When things go wrong in the preserving process, they can go wrong badly! From runny jellies to over-set jams, we’ve seen it all, so we thought we’d share common preserving problems and give you a solution.
My preserve won’t set!
This is one of the most common problems when it comes to preserve making. A poor set can happen for a number of reasons; too much or too little sugar was used, an insufficient amount of pectin may have been used, the fruit used was either over ripe or under ripe or you may have cooked your mixture for too long.
But fear not, we can help you rectify your runny preserve!
Before you start you need to have a selection of sterilised Kilner jars available for re potting your jam once you have finished.
Empty the runny preserve back into your Kilner jam pan and try re-heating it. Bring it to boil whilst stirring it constantly to stop it from sticking, allow it to boil for 1 minute then re-test the set. If the set is now correct then re-pot and seal your Kilner jars.
If the set is still runny then try adding pectin; around half the amount that is indicated by your recipe. Be careful when adding your pectin as too much will leave you with a set that is too solid and can’t be rectified so always add less than you think is necessary and test the set and then add more if required. We recommend commercial pectin in either liquid or powder form for this process.
The set of your jam should be correct now so re-pot and seal.
My fruit has floated to the top of my preserve!
Unfortunately it is not possible to rectify this after the preserve has been potted and sealed but for future batches we advise you to let your preserve rest for 10 minutes once setting point has been reached. This will allow you to see if the fruit rises to the top, if it does, stir the preserve to redistribute the fruit and then pot immediately.
My preserve tastes burnt!
This will happen if your preserve has stuck to the bottom of the pan and burnt during boiling. To avoid this for the future stir your preserve constantly whilst bringing it to a rolling boil.
My preserve keeps getting darker!
If the colour of your preserve gets darker once it is stored this may be as a result of cooking the mixture for too long. Make sure to follow the recipes times exactly. This change in colour may also occur if the place you have stored your preserve is very bright or if it is very warm. It is important to store your preserve in a dark and cool location.
admin 28th January 2014
Posted In: Uncategorised