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Sep 17, 2011 10:10 AM

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?

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  1. I have used much older jelly properly canned.

    1. The year shelflife is for quality of the canned good not safety. If it was properly treated you should be fine.

      1. 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.