Jelly question

  1. Does anyone know anything about making jelly? I tried to make plum jelly today out of wild plums using sure gel and it didn't gel Anyone know where I might have messed it up?
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have a feeling you probably did not time it right. You MUST bring the fruit to a full rolling boil and then add the sure gel quickly ( I have it cut open and sitting in a glass, ready, before cooking)---- and cook EXACTLY 60 seconds more, no more, no less. Set a time or use a watch with a second hand if need be.

    Then remove from heat, and it should just start to set as you pour into the jars. Good luck!!!! Also make darn sure you don't skimp on the sugar, measure it out EXACTLY. Not enough sugar, and your pectin won't set. Unless you buy the special type for low sugar recipes, you have to use the full 6-8 cups of sugar for each batch. Also, to keep the foam to a minimum, you can add a teaspoon of butter to the batch while cooking.

    Hope this helps you. I have had my ups and downs, making jelly and jam a while now.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Last time i made jelly, it was crunchy. Ditto on the EXACT amount of sugar.
  5. by   jnette
    Deb beat me to it, and she's exactly right !

    Timing is everything. You can pour just a little dab (like a tip of a teaspoon full) on a plate, and take your finger and push it gently.. if it looks "wrinkly" and stays that way, it's ready.

    Also had to learn the hard way with trying to use less sugar.. will get ya everytime !

    Prefer making jams, however... peach, or pear with a pinch of nutmeg (little CHUNKS of pear... YUM !), etc.

    Keep at it... it's SO rewarding !
  6. by   BRANDY LPN
    Okay my directions say bring to full boil add pectin, then bring back to boil and boil one minute, I did this. I used timer on microwave. And I also used the full 6 and a half cups of sugar. I did muscadine jelly last year and it turned out fine, like you said it was geling as I was putting it in the jars. I used a measuring cup to pour it into the jars and the little bit left in the measuring cup gelled, but the stuff in the jars looks like syrup. So my next question is can I fix it? Or is it too late?
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes

    Just re-boil with an additional envelope/measure of pectin, exactly the same way.

    good luck!
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    PEAR OH YUM Jnette! Can I please have your recipe?
    I make strictly jams myself. I use our local strawberries (ready now!), raspberries, marionberries and blackberries here in WA. Even Grannie back in Wisconsin says our berries are TOPS over theirs. They are FULL of natural pectin and rarely fail, EVER! I am a big berry fan, as you can see.

    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jun 8, '04
  9. by   BRANDY LPN
    Deb- what is a marionberry? I have some black berries I was gonna do today but after the plum incident I think I will wait til my confidence is back up LOL
  10. by   leslie :-D
    oooooh, another unrealized dream of mine....i would LOVE to learn how to make this stuff. what is the difference between jam and jelly? is either more healthy?
  11. by   gwenith
    some fruit will not "gel" raw pineapple and paw paw are notoriously difficult to get to gel and I can't remember why.
  12. by   BRANDY LPN
    Quote from gwenith
    some fruit will not "gel" raw pineapple and paw paw are notoriously difficult to get to gel and I can't remember why.
    I think it has to do with the acidity, but don't take my word for it, because I am obviously not an expert.

    Earle- its really not that hard to do, I did muscadines for the first time last year and it was easy and fun, but these plums are upsetting me LOL.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Jelly has all the "meat" and seeds of berry removed (by pressing through a sieve)---- and a clear liquid juice is left.

    Jam has some "meat" and seeds in it. Preserves keeps it all in, if memory serves. WAY too seedy for me, except in the case of strawberries. I just pulse the berries really quickly in food processor and then press them thru a sieve, reserving half the "meat" for my jam. It works great, even tho Grannie would say I am a CHEATER. Can't tell I did not spend HOURS mashing em by hand. Can you, rofl?

    For info on Marionberries, see this site:

    they are a true Northwest delight, a really GOOD blackberry, one I look forward to at the end of each summer!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jun 8, '04
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Pineapple interferes with the setting action of most pectins. Also does NOT set well in jello. I believe it IS the unique acid pineapple has that disrupts these processes. Ah well, I am not a huge pineapple fan, anyhow.