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How to Make Your Own Apple Pectin
Pectin is one of those essential ingredients that goes into quite a few recipes, and it’s not that difficult to make your own. This is something that can be particularly useful during a crisis when you’re relying on your stockpile or don’t have access to packets that you normally get from the store. Take a look at the process below and see how you can whip up a batch in a few easy steps in order to have some on hand for a rainy day. It’s also a great way to make use of some of those extra apples when they’re in abundance as well.
The first step is to choose tart, green apples, as they are more beneficial for producing pectin than their red counterparts. You can use any kind that you like as long as they are small and haven’t reached full-maturity yet. Just make sure to sort the apples and remove any that are less-than-perfect before processing them. For this example, choose about 3 lbs of quality apples.
Next, wash and rinse the apples, but don’t worry about peeling them. Cut them into slices and place them in a large stockpot that contains about 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil for about 45 minutes or until ½ of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and pour the contents through a fine colander or some cheesecloth. Place the liquid back into the stockpot and let it simmer for another 20 minutes or so.
Processing the Apples
While you’re heating the juice, fire up your water bath canner and warm the jars and lids. When the juice is ready, carefully pour it into the jars and fill until ½ inch of headspace remains. Add in a squirt of lemon juice before wiping the rims if necessary and attaching the lids. Process the jars for around 15 minutes before removing from heat and allowing them to cool at room temperature for 24 hours.
Check to make sure there’s a good seal on each jar before labeling, dating and storing them in a cool and dark place. You can use the pectin from any defective jars right away or within a few days if they are refrigerated.
Factors to Consider
There is no way of telling how much pectin you can get from each batch as levels will vary from apple to apple. You can also boil the liquid for a longer period of time in order to make a more condensed finished product as well. In both cases, you will need to do some experimentation with different apples along with various recipes until you get a sense of how much product you will need.
While this may not be the most efficient, convenient or space-saving way to get pectin, it is something that may be useful to know about during a crisis. Consequently, doing some experimentation now can help you to fine-tune the process in order to put it to good use in the future. Try it for yourself, and feel free to share some insights that you have that can make this option more efficient and practical.