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Aug 24, 2012 06:38 AM

jam or jelly that crystalizes soon after opening jar

I buy jam and make jam. I've never had a jar of Smuckers or other store brand crystallize on me but I have had homemade jam crystallize in the fridge after a couple of months.

I buy two jelly products from a country store in Connecticut, raspbery rhubarb jam and red pepper jelly. Both of these will crystallize after bein open for a few weeks. I recently opened a jar of the red pepper jelly about 3 weeks ago and it's already crystallizing. Currently it's gone from the clear jelly look to an opaque color, crystallization is but a few days away.

I'm just wondering what it is about this stores products that makes them turn so quickly. And what is in Smuckers that prevents this from every happening?

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  1. This is from the Alabama Cooperative Extension:

    "Q. Why do crystals form in jelly?
    A. Crystals throughout the jelly may be caused
    by too much sugar in the jelly mixture or cooking
    the mixture too little, too slowly, or too long. Crystals
    that form at the top of jelly that has been opened
    and allowed to stand are caused by evaporation of
    liquid. Crystals in grape jelly may be tartrate crystals."

    1. Too much sugar.

      Major brands like Smuckers have their recipes down pa, thanks to a cadre of food scientist. Also the use of computer controlled cooking and canning helps "perfect" the jam.

      The stuff from the country store is probably from an artisinal, small batch company.

      3 Replies
      1. re: dave_c

        Is there a way of decrystallizing it? Like heating up honey to decrystallize it? I got some pepper jelly many years back that was lovely b ut tended to crystallize, it was a small operation and I thought it was mold at first.

        1. re: EWSflash

          When you reheat, the problem is the jelly may not set again.
          What you can try is reheating very slowing in a pan of water.

          1. re: dave_c

            Thank you for the info and warning.

      2. According to the ingredient lists on the Smuckers web site, their jams and jellies (except for the organic ones)are made with corn syrup. This is why they don't crystallize.

        Corn syrup is used in candy making to prevent crystallization.

        I'd bet you a dollar that the homemade jams are made with sugar.

        3 Replies
        1. re: iluvcookies

          I'm actually in CT now. I'll stop and get some jam and check the ingredients and ask how it's made. At least it's tasty for as long as it lasts.

            1. re: Jpan99

              Think of it as motivation to eat it up that much faster :) Enjoy your jam.