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What would cause "gummy" raspberry jam?

r
rbohan Nov 30, 2010 07:25 AM

I recently made some raspberry jam that turned out "gummy", i.e., it's set pretty well but has a gummy texture rather than a your typical soft jam. It's not bad tasting but it has a bit of a metallic aftertaste. I made two batches: the other turned out pretty good and made two more half-pints so I think I might have measured wrong. (So...would too little fruit vis a vis the sugar and pectin...I used regular powdered pectin...perhaps cause this?)

It's possible that I used pectin that was a bit old...would this have been a factor?

All the other jam I've made has turned out well. I just want to make sure I correct whatever I did wrong this time.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Rick Bohan
Wellington, OH

  1. r
    rbohan Dec 5, 2010 06:22 PM

    Turned out I mis-measured the fruit...5 cups of berries, crushed rather than 5 cups of crushed berries. I knew better...just goofed. Didn't realize it until I started the next batch, was measuring the berries incorrectly again and went, "Oh...wait...."

    1. todao Nov 30, 2010 05:42 PM

      Au contraire for the overcooked pectin theory. Overcooking causes the pectin to loose it's thickening properties; it does not cause it to become "gummy". My best guess is that your ration of pectin to the acid in your fruit is what caused your problem - too much pectin.
      Jam that fails to set properly is more likely to have had an insufficient amount of pectin in the mix. Failure to set can also be attributed to an error in how much pectin you might use as a ratio of pectin to acidity of the fruit. Pectin needs an acidic environment to set properly. A small amount of lemon juice usually helps under those circumstances. Too much pectin, especially where the pectin is not completely diluted throughout your other ingredients, can also make for a "gummy" layer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao
        jen kalb Dec 1, 2010 09:51 AM

        I think of overcooking as not so much pectin related as related to boiling off too much water (which also thickens the mix), as well as inadvertantly caramelizing the sugars to some degree and removing the fresh flavor. Pectin aside, its a risk for an inexpert jam maker like me.

      2. k
        karykat Nov 30, 2010 05:09 PM

        Overcooking can definitely cause gumminess. That's what I discovered after I made my last batch of jam that turned gummy. And then I regretted selling my copper jelly pan. I hadn't realized how the shallow shape of that and the conductivity of the copper would allow jams and jellies to set without getting overheated.

        But don't let that dissuade you. Once you know what the root of the problem is you can figure out how to compensate for it.

        1. jen kalb Nov 30, 2010 10:18 AM

          You might look at the info on this thread. There is some general info also someinfo about raspberries.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/634228

          It seems possible that you either used a shade too much pectin (probable) or you overboiled. that I think was my problem on initial attempts at jam. Practice really makes perfect -. Were you using raspberry specific recipes?

          1 Reply
          1. re: jen kalb
            r
            rbohan Dec 1, 2010 12:00 PM

            Jen,
            Overboiling is one thing I thought of and is a possibility but I think I got it right. I was using the recipe that came with the pectin I used. Same pectin and same recipe I've used in the past with good results.

          2. todao Nov 30, 2010 08:25 AM

            Is there anything else in your recipe besides fruit, sugar, water and pectin?

            2 Replies
            1. re: todao
              r
              rbohan Dec 1, 2010 12:01 PM

              Nope. Fruit, pectin, and sugar as per the recipe that came with the pectin...same as I've used in the past with good results.

              1. re: rbohan
                jen kalb Dec 2, 2010 08:02 AM

                on that other thread I linked it indicates that raspberries have quite a bit of natural pectin but the amount can vary quite a bit, including with changes in ripeness of the berries.

            2. s
              smartie Nov 30, 2010 07:44 AM

              maybe overboiled or less fruit to water ratio?

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