Friday, March 21, 2008


Well, I'm extremely irritated.

Last fall I picked a bucket of rosehips and boiled them with a big batch of crab apples and saved it all in the freezer. It was to be my second batch of jelly to get me through to the summer.

I jelly-bagged the boiled fruit and got a lovely few pints of juice, but when I tried to boil it up today, it just wouldn't gel.

Boiled and boiled and boiled, more or less all day. Added four pounds of sugar and three bottles of Certo and still no gel.

I must have boiled off at least half of the volume in water and the sugar has caramelized and the unjelly is a very dark red. I stopped boiling because I thought if it went any further, the stuff would be ruined. It got very thick and viscous but no gel.

Anyone know anything about making jelly?


Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary

You visited my biology blog and asked about my email address. Try

I was just fondly remembering your story about cooking barefoot for men recently.


Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Hi Julian,

nice to hear from you.

Know anything about making apple jelly?

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I don't think you are going to be able to re-set this batch. You boiled it much to long. Once the sugar camelizes it can't really jell properly anymore.

The boil should really only take a minute or so. It will still be runny when you process it into jars and should then jell in the jars. If it doesn't jell then you need to remove it from the jars and working in small batches try re-process it. When jam or jelly doesn't jell it is either a problem with the amount of acid, pectin or sugar and its not always easy to figure out which is lacking.

However, if the carmelized goo tastes good you can call it syrup and pour it into bottles and/or plastic tubs for storage in the fridge and freezer. People will be very impressed when you serve or gift them "homemade syrup".


Anonymous said...

Well, I did the previous batch from the same apples and it boiled for about an hour and turned out perfectly.

It is, however, obviously that I've made myself a lovely batch of very thick apple and rosehip syrup that will go famously on pancakes, ice cream and all manner of things. I'll bet it will make an absolutely fantastic glazed ham, for instance.

But my failure, puzzling though it was, has only inspired me to rejoin the battle. I'm going to become a Jelly goddess.

I'll need to buy a book.

Anonymous said...

My wife tells me that you must add pectin, I have no idea what pectin is but apparently it is required.