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to think Delia and my mum were lying.

(29 Posts)
trio38 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:34:27

According to Delia AND my mum, cooking the fruit for strawberry jam will take approximately 15 mins, so AIBU to wonder why the fuck I'm standing here 40 minutes later waiting for the sodding strawberries to show signs of setting?

ResNulis Wed 24-Jul-13 10:34:34

Boiling sugar (even with other ingredients) acts in the same way that it does if you make toffee ... so the longer you boil the jam, the harder and harder the resulting 'toffee' will be!
"Setting" is totally different. Its about levels of pectin (the setting agent in the fruit) not about length of boil. Boiling is only about releasing the pectin. Unlike dropping toffee into cold water and needing soft ball for fudge or hard ball for cracknell, literally all you need for jam is a "wrinkle" on the surface.
Strawberry is notoriously difficult.
If you have had issues, try adding lemon (high in pectin) next time - or buy a bottle of Certo -liquid pectin- as mentioned previously.

KurriKurri Wed 24-Jul-13 10:32:31

If you add apple it helps it set. I can't think of any jam that would take 15 mins from start to setting point - I'm sorry OP but you have been sadly misled by Delia (OK she's stranger and shouts at football matches) but also <shock horror> your Mum!!

If you want to make jam, in my experience you need to set a side a whole day in the kitchen and prepare to have every utensil, all your clothes and the kitchen floor covered in jam. After the repeated testing process you will have about two tablespoons of jam left to put in a jar.
The feeling of slight stickness will remain throughout the whole house for approximately a month afterwards. You may want to embrace that sensation rather than fight it.

NoComet Wed 24-Jul-13 10:03:24

envy of set blackberry jam, we have pots of liquid blackberry jelly. Normally it's great, but the last batch just would not behave.

Plums are good.

And my DM always used certo when doing strawberry jam, which she made in heroic amounts. I know we were the slave labour used to pick the strawberries wink

Pantone363 Wed 24-Jul-13 10:02:26

Haha did this last week. Ended up with strawberry concrete.

Jins Wed 24-Jul-13 09:57:33

Jam sugar is your friend. Too late now I'm afraid

babybythesea Wed 24-Jul-13 09:57:15

After last year and the blackberries, I'm not worried about them not setting, I'm worried about them setting so firmly you have to break the glass to access the jam!!!

ResNulis Wed 24-Jul-13 09:55:51

Blackcurrants set really easily smile

babybythesea Wed 24-Jul-13 09:47:24

I'm about to attempt blackcurrant jam and am nervous of the whole setting thing!

I made blackberry jam last year. You need a road drill to remove the stuff from the jar, so I'm hoping this time it will go better!

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 24-Jul-13 09:42:15

Oh yeah, I made strawberry toffee last year

I have to red-hot me knife blade to carve the jam outta the jar.

The year before I made crabapple toffee.

Haven't bothered this year!

Jam ain't easy

KhaosandKalamity Wed 24-Jul-13 09:36:10

On the bright side, strawberry toffee sounds awesome.

BaronessBomburst Tue 23-Jul-13 00:07:28

The riper the strawberries, the less likely they are to set. Were they ripe, red mushy ones? In which case, you're stuffed. You'll be better off calling it a coulis or pouring it over ice-cream.

trio38 Tue 23-Jul-13 00:00:38

Yes, was doing the cold plate thing, which was why I thought it wasn't done. I suspect I've made strawberry toffee AND the bastards stuff's all over my slippers now.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 22-Jul-13 23:46:45

When I attempted jam it took an hour before I thought it was done (thinking I knew better than the cookbook my Granddad swore by).
It ended up like superglue...
I decided to leave it to the professionals after that wink.

KobayashiMaru Mon 22-Jul-13 23:44:36

are you using jam sugar?

timidviper Mon 22-Jul-13 23:44:12

Strawberries can be low in pectin, so strawberry jam is notorious for not setting.

Are you doing the drop a blob onto a cold plate, wait a minute then push it to see if it sets thing? You do know it doesn't set while it's hot?

Try adding some chopped apple if all else fails

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:43:39

Yes, and the juice of one lemon per kg of fruit and kg of sugar (added whilst cooking)

trio38 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:42:28

Hmm, we have a hint of a wrinkle.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:42:20

In terms of setting - he said it takes overnight to set properly - a couple of hours out of the fridge then the rest in the fridge.

He said it wouldn't set in anywhere near 40 minutes, let alone 15!

Binkyridesagain Mon 22-Jul-13 23:40:55

Lemon juice works for setting as well

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:40:36

Df made strawberry jam with the dcs a couple of weeks ago which turned out perfectly.

I've just asked him and he said you put the fruit and sugar in at the same time, cook for around 8 minutes and it's done!

You're not still cooking the fruit after 40 minutes are you?

Imnotaslimjim Mon 22-Jul-13 23:40:27

Add a sliced up apple, it naturally has pectin and will help it set

TuftyFinch Mon 22-Jul-13 23:39:21

You need to add moths legs. They contain a natural gelling agent.

mawbroon Mon 22-Jul-13 23:39:07

You need Certo.

And when you ask for it in the shop, they will think that you are a mystery shopper because that seems to be what they always ask for!!

thecatfromjapan Mon 22-Jul-13 23:38:28

Strwberry jam is notorious for not setting.

trio38 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:38:14

Spices? It's just strawberries and sugar surely. Have I failed already?

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