Thursday, July 16, 2009

When the Jam Doesn't Set

It is full on blackberry season here. We've been picking a lot of mornings. Picking berries is the kids' summer money making project. They pick them to sell to friends and family. By all the scratches on my hands and arms I have to wonder who really is doing most of the picking.

Anyway, I did manage to keep a few quarts of berries for myself already. The first thing I made was jam. We love blackberry jam, and I often use it as gifts too. My first batch of jam of the season, and I couldn't wait to dig in.

I listened as eight lovely half pint lids pinged to let me know they had sealed. I waited until the jam had cooled, picked up a jar, and was greatly disappointed.

It didn't set.

I can't remember the last time I had jam not set. I am not sure what went wrong, but I do know I have a lot of very sweet berries that are way to thin to call jam. What to do?

There is a procedure included in the pectin box for remaking unset jam. It involves dissolving pectin, reboiling the jam, and filling into new jars. What a hassle! I've decided to make do and consider the jars blackberry sauce instead of jam.

We discovered that the blackberry sauce is fabulous over stuffed French toast. Simply make French toast as you normally do. We keep it simple; eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. After you've cooked it take two pieces and spread cream cheese between them. Then top with blackberry sauce. It was so good!

I have other plans for this wonderful sauce. It will make an excellent topping for ice cream, cheesecake, angel food cake, pound cake, pancakes, or any other sweet treat where you would use a fruit sauce or syrup.

I think I just make be happy about my jam not setting.


  1. I blogged a little about this same event not too long ago. :) Mine was cherry jam, and it's been a wonderful pancake topping, poke cake additive (in lieu of jello - then you get a LITTLE bit of, etc. It works very well as a sauce. What's funny is I made another batch of cherry jam recently. Guess what?? It set TOO well and is very very very thick!!! I can't win with pectin!!

  2. Good thinking. We love stuffed french toast we use pie filling, but jam would work. Yes. Delicious

  3. People are gonna think that we eat too well! I wonder how many calories are in that cream chees sandwich!

  4. I was JUST thinking ice cream topping when I was reading this! Give it away as "blackberry ice cream sauce" and there 'ya go!

  5. You can try to add apple sauce to it while it's cooking next time (I normal add just a little along with the pectin. Apple sauce has some natural pectin in it.)

    Dora Renee' Wilkerson

  6. I should say that I add my apple sauce after I put my pectin in. I cook the fruit up with the pectin and then add the apple sauce in and keep cooking a little while longer.

  7. We have done this before and still gave it as Christmas gifts. We just called it blackberry syrup (or whatever flavor it happened to be) and gave it with a box of pancake mix. The kids (especially the teenagers) loved receiving homemade stuff like this for Christmas. Donna


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