Calling all jelly experts

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labradors's picture
labradors
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Joined: 2011-05-16 04:52
Calling all jelly experts

When I was in Honduras and had made a side trip to Guatemala, I found a coffee jelly/jam that I eventually used for a new recipe I developed. Now that I'm back in the States, I can't get that jelly any more, so I have been looking into making some myself. 

After looking at the ingredients of the jelly I had used originally, I tried THIS recipe for coffee jelly. Admittedly, since I didn't want to be to wasteful if it didn't turn out, I scaled the recipe to one quarter and made a test batch as a refrigerator jelly (since I don't have full canning equipment). 

The result was delicious, but even though it thickened SOMEwhat, it never did set completely, even after two weeks in the fridge. 

Here, then, are my questions:

  1. Do any of you have a tried-and-true recipe for coffee jelly? 
  2. Should the recipe at the above link work?
  3. Was it my making only 1/4 of the recipe that caused it to fail? 
  4. If the recipe, itself, is just that finicky, how could I tweak the ratios (more/less pectin? more/less sugar? some combination of adjustments?) to make it more reliable? 
  5. The ingredients of the original, purchased jelly also had lemon juice. The above recipe does not. Could a little lemon juice help? If so, how much? 
  6. When jelly doesn't set, is there any way to rescue it by re-cooking it with more pectin and/or sugar? 

Thanks!

Chris Klindt's picture
Chris Klindt
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Joined: 2015-12-21 04:11

Hi Labs,

The recipe looks sound.

You need acid to react with pectin. Coffee by itself may not be acid enough.. Try 1 tbsp of lemon juice or 1/4 tsp of citric acid in the mix.

Pectin products are not equal, you want something like SURE-JELL Original which has Citric Acid in the powder.

You can scale a batch like you did.

Think I will try making a coffee jelly, sounds good.

Chris

Chris Klindt's picture
Chris Klindt
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Joined: 2015-12-21 04:11

Hi Labs,

Recipe works. It is an extract jelly. You can make water jelly as a cruel gift. You would need water, pectin, sugar and acid.

I used SURE-JELL Original and 2 cups, a pint of coffee but added 1/4 tsp of citric acid granules which is about 5% acidity

I have never. reprocessed jam or jelly but your should be able to heat your jelly back, add the acid, boil for a minute and pour into heat proof jar.

Acid is what is missing.

I am slow anymore, hands don't work well.

Good LUCK.

Chris

labradors's picture
labradors
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Joined: 2011-05-16 04:52

Thanks, Chris. The recipe calls for 4 cups of coffee and Sure-Jell Original, but you used only 2. Did you scale the recipe and use only half a box of Sure-Jell? 

For my test batch, I had scaled down to 1 cup of coffee and 1/4 box of Sure-Jell. I did that for a couple of reasons. First, if it didn't work, I didn't want to waste as much coffee and Sure-Jell. Second, I used decaf, instant coffee and I'll probably want to use some brewed Guatemalan coffee for a full batch. Third, I don't have any of the Guatemalan coffee, yet, and was waiting to see if the test would work before getting it. 

Chris Klindt's picture
Chris Klindt
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HLabs,

Thanks, Chris. The recipe calls for 4 cups of coffee and Sure-Jell Original, but you used only 2. Did you scale the recipe and use only half a box of Sure-Jell?   ----- Yes I did, a full  bag of pectin is 49 g.

Figuring that the liquid was not very acidic (weak coffee), I added 1/4 tsp of citric acid granules as a safety net even though the package contains citric acid.

One other thing to check is that you are boiling and evaporating the water long enough (during the pectin add) to get close to the gelling point when the sugar is added. The sugar temperature will be below Soft Ball stage which is 235 F. You want about 220 F to 225 F. You can use the back of a spoon to test..

I think you will do fine on your next test run. Good Luck!

I scale most of my jelly recipes depending on how much product I have on hand.

Chris

Chris Klindt's picture
Chris Klindt
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Hi Labs,

You might like this link which goes into more detail than I want to type http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/08/rustic-apricot-jam-recipe.html 

Chris

Chris Klindt's picture
Chris Klindt
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Joined: 2015-12-21 04:11

Hi Labs,

http://extension.psu.edu/food/entrepreneurs/technology/jams-and-jellies/fruitjellies.pdf

https://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/jams-jellies/making-jelly/ 

Just more for you reading enjoyment.

Notice why an extract needs more sugar to archive a certain BRIX unit. You could make BEER jelly if you wanted. I have used Frank's Hot Sauce to make pepper jelly.

I think the articles cover acid well and why I thought your coffee was low on acid.

Have fun!

Chris

labradors's picture
labradors
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Thanks. I'll check it out. 

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