How to Make Pectin

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Pectin is a natural substance that helps to make jams and jellies thicker. Purchasing pectin in a store can be difficult at times to source and expensive. However, pectin is something that could be made at home for little to no money with an apple tree. Fruit pectin provides structure to the cell walls of plants. This helps the plants to stay together. It is a naturally occurring carbohydrate. As the fruit becomes riper the pectin inside of the fruit decreases. Pectin can interfere with absorbing nutrients, so it should be prepared before eaten. So long as your recipe is prepared completely, pectin will not interfere with absorbing any nutrients in your dish.

Ingredients:

  • 7 large tart apples
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • cheesecloth
  • strainer
  • large cooking pot

directions:

  1. wash the apples well but don’t peel them.
  2. Remove the stems and cut the apples into quarters including the core.
  3. Put the apples into a large cooking pot and add the water and lemon juice.
  4. Bring the water, apple, lemon juice mixture to a boil.
  5. Let the mixture boil for 40 minutes. Make sure to stir the pot thoroughly at 20 minutes.
  6. Using a strainer and a cheesecloth set over a bowl pour the mixture through the strainer and cheesecloth.
  7. Let the mixture stand overnight in the strainer and cheesecloth to get the most pectin out of the mixture.
  8. Boil the pectin until reduced by half. This should take about 20 minutes.
  9. Refrigerate the pectin and use within four days. You can freeze the pectin for up to six months.

Tips:

  • You will have made liquid pectin. Liquid pectin is weaker than powdered pectin. Typically, you will use two tablespoons of liquid pectin for every 4 teaspoons of powdered pectin.
  • Liquid pectin is added at the end of the process. It is added once the other ingredients have been boiling for a while and are ready to gel.
  • Green apples produce the best pectin. Another type of apple that produces good pectin is crab apples.
  • To figure out how green your apple is, look at its appearance. A good green apple will be hard and taste sour.
  • Other fruits that produce pectin are citrus fruits.
  • Pectin isn’t necessary for every jam recipe. Many fruits have enough pectin if you use under ripe fruit with ripe fruit to make jam. Fruits that have enough pectin if you use some unripe fruits with ripe fruits include blackberries, cranberries, currants, gooseberries, grapes, and quinces. Other fruits that may not need very much pectin when making jams include sour cherries, grapes, grapefruits, oranges, and elderberries.
  • You will need pectin to make jams from blueberries, apricot’s, ripe cherries, Italian plums, most peaches, pears, pineapples, and guavas.
  • If you can’t wait a full 24 hours for all of the pectin too strain out of this recipe, it isn’t necessary to wait that long. However, expect a reduced yield.
  • It is best to make multiple small batches and freeze them for use throughout the year. This is because apples become available only once a year typically in the fall.

 

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