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MissAusten's avatar

Any Jellies experienced with making jelly? What did I do wrong, and can I fix it?

Asked by MissAusten (16142points) September 21st, 2010

Yesterday I attempted to make apple peel jelly from leftover peels and cores, following this simple method. Instead of jelly, however, I got, well, liquid. It never set up.

So, I picked up a box of pectin at the store, stirred it into my “jelly,” brought it to a boil for a couple of minutes, then put it back into the fridge. Now, I have syrup. It’s been more than 24 hours and it hasn’t set up. I only used half the box of pectin because I was making half as much jelly as the recipes in the box called for.

Am I stuck with syrup, or can I boil the mixture again with the rest of the pectin? Would adding more sugar help? I had about 4.5 cups of liquid and added roughly 1¾ cups sugar. It already tastes plenty sweet, but will adding more sugar help it turn into jelly? If there’s no way to turn my mess into delicious apple jelly hell, I’d settle for edible apple jelly at this point what can I do with my apple “syrup?”

If it matters, I don’t plan on actually canning the jelly, just storing it in the fridge until it’s used up.

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13 Answers

Seek's avatar

Oh no! I’ve only made jam in my bread machine (which isn’t really meant to set), but I bet the apple syrup would taste awesome on waffles and ice cream.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Use it as syrup or dessert topping.

faye's avatar

I have added pectin twice to make my jelly set. I’ve been told that aples have a natural ectin so maybe add an apple as well. Or add some cinnamon, spread it on a cookie sheet and make fruit leather. Good luck.

llewis's avatar

Apparently it makes a difference whether you use cane sugar or beet sugar. Pure cane sugar will gel, and the beet sugar (cheaper) apparently doesn’t. I’ve always used cane sugar, and never had trouble. Also, when boiling, was it a full rolling boil?

@Seek_Kolinahr ‘s idea of using it as a syrup sounds great for this batch, or @faye ‘s idea. Then just use the better sugar next time?

partyparty's avatar

You must have the mixture on rapid boil to reach the right temperature. Then do the ‘crinkle’ test by putting some of the mixture on a cold plate, leave for 5 minutes in the fridge and then see if it crinkles. If it does then the jam is ready. (In the UK we call it jam, I think you call it jelly in the US.
You can still try this again now, even though it is a syrup. Good luck

MissAusten's avatar

Thanks for the suggestions!

I did use cane sugar, but I think I didn’t use enough pectin or boil it enough. This morning I added the rest of the pectin, brought it to a hard boil, added a bit more sugar, brought to a boil again, and did the crinkle test. The jelly seems to be setting up nicely!

partyparty's avatar

@MissAusten When the jelly (jam) is still warm it won’t appear particularly thickened. Leave it overnight and it will set into a lovely jam.
I’ve just made a batch of damson jam… delicious

Seek's avatar

Man, I really want some waffles with apple syrup now. ^_^

MissAusten's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I still have pineapple syrup leftover from the weekend, when the kids and I made banana split pancakes. :)

MissAusten's avatar

I think I fixed it too well. Now it’s difficult to spread. I’m so annoyed, I’m going to try it again sometime soon to see if I can get it right. No more vague recipes from blogs for me, at least until I know what I’m doing!

WestRiverrat's avatar

@MissAusten you can try to heat it to see if it will spread better. I think putting the jar in hot water would be better than microwaving it.

lilikoi's avatar

Yes, there is a limit as to how much fruit can be added to the pectin packet to get it to set. If you exceed this limit it will not set. When I made jam, I just followed the instructions in the pectin box for the ratio of fruit to pectin (I think mine was 4c of fruit to one packet of pectin + whatever flavorings or sugar you want to add). Sugar is also a factor if you use the kind of pectin that requires it. I liked using the kind that doesn’t require any sugar (made by Ball) because then the sweetness was totally a factor of taste only and not what is necessary to gel. I read online that some people wait overnight for it to set, but I could see it firming up as I spooned it into my canning jars. It definitely continued to set and create the jelly texture as time went on, though.

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