I have been making jelly, jam and preserves for over 10 years.
I know the secret. And I’m going to tell you what it is. Once you know this secret, you will no longer have failed, gooey, syrupy disasters that were supposed to be jelly.
I will confess over the course of my jelly-making years I have had many failures.
- Lids not sealing properly
- Jelly not “jelling” properly
- Exploding jars
By far, the most frustrating, unexplainable and mind boggling failure has been my ability to create blackberry syrup instead of blackberry jelly.
These 2 batches of black berry jelly look the same. Once you insert your knife you’ll notice a difference. The jelly on the left is gooey, sticky and horribly impossible to spread. The jelly on the right is perfect. Clear, spreadable, exactly jelled as jelly should be.
Why is the one on the left so sticky and gooey?
Why did the one on the right gel so nicely?
What did I do wrong?
What did I do different?
Was it the berries?
Was it the sugar?
Did I cook the jelly too long?
Did I boil the jars too long in the water bath?
Was my pectin bad?
Was the moon in the wrong phase?
Why oh why didn’t my jelly turn out?
I (now) know the answer. Squeal!
This is why. This little box of powdered fruit pectin is the culprit. This is what gave me indigestion in the jelly department for most of my jelly making years. This was the cause of my black berry failures. This box is what turned all my jelly’s into black berry syrups.
Powdered fruit pectin is wonderful if you are making jam or preserves. It is; however, the Devil if you are making jelly.
Now sure what the difference is?
- Jelly: Clear and sparkling fruit spread consisting of firmed fruit (or vegetable) juice. Holds itself in place. Made from fruit juice. Usually does not contain pieces of fruit.
- Jam: Made with whole (mashed) fruit. Fruit spread will contain crushed, diced, or grated pieces of fruit and/or rinds.
If you are making any sort of jam (includes pieces of mashed fruit, seeds and/ or rinds) you can use the powdered pectin. It will be wonderful. It will be perfect. You will have success, love and forever happiness.
If you are making jelly (clear fruit spread made from fruit juice) you can’t use powdered fruit pectin (unless you want sticky syrup).
You have to use this. Any brand will do. It just HAS to be liquid fruit pectin. Period.
LIQUID PECTIN. That’s the secret.
If you have 20 boxes of powdered pectin in your house and want to make jelly today – you can’t. If you want perfect jelly, there is a trip to the store in your future. You need liquid pectin. If you attempt to make jelly with powdered pectin there is a good chance you will be feeding it to your pigs, or your chickens, or your garbage disposal, or else you will be drizzling sticky, gooey, messy, annoying syrup on your biscuits.
Now, you too can have perfect jelly every time!
For my perfect, never fail Blackberry Jelly step-by-step Recipe – go here.
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