Make Your Own Fruit Pectin for Jelly Making
Monday, March 13, 2017
Tart / Green Apple/Crabapple Pectin
3 pounds sliced, washed tart, green apples (like Granny Smith) with peels and cores. Crabapples are the best. Small, green, immature apples of most varieties work, too.
4 cups water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Wash, but don't peel, about seven large tart green apples. Put them in a pot.
Cut them into pieces
Add four cups of water and two tablespoons of lemon juice.
Boil the mixture until it reduces almost in half (about 30 to 45 minutes), then
Strain it through cheesecloth or a jelly bag.
Boil the juice for another 20 minutes,
Pour it into sanitized jars, and seal them to store in the refrigerator, freezer or process in a water bath.
How much to use?
That is the big question... and difficult to answer. The pectin content of fruit varies so much, even within a season, that almost anything I could tell you about how much of your homemade pectin to use with the fruit you picked or bought would be meaningless. Both would vary considerably.
So, instead, I'll tell you how to figure out the right formula for your own pectin. Here are the questions to answer:
How much pectin is in the fruit that you are using to make jam, jelly or preserves?
As we learned on this page about pectin, some fruits naturally have more or less pectin than others. For example, if you are making strawberry jam, you will need to use more pectin (of any kind) than if you are making blackberry jam, since blackberries naturally contain more pectin than strawberries. See this page for the pectin content of fruits.
How ripe is the fruit?
generally speaking, the more ripe the fruit is, the lower the pectin levels are.
How concentrated is your homemade pectin?
No one, but you, knows or determines this. When you make your own pectin, you're the manufacturer, you control the production line, the quality control, etc., so only you will know, largely from practice, how much of your pectin to use.
That's the bottom line! As you make the first batch, and are ready to fill the jars; first remove a spoonful of the jam, and hold an ice cube against the bottom of the spoon to cool the jam. If the spoonful sets to your liking, you can fill the jars, seal them and process them in the water bath canner. If the spoonful does not set, add another cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and more of your pectin, bring to a full boil for 1 minute, and test again!
Homemade Citrus Pectin
The white pith just under the skins of citrus fruit is high in pectin. Any citrus fruit can be used, but choose ones that have a thick layer of white pith for good results with this recipe. The seeds are also high in pectin, so use those as well.
Homemade citrus pectin can have a faint bitterness from the white piths. Use it in recipes that contain spices or strongly flavored fruits.
1/2 pound white parts of citrus peels plus any seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups water
1. Use a zester or a vegetable peel to remove the colorful skins of the citrus fruit. These are aromatic and flavorful, so you may want to save them for another use. But they don’t bring any pectin to the party and could overwhelm the other flavors in your recipe.
2. Peel or cut off the remaining white layer of the fruits. Remove and set aside any seeds. Save the pulp for another use. Finely chop the white parts and weigh them; you’ll need 8 ounces.
3. Put the chopped citrus peel pith, seeds, and the lemon juice in a nonreactive, medium-sized pot. Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 hours. Add the water and leave at room temperature for 1 more hour.
4. Bring the ingredients to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
5. Strain through a jelly bag or through a colander lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Return the liquid to a pot over high heat and boil until it reduces by half.
6. Store any homemade citrus pectin that you will not be using right away in the freezer, or can it in half-pint jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjust the canning time if you live at a high altitude).