|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 2 1/2|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 1g||1%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 74g||27%|
|Dietary Fiber 13g||46%|
|Total Sugars 56g|
|Vitamin C 25mg||123%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Jams and jellies need a substance called pectin in order to gel. Some fruits are naturally high in pectin, such as apples and citrus fruits, but others, such as berries, don't have as much. There are some ways to mitigate this challenge when you're making jam with low-pectin fruits. Adding commercial liquid or powdered pectin is one way to get a low-pectin fruit jelly to gel. But you can save money with a totally natural approach by making an equivalent product from apples.
Homemade liquid pectin can be made from apple scraps, meaning the cores and peels, or unpeeled cored and cubed apples. Just stockpile these in the freezer until you have enough for the recipe. Be sure to use organically grown fruit if you are using the peels because the chemicals and pesticides will transfer into the pectin otherwise.
"The homemade apple pectin was easy to prepare and produced a congealed blob when I tested it. Homemade pectin is a great reason to save apple cores and peels. Keep your apple scraps in a freezer bag, and you can make pectin whenever you need it." —Diana Rattray
6 large unpeeled apples, preferably green, chopped into 1-inch chunks (including cores and peels), or 2 quarts apple cores and peels
5 to 6 cups water, to cover
Gather the ingredients.
Place the apples in a large pot. Add enough water to almost cover the apples. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, gently stirring occasionally, until the apples start to become mushy. This can take as long as 2 hours.
Strain in the refrigerator overnight through a jelly bag or through a colander lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Compost the pulp left in the bag or colander. The slightly thick liquid that strained into the pot is apple pectin (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Once the pectin has cooled, follow the instructions below to test if the pectin is ready to use.
The slightly thick liquid that strained into the pot is apple pectin (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Once the pectin has cooled, follow the instructions in the next step to test if the pectin is ready to use.
To test the pectin, add 1 tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol to a small glass or jar; add 1 teaspoon of the cooled pectin. Let it stand for a few minutes then dip a fork into it. Your fork should come out with a congealed blob of pectin. If not, reduce it a bit more on the stovetop and try again. If ready, you can use the apple pectin in your favorite homemade jelly or jam.
How to Test Homemade Pectin
To test the pectin, add 1 tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol to a small glass or jar; add 1 teaspoon of the cooled pectin. Let it stand for a few minutes then dip a fork into it. Your fork should come out with a congealed blob of pectin. If not, reduce it a bit more on the stovetop and try again.
- Keep in mind that tart, underripe and green apples contain more pectin than sweet, ripe ones.
- If using whole apples, make sure you include the peels, cores, and seeds.
- Stirring the softened apples can make the pectin cloudy, so stir gently and only if necessary.
- Use about 1/4 cup apple pectin per cup of fruit for jams. For jellies, use 1/4 cup apple pectin per cup of fruit juice. Measure the combined pectin and juice and add an equal amount of sugar.
How to Store and Freeze Homemade Apple Pectin
For future use, you can either freeze apple pectin or can it.
- To can it, heat the strained pectin just to a boil. Pour into clean half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. If canning in a 1-pint jar, leave 1/2-inch of headspace. Secure the lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjust the canning time if you live at a high altitude).
- To freeze, transfer the pectin to freezer-safe containers (small jam jars will work, especially ones geared toward freezer jam) and freeze for up to six months.