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Jelly lesson - use the big pot!!

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Jelly lesson - use the big pot!! Empty Jelly lesson - use the big pot!!

Post  jillintx on 12/17/2012, 10:16 am

I needed to make just a few jars of jelly over the weekend. For "whatever" reason, I did not use a big pot to cook the jelly, I used one that seemed big enough. Everything was fine until I added the pectin. I saw the level quickly rise up so I picked the pot up to prevent a boil over. Well...too late. It continued rising up and over the sides of the pot, and I had the mixure all over the top of the stove....which is glasstop. And of course it landed squarely on the hot burner. And there was a lot of it. I used a wooden spatula to scrape off what I could, then let it set until the burner cooled down some. Needless to say I spent the next 1 1/2 hours scrubbing the stove top. And to add insult to injury - the jelly didn't set up. From what I could find on the internet, it didn't set due to not enough sugar, not enough pectin, and/or not boiling long enough. (of course the jelly that hit the burner set up like a brick!)

So the lessons I learned are:
-There is a chance the jelly will boil up. Use the big pot. (I have boiled more things over than I care to admit...this is a lesson I should have already learned!)
-If you boil over a sugar mixture onto a glasstop stove, it will etch the glass. Use the big pot. (Luckily I can still use the burner, I'll just be reminded each time of my little adventure)
-Jelly that doesn't set up can be used as ice cream topping or a sauce, but jalapeno jelly that was to be Christmas gifts for the inlaws isn't the right time or flavor. The good news is that you can recook it and add some additional sugar and pectin.... IN THE BIG POT.
And one last lesson...
-My DH can walk into a kitchen that is filled with smoke and a horrible burning smell and first mention he smells the hot peppers, then calmly ask how everything is going. (makes me wonder how often I do burn things....LOL)

Hopefully by sharing this I can prevent someone else from doing the same thing!

jillintx
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Post  Kelejan on 12/17/2012, 11:02 am

Oh dear jillintex. I do admire your attitude to this disaster and for the timely warning to use a big enough pot, and I, too, would not fancy jalapeno jelly on my ice cream. Very Happy
Hope your remedy makes a sucessful conclusion for your efforts.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 12/17/2012, 4:32 pm

Thank you for this story! I haven't made jelly yet but I sure will remember this when I do.

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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 12/17/2012, 6:18 pm

Perhaps wouldn't have kept your jelly from boiling over, but for other boil-overs, the Kuhn Rikon spill-stop lid works really well: http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-197686/Kuhn-Rikon-Large-Spill-STOP-Lids Nonna, who had a problem ignoring boiling pasta until it boiled over.
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Post  camprn on 12/17/2012, 8:10 pm

I really don't know if this would work for jelly, but when the maple sap gets thick and boiling and bubbly like it's going over the top, the tiniest drop of cream makes the bubbles simmer down.

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Post  jillintx on 12/18/2012, 10:00 am

Thanks for the suggestions. I definitely need to "fine tune" my boiling skills!
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Post  cheyannarach on 12/20/2012, 11:54 am

I have yet to try this but I read that laying a wooden spoon accross the top of a boiling pot will prevent boil overs!
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