What Is Pectin?
What Is Pectin?
Pectin is a substance (both liquid and powder) that is used in jams and jellies as a thickening agent. By adding pectin to your jam recipes, you'll end up with a nice thick jelly!
When used in a jelly recipe, pectin will make the mixture set up like spreadable jello, making your jam just perfect. Don't worry - pectin is easy to use, usually as simply as dumping a box into your pot!
What Is Pectin Made Of?
Interestingly enough, pectin is derived from different fruits, such as apples and berries. It doesn't change the flavor of your jam a bit; it merely changes the consistency.
Different Kinds of Pectin
There are several different kinds of pectin on the market today:
There's liquid pectin...
..and original powdered fruit pectin.
Don't worry about choosing which kind to use - your jam recipes will always tell you which you need to have on hand. Original powdered fruit pectin is probably the most common form in use.
When using pectin in a jam recipe, it's important to remember that you must not change the amounts or ingredients in any way or the jelly will not set up (jell).
Where Can I Purchase Pectin?
Pectin can be found in most American grocery stores and supermarkets. If you don't know where to look, ask the store manager or a stocker - they can point you in the right direction!
Pectin Warning: Never Reduce The Sugar In Your Recipe That Calls For Pectin!
If you are using a recipe with either powdered or liquid pectin in it, changing the amount of sugar will cause your jelly to not 'jell'.
If you want to change the amount of sugar called for in a recipe or replace it completely with something else, you need to purchase the "No Sugar Needed" pectin. Not a big deal - but still a warning to heed if you're wanting to avoid mistakes.
Also, do not double a recipe with pectin in it! If you want to make a double batch of jam, make two seperate batches, rather than making two batches in one big pot. Once again, pectin is sensitive to changes in a recipe!
I need to make a lot of jam at one time and don't have enough pots to make seperate batches. What can I do?
It's simple, really - find a recipe that doesn't use pectin!
There are lots of recipes for jam and jelly that don't require pectin, and these can sometimes be easier to deal with on a large scale. A non-pectin jam or jelly recipe may not be as thick as one with pectin, but you should still get a mostly thick jam.
Pectin can also be a little expensive! If you're watching your pocketbook, pick recipes without pectin.
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