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Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about jamming with fruit pectin from SURE-JELL. Please contact us on our bulletin board if you have additional comments or suggestions!


Do you have remake instructions for your pectin products?

Every once in a while, you may find that your jam does not set the way you expected. If your efforts resulted in a runny batch, try our  Remake Directions for SURE-JELL or our  Remake Directions for MCP® to improve your finished jam. If your jam still doesn't set, you can always use it as a glaze or syrup.

How can I tell if the jar has been sealed properly?

A jar is properly sealed if the lid is curved down or remains so when pressed. Refrigerate any unsealed jams or jellies and use within 1 month.

What is the history of pectin?

Pectin was originally discovered in 1825, by a French chemist named Henri Braconnot.

It is a natural carbohydrate extracted from the inner peel of many fruits. The amount of pectin varies in different fruits, in varieties of fruit, from season to season, and in progressive stages of ripeness. More pectin is present in fruit before it is fully ripe.

Pectin functions to thicken and gel jams, jellies, relishes, butters, conserves and marmalades. Commercial pectin is used to enhance the level of naturally occurring pectin in fruit, enabling jams and jellies to "set" after shorter cooking time; it provides higher recipe yield and more true fruit flavor than previous, long-boiled method.

What is pectin, anyway?

Pectin is a natural carbohydrate that is extracted from the inner peel of many fruits; it is most commonly extracted from lemons, as well as limes, oranges and grapefruits. The peels are washed, ground and processed to extract the pectin. The pectin is then refined, vacuum-dried and ground.

What is pectin used for?

Pectin provides the proper "set" for jams and jellies with a convenient short boiling time. Jams and Jellies made without pectin products (such as SURE-JELL) take hours to make.

Can the amount of sugar the recipe calls for be reduced?

We do not recommend reducing sugar or using sugar substitutes unless specified in the recipe. All recipes are formulated with the proper proportions of sugar, fruit and pectin to yield a proper set. Insufficient sugar may also result in spoilage. Do not double recipes because they may not set.

To make jam or jelly with at least 25% less sugar or no needed sugar, look for SURE-JELL FOR LESS OR NO SUGAR NEEDED RECIPES in the pink box.

Can I substitute the sugar with artificial sweeteners?

We do not recommend reducing sugar or using sugar substitutes unless specified in the recipe. All recipes are formulated with the proper proportions of sugar, fruit and pectin to yield a proper set. Insufficient sugar may also result in spoilage. Do not double recipes because they may not set.

To make jam or jelly with at least 25% less sugar or no needed sugar, look for SURE JELL Fruit Pectin For Lower Sugar Recipes in the pink box.

Can you freeze cooked jams and jellies?

Yes, you can! Pour cooked jam or jelly into one- or two-cup rigid plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Wash, scald and drain containers and lids, or use automatic dishwasher with a very hot rinse. Keep fruit at room temperature and prepare according to recipe. Fill all containers to within 1/2-inch of the tops. Wipe off top edges of containers and quickly cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours, then place the containers in the freezer. To use, thaw in refrigerator. Once you open a container, store it in the refrigerator.

Can frozen fruit/berries be used to make jam? How about canned fruit?

As long as your frozen fruit is not sugared, you can substitute it for equal amounts of fresh fruit. Be sure the fruit is thoroughly thawed to room temperature. Do not drain off excess juice.

Currently, we do not recommend using canned fruit to make jam/jelly. We do not have any jam or jelly recipes using canned fruit.

I got a large crop of fruit this year. Can I use some over-ripe fruit by making
a couple of batches of jam?

No, it is important to use only ripe fruit, not over- or under-ripe. Jam recipes are formulated to work with the precise amount of natural pectin found in ripe fruit as well as the SURE-JELL PREMIUM FRUIT PECTIN that is added. As fruit naturally ripens, the natural pectin in it decreases. So, using over-ripe fruit may result in a very soft set or no set at all.