Or jam didn’t set. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not exactly a jamming expert. That doesn’t stop me from making jelly and jam, though. But what does one do when the jelly doesn’t set? How much grape syrup can a person actually use? Quite a bit less than the amount of grape jelly a mom with two children who eat PBJ’s at least four days a week uses.
So rather than having 4 pint jars of grape syrup that just sit on the shelf with my other canned goods and never get used, I re-cook the jelly. Once again, props to my mother-in-law who, when I called her, distraught about the wasted fruit, sugar, and time, calmly replied, “Oh, well, you just have to re-cook that” [please read that with a Minnesotan dialect]. The best part? It is easy and you end up with jam or jelly, not another jar of fruit syrup or ice-cream topping.
Here’s the method:
- Empty your jars of jelly into a large bowl.
- Clean your jars and re-prep them for processing (I leave mine in the simmering water in the canner and pull them out right after I take the jelly off the heat).
- Prep NEW lids (do not re-use the lids from the batch).
- For every cup of jelly or jam, measure one tablespoon of water and one teaspoon of pectin into a non-reactive pot large enough to hold your batch of jam (If you made 8 1/2 pint jars of jam, that would be 8 cups).
- Mix this over a medium heat until the pectin dissolves, then bring it up to a boil.
- Slowly add the unset jelly, stirring constantly, until the pectin mixture is fully incorporated into the jelly.
- Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, and boil hard for 1 minute.
- Ladle into jars, and process according to the original recipe instructions.
Yes, it takes a little time, but the other morning I re-cooked two batches of jelly (one grape and one crab apple) in under an hour, and now I have 10 jars of jelly that will get used as opposed to 10 jars of syrup that probably wouldn’t.