Cooking and Baking

Jams and Jellies- What am I doing wrong?

Recently I've made a couple of batches of jam and jelly. As a child I helped my mom every summer when she made jam but this is my first solo project and mom doesn't live in state, so she can only help via phone.

The first batch I made was the blood orange marmalade recipe on this site. The flavor is great but its not as firm as I would have hoped. Comparing it to a store bought marmalade, its softer and not as jelled. I understand with fruit jams the amount of sugar, juice and pectin (in the fruit) are variables that you can't predict. I figured I would get better at it overtime.

Last night I made a batch of the pomegranate jelly (also from SE). I thought that since this is a measured amount of store-bought juice I wouldn't have as much or a problem getting it to firm up. I let it sit over night after processing it and its still a little soft.

What am I doing wrong? Am I not processing it long enough? I am following the specified time in the recipes. Am I not reaching the appropriate boil before adding the sugar or after?

When it comes down to it, I know these will taste great and my concerns are more aesthetics than anything (I don't want a PB& Pomegranate Jelly Sandwich to ooze too much!). I would like to make one more batch of a different flavor and then ship these as gifts so I don't want the soft jam and jelly to be a mess when they get to their destination.

Thanks!


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