I see you are considering the book [Preserving the harvest] I have this book and ordered it in through Albert and Robertsons 'Bookstore I think it was, have had it for quite awhile now so not 100% sure which store though seem to think it was that one. The day I ordered this book in the woman on the counter asked me if I liked to preserve, when I told her I did she told me she had some books at home which she no longer used so would bring them in when my order arrived. I was fortunate to be given hard cover books (4) all on making jams and preserves.I love collecting cookbooks
I have to confess I don't usually waterbath my jams, and I don't do so because I don't like overcooked or processes jams and over the years I have found that when ever I did process these in a BWB they would set firmer than I like and sometimes also would darken in colour, a sure sign of being over cooked. This is just my personal findings and should be considered as such as I am not advocating going against what is acceptable research but rather just saying what I do.
It is really easy to over cook ones jams. Do you have a jam thermometer? If not I would suggest that you invest in a good one. I usually always make and test my jams by using one and have found that 9 times out of 10 if the setting point is reached and maintained for 5 minutes than I usually do not have any problems with the set. I frequently add extra pectin in the form of peels, or homemade apple pectin and and yes if feeling lazy also in the way of a sachet of powdered pectin if I don't have any homemade on hand, to my jams being made with known low pectin fruits.
Hayley some jams are hard to make. I think scones are too as mine always end up dry and too firm or like my rock cakes (hard as cement)
I too have made jams which I have passed off as icecream or pancake syrups though thankfully those have been far apart, and usually when i have not tested the setting point for what ever reason.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon