Inexpensive pectin source? (besides from apples)

kterlep(5/6)May 14, 2007


I don't have an apple tree, and am looking for an inexpensive pectin/pectin substitute, bulk is great.

Also would like to be canning a lot of sugarfree jam for my elderly friends at church, so a low/no sugar pectin/pectin substitute would be so helpful. I hate to give a couple a jar of jam that only one can use.

I've only been able to scrounge pint jars this year so I need to be frugal with the pectin. I get a lot of berries and peaches for free but don't usually get much notice (usually the doorbell) so I'm always scrambling to find the time to put up the jam...

Sorry for the ramble - if you know of a good source/product please let me know. I put up about 100 pints of jam last year, and would like to do more if pectin costs allow.

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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I am also diabetic, so I use Pomona's Universal Pectin.
You can make reg. sugar jam, honey, Splenda, stevia, all fruit, etc. with the same pectin.
They sell in bulk, too.
Now you can also buy the packages in some health food stores, as well. The company is great, you can call them with any questions and they will help you. You can double and triple recipes, unlike regular pectins.
The only downfalls are that is likes to lump, the jelly is not clear lke regular jelly is, and some people say it tastes chalky or something. I don't mind any of the downfalls, other than sometimes it lumps on me and I have to use the stick blender to get them out. It is a helpful product for me since it allows me to have jelly still . I love how I can be creative with it, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pomona's Pectin

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 1:43PM
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ok, so pomona is a good low cost low-sugar pectin.

What about a regular (like store-bought sure-jel) pectin powder? Can you buy it in bulk and measure it with a spoon? Or buy bulk envelopes?

Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 2:34PM
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kterlep, I don't use pectin at all, I make the old fashioned long cooked jams and skip pectin altogether, except in pepper jellies, etc. That way I can double a batch, cut the sugar way down or leave it out altogether. It does take more time and more patient watching, though.

Dad is diabetic and I've gone mostly to all fruit spreads. You do have to be careful when it starts thickening that your jam doesn't "caramelize". That's today's upscale version of scorching. LOL


    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

While you can just cook the jam and use no pectin, you get less yield from your fruit, plus, as it cooks down, the sugars are concentrated and have a higher carb content than when using added pectin.
Another option to pectin is using Clear Jell, a modified food starch used for canning pie fillings, but you can also use it for jams. You order it online and is less expensive per pound than pectin. You use 7 T. per package of pectin called for.
If you want something fresh, and not able to can, you can use agar agar flakes, which is bought at Asian markets and I think some health food stores.
There are also recipes for a refrigerated product using unflavored gelatin, but gelatin is expensive now, too.
So, you have a bunch of options.
I just taught a class last week on making sugar free/low sugar jams.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clear Jell for jam recipes.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 5:59PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The only people I know of who sell bulk, REGuLAR (needs sugar to gel) is Kitchen Krafts. They do have a low sugar pectin too, but it doesn't quite reach a good gelling texture like Pomona does. Pomona also can allow you to do big batchs of jams that can be up to 20 cups per batch. Most of teh supermarket types are for 4 to 5 cup batchs only, and its not recommended to duoble any batches. Pomona has no batch size requirements, and you can buy it in bulk directly from the manufacturer located in Massachusetts.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Krafts

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:26PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

You can find bulk pectin at the link below. Also, Pacific Pectin ( has every kind of pectin you can imagine, as long as you're willing to order in #10 minimum amounts.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bulk Pectin

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:57PM
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Hi, I have eaten lots & lots of jam & jelly in my days. I only started making it last year. I have found that using ripe fruit & NOT cooking it, turns out tasting more like the fruit & you do not need but 1/3 the sugar. I ran out of the ball freezer pectin and had to use the sure-jel, The directions say to use 1 cup of water to add to the sugar & pectin & cook it. This watered down the flavor & darkened the color & even changed the taste of the fruit, I could not believe their was that much difference in the taste.The ball freezer jam pectin is to expensive. Does anyone know if there is another pectin powder that can be used for freezing? I am calling Kitchen Kraft in the morning to see if their Gel-Ez can do a no cook jam. I can use any help I can get. Thanks Kathleen

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 8:23PM
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Kaufmanns Fruit Farm has some really nice Fruit Pectin.
may be less expensive too!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 3:05PM
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My daughter mistakenly bought me pectin in bulk. How much do I use in place of Sure gel?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:33AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Appoximately 1/3 cup bulk per box.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:03AM
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I love Pomona Pectin, and will never use anything else. When I used to use Sure-Jel and other high-methoxy pectins, it was way too often that something was out of line and whatever I was making didn't set. I have never - NEVER - had that problem when using a low-methoxy pectin. Additionally, I can chose exactly how much sugar I want to use in a recipe, since the pectin is not dependent on the sugar, instead using calcium as the activator. For example, in a strawberry jam recipe, Sure-Jel calls for about 4 cups of sugar for 4 cups of fruit. I have found that if you use too little sugar, the color and quality is far lower for canning/storing, but using the Pomona and 1.5 to 2 cups of sugar in the same recipe makes a great, colorful, and sweet product where you can actually experience the flavor of the fruit instead of just a bucket of sugar. Think about it - if you were eating a bowl of strawberries, how much sugar would you put on top of them?

Anyway, the lumping can be completely avoided by following the directions and working quickly. I like having at least a cup of sugar that I hold aside for mixing the pectin powder with, which gives it enough to disperse it through the fruit evenly.

The only bad jams or jellies I've had are when I used very low or no sugar and kept them for longer times, say more than a year. I've also had a few cases where when combined with the natural pectins in the fruit, the jam ended up stiffer than I really like. I've learned to adjust what they say on the packaging to use less when dealing with fruits that may set too hard.

The pectin doesn't go bad, I bought it in bulk directly from Pomona. That one pack, and a number of boxes I bought at the health food stor years ago, has lasted a very long time.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 1:38PM
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