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 www.ichef.com) with tips when reducing the liquid :
- 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.
- 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”.)
- 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.)
- 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?