Your Own Pectin Recipe

With this pectin recipe, you can make a thickening agent that will help make your jams and jellies a success.
By Jeannine Ansley
May/June 1980
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Our fruit pectin recipe will help you make delicious jams and jellies.

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There's just nothing quite like homemade jam. Whether you spread it on toast, serve it with steamin' hot pancakes, or just—as I've been known to do—eat it right off the spoon when nobody's around, this "personal" sweet stuff seems to hang on to a lot more of the "fresh fruit" flavor than the store-bought kind ever does.

However, regardless of how fresh their fruits or berries, most folks have to use packaged pectin to get their jams (or jellies) to "set."

What many spread-makers don't know is that the often unreliable commercial pectin isn't necessary. You can whip up a batch of your own "jam jeller" in no time!

You see, pectin is a natural substance that's found in one degree or another in all fruits. Apples and crab apples contain the richest concentrations of the thickener, though, so apples form the base of our pectin recipe:

Fruit Pectin

Wash, but don't peel, about seven large tart apples. Cut them into pieces and add four cups of water and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Boil the mixture for 40 minutes, then strain it through a diaper or cheesecloth. Finally, boil the juice for another 20 minutes, pour it into sterilized jars, and seal them.

Berry Jam With Fruit Pectin

Clean and crush two quarts of ripe berries (you can use a sieve to remove the seeds). Put four cups of the mashed fruit Into a pot, add four cups of honey, and mix the ingredients together well. Then let the sticky liquid stand for about an hour.

After the sixty minutes are up, stir in one cup of fruit pectin and boil the mixture hard for five minutes (be sure to stir it all the while). Then just remove the jam from the heat, skim the top, and stir the spread until it's cool (about five minutes). Pour the finished spread into sterilized glasses, and seal them with paraffin.   

How to Test Fruit Juices for Natural Pectin

Stir one tablespoon of grain alcohol into one teaspoon of fruit juice. You can use wood or denatured alcohol, but—if you do—DON'T TASTE 'EM! Wood alcohol  and denatured alcohol are poisons.
[1] Juices that are high in natural pectin will form a lot of bulky, gelatinous material.
[2] Those with an average pectin content will form a few pieces of the jelly-like substance.
[3] And juices that are low in pectin content will form only small, flaky pieces of sediment.

Post a comment below.


5/28/2010 9:12:29 PM
How much homemade pectin would equal one box of bought pectin
6/17/2009 10:26:59 AM
I would like to process my jam jars instead of sealing with paraffin. If I boil the finished, jarred product for 5 min will my jam still set.....I'm new to the whole preserving thing so just wanted to be sure that I don't ruin my jam.

1/1/2009 11:01:52 PM
In my experience, do not core the apples. Cook the whole thing once cut up.

12/19/2008 11:03:28 AM
Do you need to core the apples? I can't find that information anywhere in the recipe.

Barbara Lear
8/10/2008 12:42:58 PM
yIKES!!! Please don't seal with parafin. Jams and jellies need to be "canned". Check latest ball canning book or similar up to date book on home food preservation. Stay safe.

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