugar jam for me, but I would like to use a bit less sugar if I can. The recipe on the leaflet that came with the pectin used the same amounts, but it called for only 5 cups sugar. I'm so confused!!

I'm getting frustrated! Two failures in a row! Guess I'm jam challenged!!


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