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Here are some actual questions I've received from folks, select one to see my best attempt at helping!

1. We have a pear tree next to the house. It has produced alot of pears. I am not sure what kind they are but I know that they are not going to ripen easily. We live in central Florida. I would love to know if there is a recipe for jam that would work with these pears. We pulled off about 8 pears and left them on the counter for about 10 days and they are still hard. Hope you can help.

2. I'm a long time eater, first time canner, and this summer I decided to make jam from peaches we picked locally. My question is why none of your jam recipes contain pectin, while all of the recipes given by the Ball company have pectin in them. Today I canned five jars using your recipe, and the jars are now relatively cool. The contents appear fairly liquidy, and I didn't really have much foam on the surface when I cooked the peaches. Am I wrong to assume I use no pectin with your recipes, or should I be assuming one package of pectin per recipe? Did my jam turn out ok, and will it set more solidly with time? Or does it sound like something went wrong in the process?

3. I tried a hot pepper jelly recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It canned fine, but the jelly stayed runny in the jars. If I open the jars, is there any way to re-process the jelly so it will set up, or am I stuck with a batch of hot pepper soup?

4. I WAS WONDERING HOW FRUIT SETS TO JAM WITH NO ADDITIONAL PECTIN? I AM SORRY FOR MY IGNORANCE BUT AS I STATED, I AM VERY NEW TO MAKING JAMS. ACTUALLY, I HAVE NEVER PUT ANYTHING UP BEFORE. YOUR RECIPES CAUGHT MY ATTENTION BECAUSE I HAVE AN UNCLE WHO IS NOT TOLERANT OF ADDITION PECTIN FOUND IN COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS.

5. I would like to make jams for the first time. How long to they stay fresh? How do you seal the jars? If you can give me anymore info. I would greatly appriciate it.

6. I noticed your post about Jams and Jellies on the internet. What have you done in the situations when you accidently put too much (aproximatly 25%) sugar in a jam recipe? Is there a way to re-make the batch with more berries and pectin without throwing it away?

7. Last night I took a look at your website. Several of the recipes I read mentioned using cane v beet sugar. What's the significance of this?

8. Can you send me the recipe for making your own pectin from apples?

9. I wanted to know if I have to use the water bath method to set your peach jam preserves or can I just invert them for 5 minutes and then leave them set for 24 hours?

10. Can we re-use the jars and lids, or do we need to buy new lids again?

11. Why do you think that my cooking time is so much shorter than yours? All of the jams I have tried have taken usually less than half the cooking time - and I really thought I was cooking them at a "mild boil". I'm wondering if I'm stopping before you would, which makes me also want to ask how "set" is a jam supposed to be? I tend to like mine a little softer than commercially made jam.

12. Can I alter the sugar amounts in the recipes at all?

13. I am making a very chunky jam with yellow peaches and the result is fabulous, but I can't seem to get the foam off the peaches without loosing lots of the peaches floating on top. What can I do?

14. Do you think I can use fresh lemon juice?

 

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