What happened to my homeade jelly??

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Made some jalapeno jelly a few weeks ago...perfect..came out like jalapeno honey. Made some tonight...the stuff got rock hard. Need a chisel to get it out of the jar!!!! Only dofference I can tell is the first batch I chopped the jalapenos by hand...this one I ran thru an electric blender. Anyone know what went wrong?

-- Satanta (EventHoriz@n.com), January 12, 2000


Satanta: Oh no! It's a horrible feeling indeed when you work like a dog on jelly and it doesn't turn out. You have my sympathy, a batch of my crabapple jelly came out like silly putty. You may already know this, but if you don't, do what I do when I have a problem like this: Call the Ball Company! 1-800-240-3340 (Muncie, Indiana) They are the finest group of people in the country. I had a problem before Thanksgiving, and am still receiving tips, pamphlets, etc. In fact, they sent me a free box of sure-gel pectin Monday!

-- Daisy Jane (deeekstrand@access1.com), January 12, 2000.

Well, to figure out whether it was the hand chopping or the blender you'd need to do another batch.

The amount of time you cook it makes a difference. If there is too much pectin it will come out hard. If it is cooked too long it can come out gummy. Also (believe it or not) the phase of the moon makes a difference - you'll get a higher yield when the moon is dark. Like, for me it usually works out to about 2 1/2 pints more in a batch!

Jelly is one of those experience things, you just gotta keep making it and making it. When I have a batch that doesn't come out, usually I try to figure out something else I can do with it. Like, could you mix this stiff jelly in a food processor with cream cheese to make a good dip? I have some plum jam in the pantry that came out so runny that I am using it as syrup on ice cream and pancakes. But, it's the best pancake syrup EVER! Even if it is lousy jam.

(email is real, leave out the X)

-- mommacarestx (harringtondesignX@earthlink.net), January 12, 2000.

If I cheat a little and try to stretch the berries a bit, my jam or jelly often comes out too hard or too sticky. Too little fruit for the amt. of pectin I put in. You might try adding a little water and recooking some of the jelly. If you are short on fruit they suggest adding water to make up the correct amount.

-- Pam (jpjgood@penn.com), January 12, 2000.

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