I think I love this recipe. Mostly because I can’t handle commercial pectin that tends to be full of corn. It was my first batch of pectin (I mostly borrowed the recipe from pick-your-own but I love the information provided by Forager’s Harvest. I highly recommend reading both links before trying out your pectin. I didn’t cook my pectin long enough, so it’s kind of soupy still. Next year I’ll boil it longer. I also want to make citrus pectin, but I keep procrastinating. Some day.
- 3 lb unripe apples
- 4 cups water
- 2 T lemon juice
- Cut any yucky spots out of your apples. Cores and stems are fine. Bruises are okay, but from what I understand, they are not going to help the pectin set up, as they don’t have any. They are good for applesauce, though, so I keep them in. Cut the apples into chunks (quarters for bigger apples. It doesn’t really matter on shape, just try to get them fairly uniform.
- Place apples into a large pot. Pour in water and lemon juice. Simmer until the apples are completely tender, but not a big pile of mush (about 30 minutes).
- Strain the results through a jelly bag to extract only the liquid. I don’t have a jelly bag, because I’m not sure I want one until I’m in the middle of doing something like this, then I always debate about getting one. I just line a bucket with a few layers of cheese cloth with enough hanging over the sides that I can squeeze the big gooey apple blob when it doesn’t drip fast enough for my standards. Many people don’t like squeezing out extra liquid because it makes the jams/jellies cloudy. I say get as much out of it as you can.
- Set the apple mass aside (I use it for applesauce later in the season. It’s a little bit tart, but I just mix it with a little sweeter variety of apple). Return liquid to the pot. Boil the strained liquid until reduced by half. Stir occasionally. You want to avoid getting a film. Test the pectin periodically to see if it will set up. You will need to cool the pectin. Some sources say put a bowl in the freezer, others place a spoon on top of an ice cube. either way, cool a bit of the pectin and then add a swish of rubbing alcohol. If it stays set up, it’s good. If it still spreads out, keep reducing.
- Let cool.
- Some people process the pectin in a jar, but I can’t find processing time. I just freeze mine. I think it saves a step. Plus, then I can get exactly how much I need instead of having to open a whole bottle.