and the art of fixing it when something goes wrong. I will devote this page to tips and things I have picked up along the way. I hope you will jump in and make suggestions as well because as we all know, things go wrong. Many times, this is due to things we cannot control and aren’t even aware of. Maybe the apricots on that side of the tree got more wind. Perhaps those strawberries got way too much rain. The apples were picked too late. All these things can affect how the jam turns out.
1. Patience is the key. Remember, it’s easier to spend 5 more minutes cooking the jam and testing for doneness than it is to empty the jars back into a pot, wash, resterilize, recook the jam and rejar.
2. Patience again. Sometimes jams with pectin can take a few days to weeks to set up. Marmalades can take up to 6 weeks. It’s murder waiting but again, better to wait than recook for no reason.
3. Always make sure all the sugar is dissolved before the jam starts to boil. This avoids sugaring once the jar is open a long time down the road.
4. If you can, convert to weights. I weigh almost everything – it’s far more accurate.
5. If in doubt, read, read, read. The National Centre for Home Food Preservation in the US has some very good guidelines to keep canning safe. http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html