two year old home-canned jelly... ok to use??
dilemma! i have several jars of home-made home-processed green apple jelly (from christine ferber's recipe... this is what she adds to low-pectin fruit jams to help with set). i am making her pear jam today, and the recipe calls for adding green apple jelly... and suddenly i am paranoid that i can't use my stash of green apple jelly any more. help me decide!
it was properly water-bath canned for the correct amount of time when i made it two years ago. it's been mostly stored in a dark cupboard. the jar and seal did not seem at all bulgy or distorted, i needed a can opener to break the seal today, and i heard a pop as the seal came undone. the jelly looks totally clear, amber color, no visible mold or anything else. it smells fine.
but... i am worried. i do not want to make poisonous or lethal pear jam. the internet seems to say that jams should be used within a year. but then elsewhere it says that if there's no visible bulging or mold and it was correctly canned, it should be ok longer. which is correct?
The year shelflife is for quality of the canned good not safety. If it was properly treated you should be fine.
I agree with Bryn; your jelly has covered all the bases for being stored well and not exhibiting any signs of spoilage or diminished quality. I'd use it. The reason for using jam within a year is not necessarily about spoilage, it's about quality; jelly and jam can lose some flavor, color and can sometimes become runny, lose it's gel or not maintain a good texture over a period of time. Spoilage can/will occur much more quickly than a year with improper processing. Since your jelly seems to have withstood the test of age, you'll be fine with it.