Did your homemade jam come out with a softer set than you’d like? Follow the steps in this post to save runny jam!
A while back, I wrote a piece all about how to ensure that your jam sets. However, even when you keep all those tips in mind, there’s still a chance that you’ll wind up with a poor set. Here’s what you can do to salvage that jam.
Before Reopening Those Jars
If you don’t want to invest any additional work in that jam, the best choice to make is to change your expectations. If the finished product is just sort of runny, call it preserves (they can be great stirred into oatmeal or yogurt, or spooned over waffles). If it’s totally sloshy, label it syrup and stir it into sparkling water.
How to Save Runny Jam
However, if you’re committed to getting a nice, firm, jammy set, there is still hope. Just follow these steps.
First, you wait. Give the jam 24-48 hours to set up (because truly, sometimes it can take that long for pectin to reach the finished set).
If it still hasn’t set, it’s time to determine how much jam needs to be recooked. You don’t want to remake more than 8 cups (4 pints) at a time.
For every 4 cups of jam that needs to be remade, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon powdered pectin.
Pour the jam into a low, wide pan and add the sugar and pectin combo. Stir until the sugar and pectin has dissolved. At this point, prepare your canning pot. Clean the jars and prep new lids.
Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the jam to a boil.
Cook vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Look for signs of thickening.
Test set using plate or sheeting test (both described here).
When jam has reached the desired thickness, remove pot from heat.
Pour jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply brand new lids and screw on the same old bands.
Process in a boiling water bath canner for the amount of time requested in the recipe.
When processing time is up, remove jars from bath. Let jars cool and then test seals.
Note: I have closed comments on this post because I am not able to offer jam set solutions on an individual basis. The instructions above should resolve most underset jams. For more on the topic of underset jams, read this post.