Posted By Jonathan on July 23, 2013
The very first time I heard about making your own pectin from naturally high pectin fruit was in middles school. My family and I had gone east to Michigan to visit relatives. On one of the days we visited we went to Greenfield Village, connected with the Henry Ford museum. The village was quite a large area with many historic buildings and artifacts. I definitely learned a lot that day. However, the lesson that seems to have stuck with me came from walking through an old home with women in the kitchen.
There on the wood burning stove was a cast iron pan with apple cores and halves cooking in a liquid. I didn’t know what they were doing at first, but someone else was as curious as I and asked. They informed us they were cooking down the liquid of apple and water to extract the natural pectin from the apples. Before the convenient powder stuff was in the store, this is what people did to get pectin used to make jelled preserves.
Who knew that roughly 10 or more years later I’d be doing the same thing as those period dressed women? The middle school me most likely would have been interested, but too lazy to try. The me today is quite a different gal and I happily whipped up a batch of my own apple pectin from the green apples that have fallen from the tree prematurely.
Apples (immature green or leftover cores/peels)
1. Prepare fruit. Halve whole apples if using entire fruit or peel and core apple, reserving leftover flesh for another use.
2. Place prepared fruit in large sauce pan or pot. (it’s really up to you what you want to use)
3. Cover fruit with just enough water to make them float.
4. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for several hours.
*You will need to replace water as it evaporates.
5. Once your fruit mixture resembles a thick, mushy applesauce it is done.
6. Place cheese cloth or tea towel into colander and place colander over large bowl.
7. Pour apple liquid into prepared colander. In my case I ladled in the larger pieces and poured in the liquid afterward.
8. Let sit overnight so that all the liquid will train out of the pulp without squeezing it. Squeezing will cause the pectin to get cloudy.
9. Test pectin to see if it jells properly. Pour a little bit of rubbing alcohol into a bowl, spoon in a tablespoon of apple liquid. If the apple liquid coagulates into a gelatinous blob on a fork it is done.
10. If not, boil the liquid until it tests properly.
11. Finally, preserve your homemade apple pectin by canning in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, or freeze.
There you have it! Some beautiful, apple-y liquid pectin to make your next batch of jam or jelly.