[NAFEX] Pectin Jell and double jam recipes

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Fri Aug 29 21:12:56 EDT 2008

I do find those things odd.  The standard advice - some would say inviolate
rule - is to never change quantity of a recipe, and I'm afraid that's what
I'd advise here.  I would look for large-batch recipes.  
The thing that happens when you double is that any errors you might be able
to get away with in a smaller batch get doubled.  For instance, if you're
using a little extra fruit in your small batch, and then double it (and you
should, if you're going to double a recipe, double everything but the
timing), you'll have more than a little too much fruit in your big batch and
end up with syrup.  Your successes, when you varied from strictly doubling,
probable compensated for unintended overages.
Of course commercial jam makers do make big batches; I would think the key
there would be to measure everything by weight, and cook to a predetermined
temperature; even then, I think there'd be at least one jel test along the

~ Stephen

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Sarah Kehler Ewing
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 2:43 PM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] Pectin Jell and double jam recipes

I've enjoyed the dialog on jam-making even though I live in Canada and have
never heard of Ball or Pumona's pectin!  Up here your choice is pretty much
Certo, to the point that it is referred to in a generic sort of way (like

So I'm wondering if anyone has experience with doubling jam recipes made
with Certo Light (they make pectin for jam with approx. equal sugar and
fruit, pectin with less sugar than fruit, and sugar-free), this uses 3.5
cups of fruit for 5 cups of peaches.  I have 6 kids and not enough time to
make jam by single batches!  I made some Evan's cherry jam (like a
Montmorency, but sweeter-not Bing sweet tho'!): a strict double recipe
didn't gel, but a double recipe with an added 1/4 cup of lemon juice plus
two extra Tablespoons Certo pectin (works out to about two and a half a boxs
per double recipe) gelled beautifully. Raspberry jam also worked with the
same recipe: double everything, add 1/4 cup lemon juice and two extra
Tablespoons of Certo pectin.  Then I tried peach jam (spiced and plain) and
I am 0 for 5 double recipes!  The doubled recipe called for 4 Tablespoons of
lemon juice already so I didn't add more, but did add the extra 2 Tbsp.
Certo and got
 only syrup. I tried more careful measuring and boiling and 3 Tbsp. of Certo
and still got syrup.  I tried 3 boxes of Certo and am still getting syrup!
All fruit for all the kinds of jam was measured after being mashed to a soup
(not chopped!) and all of my fruit was very ripe.  My altitude is about 2300

Any advice???


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