Foods and Healthy Eating

Strawberry Jam (Failure, How to fix it).

One might wonder why I would want to can strawberry jam in the middle of a move. Why not! It fits in w/ my personality. Besides this move and relocation is spaning several months.

Berries: strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are plentiful here in upstate NY. It has not been the same in other states that I have resided. My neice wants to learn how to make jam. So Aunt Mary Pat is going to show how to make jam.

First you have to gather supplies. They include canner w/ insert, wide mouth funnel, tongs for lifting jars, soup laddle, small and large spoons, whisk, spatula, potato masher, canning jars, lids, rings. For strawberry jam, you will also need, fresh picked strawberries, pectin (like sure jell), lemon and sugar. There are no-sugar pectins that work well too. I made both kinds this year.

There is a difference betw/ lids and rings. The lids are the tops that seal the jars in processing. They are held on by the rings for processing purposed. You do not store the finished produce w/ the rings on the jars. I keep a few rings available for the open jars that I am using.

I sterilize my jars after cleaning them in boiling water for 15 minutes. Wash the berries and crush them. I use a potato masher. Follow the directions on the pectin package. There are times that you can vary recipes. This is one of the times you can not alter the recipes. It is based on chemical reaction and portion sizes. They do recommend that you do one batch at a time.

A hot water bath processing is pretty simple. You will need your canner 2/3 full of boiling water. You want the water to cover the jars. Put the hot jam in jars using wide mouth funnel. Clean the top rim of the jar.  Place a wet lid on the jar, secure with a ring.  Place the jam packed hot jars on the canner insert and lower into boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars and keep them upright over night. Listen for all the lids popping. It is a wonderful sound. All the lids should be concave when cool. If they

Normally I do not have difficulty with jam. This year, when I am teaching my niece, the jam doesn’t jell. My mistake was cooking it at a lower temperature for a longer period. It needs to be cooked on high heat for short period of time. I cooked it too long and inactivated the pectin.

For many cooking mistakes, there are fixes. And there is in this case too. I called the 800 number on the pectin box. The person on the help line was useless.  She kept criticizing me for my mistake and had no idea how to fix the jam. What a way to win friends and influence people. NOT!

Cooperative Extension is a great place to get household and kitchen information. Most every county I have lived in has one. The dietitian had a recipe to fix runny, pourable jam. Here it is. I tried it and it works.

You can redo up to 8 cups of runny jam at a time. The portions are PER CUP of runny jam.

1 tablespoon water, 1 1/2 teaspoon powdered pectin, mix and bring to a boil.

Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 cup of jam and bring to a boil over high heat while sturring constantly. Boil 1/2 minute. Skim any foam, fill your jars and reprocess.

I did 8 cups, so I used the following proportions: 8 tablespoons of water, 12 teaspoons of pectin, 16 tablespoons sugar. My jam is perfect.

13 replies on “Strawberry Jam (Failure, How to fix it).”

I used the Ball Pectin from Walmart this weekend and ended up with 8 whole batches of peach jam (pancake topping!) which was good for the pancake fundraiser breakfast that I did and raised alot of money. But I’m wondering if its just the Ball Pectin. My friends used another brand, MCB or something like that and their jams turned out perfectly! I’ll keep trying! what Pectin do you normally use? Thanks Yvonne

help…I want to use your correcting recipe…but this freezer jam I made was already too sweet….do I have to add even more sugar to correct it….or can I just add the pectin & boiling water combo to it and then freeze….I am with in the 24 hour window…SOS


You do need to add the extra sugar. I know, it is very sweet. I would suggest you call you local cooperative extention program for update on fix for freezer jam. How thin is the jam? Can you use it as a sauce over pancakes, and ice cream. How about this for a quick meal recipe with the freezer jam? Make 2 french toast. When they are cooked make a grilled cheese sandwhich. I like swiss cheese. Then I put a little of my runny jam on top. The sweet jam and salty cheese is very tasty combo.

Blessings, Mary Pat

I did respond to Suzy directly. Freezer jam is a little different than cooked jam. I would refer you to contact your local cooperative extension group. In my case, I needed to add more sugar and more pectin.

Currently I am using a Mrs Wages pectin. This pectin doesn’t require sugar to set the jam/jelly. You can get it on line. I can get this locally at the Frog Pond in Afton, NY.

Remember you can only do one batch at a time. I have tried to double up and it doesn’t work, folks.

Happy Jaming! Mary pat

hi, thanks for the fix info. i used certo pectin and followed directions to a T but still runny. all it said was to bring to rolling boil, add pectin, stir for 1 min., then fill jars. any suggestions for doing it right the first time around? do i just need to boil longer? thanks for any help! 🙂

I made strawberry rhubarb jam in June that didn’t set. We’ve been using it as a sauce, but I’m wondering if it’s too late for me to try and reprocess it and try and get it to more of a jam consistency.

My jam came out runny and I am going to try this method to see if I can correct it. Spent a lot of time bent over gathering the berries and don’t want to lose them. Hope it works.

I just found this and hope that you see it. Is there a time limit from the time that you can the jam to the time you can do this? I made my jam a few weeks ago and it just didn’t set. Used ball powered pectin. Really disappointing as this has never, ever happened before.

I don’t think that there is a time limit. You are reprocessing the jam. You wouldn’t want to wait a year, I wouldn’t think. Good luck. Mary Pat


I would follow the directions. It is chemistry and needs correct proportions. You will need to add the extra sugar. You could call your local cooperative extension for a liquid pectin.

Good luck. Mary Pat

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