How to Save Overcooked Jam

Learn why some batches of jam turn out far too thick, and how to use them anyway in baked goods, desserts, and even main course recipes.

| July/August 2019

overcooked-jams
Photo by Adobe

I’m asked over and over: “How do I fix my overcooked jam?”

It’s frustrating. You spend time, money, and energy to lovingly make a batch of beautiful jam. You have visions of tucking jars of it into Christmas presents or serving it on top of homemade biscuits. You imagine how impressed your family will be by the sheer variety of unique jam combinations you’ve created, such as apricot-raspberry, apple-pear, or cherry-lime. But then you open a jar and find that your jam is thick and gloopy — impossible to spread with a knife and almost like gummy candy. What went wrong? Why did this particular batch overcook? Can it be salvaged? And how can you prevent it from happening again?

Most of us, even experienced home food preservers, overcook at least one batch of jam or preserves every year. I tend to have difficulties with berry and cherry jams in particular. Some people struggle with stone fruit spreads. It helps to understand why the batch overcooked in the first place.



What Causes Overcooked Jam

While there are nearly as many reasons for overcooked jam as there are preservers making it, these are the most likely culprits.

Insufficient cooking time. To make jam, we combine fruit, sugar, and lemon juice, and slowly bring the mixture to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Then we cook the jam rapidly until we reach the gelling point. If we’re impatient and skip the first step, the jam quickly overcooks.

emmer
7/19/2019 2:47:20 PM

or, call it "fruit cheese", slice it into blocks and serve with crackers.







mother-audience

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

February 15-16, 2020
Belton, Texas

Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.

LEARN MORE







Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me