For a little over a year now, we’ve been making our own pectin. Yes, you can buy it in the store (here in Canada you can buy Bernardin’s Pectin and/or Certo and in the US everyone seems to use Sure Jell) and it is perfectly acceptable. In fact, liquid and powder pectins can take the guess-work out of that perfectly set jam or jelly. So, you might ask “Why do we make our own pectin?” And, we’d reply “Because we CAN!”
We started making our own pectin in Florida when we stumbled across a recipe for it. Oranges were in abundance and super cheap. In fact, they were so cheap we would squeeze our own orange juice every morning. Agghhhh, how we miss those inexpensive bags (and we do mean BAGS) of oranges. Living in Ontario…it’s just not affordable (any time of year) to be squeezing your own juice daily.
We’ve only made orange pectin once but will include it for those of you who have access to inexpensive oranges. Personally, it seems like a bit more work but when the price is right it may be worth it. Note: it will also have a slightly different texture to the apple pectin and may even be a bit bitter.
RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE ORANGE PECTIN:
- 2 cups membrane and white pith, or albedo from oranges
- 4 cups or 1L water; divided
- 4 tbsps lemon juice
- Juice oranges and reserve for another recipe like Spiced Cranberries
- Discard seeds. Scoop out membrane and some of the white pith from the oranges and pack tightly in a 2 cup measure.
- Using a food processor blend oranges, lemon juice and 2 cups of water. Allow to stand for 4 hours.
- Add 2 more cups of water and allow the mixture to stand at room temperature over night.
- Next day, bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Using a fine mesh sieve or jelly bag, placed over a deep bowl, pour mixture and juice into the sieve to collect the juice.
- You should have approximately 2 cups of liquid orange pectin.
- Pour the liquid pectin into a clean jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Normally, we make pectin from tart apples, like Granny Smiths. We usually make it in large batches but the same ratio applies for whatever amount you desire (1 pound of apples to 2 cups of water). Make what you need to use right away or make larger batches and process to store for when you want to make a preserve that requires additional pectin.
RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE APPLE PECTIN:
- 4 lbs fresh tart apples ~ like Granny Smith’s but we’ve used Ida Reds
- 8 cups water
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- Wash apples well and cut into 1/8ths or small cubes, removing the stems and blossom end. Note: do not remove the skins, seeds, or cores as they are naturally rich in pectin.
- Place apples (skins, seeds, and cores), water, and lemon juice into a large preserving pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and boil gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apples are completely broken down.
- Using a fine mesh sieve or moistened jelly bag, placed over a deep bowl, pour mixture and juice into the sieve to collect the juice. Let drain for 2-4 hours. Note: Some recipes ask you to let this drip over night. It is completely up to you but does not affect greatly the quantity of overall juice collected. This juice collected should measure approximately 6 cups.
- Pour the apple juice into a clean preserving pan and bring to a boil over high heat for approximately 5 minutes. It will reduce slightly.
- Skim off any foam.
- Ladle or pour apple pectin in clean sterilized jars. Refrigerate for use within 2 weeks, freeze to use within months or process in hot water bath from longer shelf life. See below.
Please Note: Apple pectin can be processed in a hot water bath. Ladle hot apple pectin in clean sterilize 250mL or 500mL jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace, wipe rims, remove air bubbles, top up liquid (if necessary), and place sterilized lids and rings on adjusting so that it is finger tip tight. Process for 10 minutes. The homemade apple pectin had a pH reading of 3.36 with a correction of + or – 0.02.
We will spend a day making several batches of apple pectin following the above recipe. When we have two batches of juice collected we will boil them together and prepare for water bath canning. We will ladle our pectin into 500mL (pint) jars which is 2 cups of liquid pectin because the majority of our recipes call for the use of 2 cups of homemade pectin.
Our friends swear that our jellies and jams taste better because of the homemade pectin…really we’re not so sure but we enjoy the whole process and wouldn’t do it any other way. You can use the remaining pulp for apple sauce or apple leather. For a change, we’re going to try making the apple leather.
Put Up Total:
- 5 x 500mL regular mouth mason jars
- 1 x 200mL regular mouth mason jar (refrigerated)
Below is a helpful chart including a variety of fruits with pectin and acid levels (this information can be found in River Cottage Handbook No. 2 by Pam Corbin):
|Currants (red, black and white)||High||High|