Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How to make your own pectin – a true 100 mile challenge!

So, I promised I would be back with my first 100-mile challenge recipes and one of the first ones I wanted to master was a way to thicken my jams without buying the liquid or powdered pectin at the store. I did a little bit of research and found that making pectin is not that much harder (if not easier) than making apple jelly.

I used :

  • About 4 pounds of local green sour apples. Cut into pieces : core, seeds, skins and all! (The recipe I found called for unripe Granny Smiths which do not grow in my area so I had to improvise) The trick is to find them freshly picked and not to mature.
  • About 2 cup of water for every pound of apples.

Here is the recipe I followed (from with tips when reducing the liquid :

  1. Place the apples and water in a large stockpot or soup kettle, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Pour the pulp and juice through a jelly bag or line a large bowl with dampened cheesecloth, pour the pulp and juice through, gather the corners of the cheesecloth, and tie in a knot. Suspend from a cabinet knob or handle and allow to drip into a bowl overnight. (Now here, I used a metal wire strainer because I didn’t have cheese cloth. It worked very well, but let a bit of the pulp through so my pectin was a bit “foggy”.)
  3. The next day, measure the apple juice and pour into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced by half. Refrigerate and use within 4 days or pour into containers and freeze for up to 6 months. (Here, stay very close by! I walked away for a second and when it started to boil, it almost overflowed! Be there to quickly reduce the heat for the simmer when it starts boiling.)
  4. An easy way to determine reduction is to measure the depth of the liquid in the pan with a plastic ruler before boiling. Re-measure as liquid reduces. No need to pour into measuring cup!

It worked wonders. This recipe made almost 14 ounces of pectin and I have some in the freezer for future recipes during the challenge! Now that I know how easy it is, even after the challenge I don’t think I could go back to store bought synthetic pectin.

Hope you enjoyed! I’ll be back tomorrow with more on the 100-mile jam I made.

How do you cut out and replace synthetic additives in your food?


Genergize said...

Very interesting! Thanks for putting this up!

TC said...

This is a great recipe. It's nice to have alternative uses for extra apples. Thanks for joining the Change The World Group at BC. If you do a post for this weeks challenge then leave a comment here Live Smart with the link so that you can be linked and featured in our honor society. Thanks.

James Mann said...

I have watched the 100 mile challenge and think it's a great idea.

Not sure how I would fare trying it myself but it's a great idea and I am always up for keep our money in our local economy.

We started our first vegetable garden this year but it was pretty small but so tasty.

Next year we plan to triple the size of our garden.

Traci said...

It has never dawned on me that I could make my own pectin, and I'm so glad you posted this because it's a great idea.

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