State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600538
Pectin is a "gum" found naturally in fruits that causes
jelly to gel. Tart apples, crab apples, sour plums, Concord
grapes, quinces, gooseberries, red currants and cranberries
are especially high in pectin. Apricots, blueberries,
cherries, peaches, pineapple, rhubarb and strawberries are
low in pectin. Underripe fruit has more pectin than fully
ripe fruit. Jellies and jams made without added pectin
should use 1/4 underripe fruit.
Many recipes call for the addition of pectin. Pectin is
available commercially either in powdered or liquid form.
These two forms are not interchangeable, so use the type
specified in the recipe. Powdered pectin is mixed with the
unheated fruit or juice. Liquid pectin is added to the
cooked fruit and sugar mixture immediately after it is
removed from the heat. When making jellies or jams with
added pectin, use fully-ripe fruit.
Pectin is concentrated in the skins and cores of fruit;
that is why some recipes call for those to be included.
Commercial pectins may be used with any fruit. Many
homemakers prefer the added-pectin method for making jellied
fruit products because fully ripe fruit can be used, cooking
time is shorter and more precise and the yield from a given
amount of fruit is greater.
Fruit pectins should be stored in a cool, dry place so
they will keep their gel strength. they should not be held
over from one year to the next.