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Pectin - making your own.
Tue 1-May-12
3:23 pm
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mauramac
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Hi everyone

I seem to remember a few comments a while back about making your own pectin to add to fruit that is low in it. I bought 2 large bags of bramley cooking apples in Lidl's at the weekend as they were quite cheap with this in mind.

Now I'm not sure how to make best use of apples so I'm looking for some help please.

I can cut them up and put them in steamer which will extract the juice and be high concentrate but then will have to just discard pulp (not big on apple cheese in this house).

Or I could prepare the apples and keep skins and cores separate from apple and still steam them (keeping them separate but steamed together if you get my drift) and maybe freeze the pulp for apple pies etc - thats if it still edible after steaming.

 

I don't want to waste any of the fruit if I can avoid it - but have not used my own pectin before so I'm not sure what is the best way to produce it.

If anyone could come to my rescue I would be grateful as want to do the apples asap whilst they still fairly fresh.

Thanks everyone wave

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Tue 1-May-12
4:53 pm
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Xahha
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heres one link to the web- seems OK.

 

http://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/The_Forager/pectin.htm

the rubbing alcohol they mention to precipitate the pectin is actually Iso propyl alcohol,(IPA)  and it is certainly available from Amazon, probably available from chemists as well in the UK.

 

IPA is used commercially to precipitate pectin from dried citrus peel , before evaporation and drying to a powder.

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Wed 2-May-12
8:29 am
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mauramac
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Thanks for the link Martin - very interesting. I have read it through and think I have got the details right although it sounded a bit complicated at first. I'm sure I have his guide to foraging tucked away somewhere as well.

 

What I would like to know is - do you only get the liquid pectin from the apples by this boiling method? I know steamers are not used widely in the US or UK for that matter but have been used for years in Europe to extract the liquid from the fruit. The liquid I have extracted in the past is highly concentrated juice because no extra water is added - apart from some condensation.

In the article he says "what drips out the bottom should be a clear, thick liquid that's a little bit slimy to the touch". I assume thats because it also contains some of the pulp? whereas steamed juice is clear liquid but not thick or slimy. I wonder if this would make it less useful as pectin.

I want to use my steamer to the full if I can and it is certainly a lot easier and more efficient at juice extraction that using a jelly bag but I also want to get the best pectin content so I'm a bit torn now what to do.

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Sun 6-May-12
8:53 am
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mauramac
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Well I double checked about the steaming process with Sam Thayer himself and as he said he had never used that method I decided to just do it his way.

I now have a small amount of liquid which has been dripping through into a bowl overnight. It is nice and thick and slightly slimy as he said it would be but I am a little bit disappointed at the small amount of liquid. I used 2kg of Bramley apples. Haven't measured amount of juice yet as it is still dripping but is that normal?

In his article he says it's not hard to get a years supply with one batch surprised but of course it doesn't say how much fruit he used to achieve this. I am a bit confused because further in the article he says he likes to cover his low pectin fruit in the home made pectin instead of water - well you would need a lot of pectin juice to do that surely?

Can anyone tell me what is best way to store this precious liquid please and how they measure it out to help with the setting of low pectin fruit. I have more rhubarb to use from my DD's allotment and will be making Rhubarb & Ginger jam today and also some more Rhubarb & Vanilla which was simply the best jam I have ever tasted (apart from strawberry big_laugh)

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Sun 6-May-12
9:07 pm
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Terrier
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sorry, can't help Maura, never made it, often planned to as we have several cooking apple trees, but just never got round to it, would be interested in the results of your endeavours, but don't have a steamer, so would make mine by boiling and jelly bagging.

Tue 3-Jul-12
9:43 pm
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OlgaO
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Hello, Maura, I have been making the apple pectin for a couple of years now and normally use 12oz jars to store it in ( I believe it is recommended for it to be water-processed for storage, too, but I haven't done this as yet- I fill oven-hot jars with very hot pectin stock, use lids that have spent some time in the oven, too- so far I haven't had any mould or anything, it is very acidic so this may be the reason)

Anyway, I use a jar of the said stock per kilo of low-pectin fruit, add lemon juice and sugar and it usually works a treat- the jam certainly needs more cooking than it would have with powdered pectin, but it is a fully homemade, yum!

Hope this helps,

Olga

Tue 3-Jul-12
9:51 pm
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OlgaO
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Sorry, I forgot to say- I have so far only used the jelly-bag method of extracting this pectin stock. I have, too, bought a steam-juicer recently and am also wondering about using it instead.

I have used it to make quince jelly and the juice set surprisingly quickly- this makes me think it should work really well for apples, too...

Wed 4-Jul-12
7:59 am
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kayerunrig
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errrr...my crude but effective method is to keep a tub in the freezer and chuck in cores and apple peelings throughout the year , then chip a lump out wrap in a muslin bag and toss into the first boil of fruit you wish to set then remove at the second boil stage , seems to work 

Wed 4-Jul-12
9:48 am
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Xahha
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Hot filling of acid products is a well known practice commercially- you are effectively killing off yeasts and moulds this way and forming an hermetic seal when the lids are fitted. So the vegative spores are destroyed and the acidity helps prevent growth as well as the partial vacuum under the lid caused by the cooling down of the jam.smile

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Wed 4-Jul-12
4:53 pm
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Terrier
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very technical there Martin...had to read it twice.smile, well as we have no june drop this year I've nothing to make pectin stock with. I do tend to chuck lemons into a bag in the freezer if I've used the juice or peel in a recipe, I then chuck them in with fruit boilings similar to Kaye

Wed 4-Jul-12
9:59 pm
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OlgaO
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Dear Liquineer, I'm so pleased there is a proper scientific approval of my methods! I was a wee bit anxious about my method but followed it nevertheless as it made sense...smile

Thu 5-Jul-12
10:41 am
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Xahha
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The usual caveat applies- once opened they are susceptible to spoilage like any other product so should be kept refrigerated or used up within a few days.

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Sat 7-Jul-12
1:59 pm
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Ambersparkle

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Well, I  am disabled, so the quickest way to do things for me is best. I was my Apples, peel, use the pulp in pies or freeze with sugar, sorry should read wash my Apple peel! Then cut it up and boil with as little water as possible, cool, and freeze till needed, never had a problem with this.

Mon 23-Jul-12
11:42 am
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mauramac
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I boiled my apples, cores, peel etc and put juice through a muslin cloth to remove few odd bits and then when cool I poured it into ice cube bags and froze it.

Next jam I made was rhubarb and strawberry - very low pectin so I broke off about 10 cubes and put into the mix along with juice of 2 lemons............it still didn't set ponder

 

My main problem is knowing how much pectin to add to get it to set but not change the flavour to apple.

In another thread about strawberry jam I have admitted to using powder pectin and also Certo on occasions like this when I just cannot get a set and don't want to keep boiling the fruit.

In my early days of jam making I noticed how dark the jam went when I kept reboiling it and I don't think it can be good for the jam to be overboiled so I would rather add some pectin than overboil.

I also save all my used lemon halves and freeze them for making marmalade later on - best marmalade I have tasted came from leftovers. So was wondering if I just added a few of the halves when boiling the fruit if that would help get a good set.

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Mon 23-Jul-12
9:03 pm
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Terrier
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I quite often add the used lemon halves to fruit boilings, today I used the juice from 2 lemons in the nectarine jam, so the shells went in the freezer for the next time I need them, if I don't need them for jam, they'll get used in the next batch of marmalade.

I fancied having a go at homemade pectin this year, but our apple trees have a pitiful number of fruit on them this year.

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