The Damsel has had several questions on how to fix freezer jam that didn’t set up. Without cooking it, she knows of only one thing that can be done.
Well, two, if you count calling it “fruit syrup” and eat it on pancakes and ice cream.
There are two products on the market–Instant Clear Jel and Ultra Jel–that can be stirred into runny jam to thicken it. Instant Clear Jel must be mixed with sugar before using, or it will clump. To rescue your jam with it, mix it with at least a 1:1 ratio first, (more sugar makes it easier to mix without clumping) and then sprinkle carefully into your jam, stirring like mad. Start with 1 tbl. each of Instant Clear Jel and sugar and go from there. If you can find a shaker to use, all the better.
Ultra Jel is a bit easier to use since you don’t have to mix it with sugar, although it’s more expensive. Use the same methodology…sprinkle, stir, sprinkle, stir, until you achieve the consistency you’d like. Taste it along the way, too. Sometimes these products will alter the taste of the jam. If it gets an off “starchy” taste, try warming it a little (in the microwave, perhaps), keeping in mind that warm jam will be, uh, er, runny. You’ll have to chill it again after the warming treatment to see where you are thickness-wise.
These products are made of corn starch but have been formulated to not need cooking, like regular corn starch would. Since Ultra Jel doesn’t have to be mixed with sugar, you can use it to thicken pretty much anything that’s too runny. Even though it’s a mysterious white powder, it’s a naturally occuring foodstuff, and not dangerous unless you put it in an envelope and mail it somewhere–in which case it will be dangerous to your ability to stay out of jail.
If anyone out there in Runny Jam Land has other ideas for thickening jam without cooking, please pipe up.