Making pectin from apples and such?

bunnyman(Thumb of MI)September 18, 2011

Hey anyone make pectin from apples? I want to make some jam but the recipe calls for liquid pectin and the local store is sold out.

Cutting up my apples right now. No problem if I screw it up as I have a tree or two full of sour apples. I found a recipe online to make the pectin but was wondering if there is a word of experience out there? Basically it says to boil some washed and cut up apples then simmer the liquid for awhile.

Ideas to use up a tree full of apples would be cool... probably make some wine. They are totally natural and organic.. I didn't even plant the trees they just grew and have apples. Taste like a granny smith or ida red... firm and tart with a just a bit of sweetness.

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readinglady(z8 OR)

I don't know how what you found online compares, but this is the most reliable source I know of:

Keep in mind for the highest pectin level you need to use barely ripe or slightly green sour apples.

from Linda Ziedrich's Joy of Jams, Jellies and Other Sweet Preserves . . .

Homemade Apple, Crabapple, or Quince Pectin

"Remove stems and calyxes from the fruit and, if you're using quinces, rub off the fuzz. Slice the fruit, including the cores. Combine the fruit in a kettle with 2 cups water for each 1 pound fruit. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the kettle, and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes or until the fruit is tender. Empty the pulp and juice into a jelly bag and let the juice drip into a bowl for at least 4 hours. Pour the juice into a kettle and boil it rapidly until it is reduced by half."

You can test the pectin level for your apple jell by using the alchol test (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09303.html):

"Alcohol test. Add 1 tablespoon cooked, cooled fruit juice to 1 tablespoon denatured alcohol (rubbing alcohol, everyday 70 percent kind). Stir slightly to mix. Juices rich in pectin will form a solid jelly-like mass. Juices low in pectin will form small particles of jelly-like material. (Note: Denatured alcohol is poisonous. Do not taste the tested juice. Thoroughly wash all utensils used in this test.)"

However, this doesn't mean the resulting pectin will be a foolproof substitute for Certo or other commercial product. Jellies set according to a particular ratio of pectin to acid to sugar and ratios vary according to the type of pectin used. So your final product may turn out perfect or it may have a somewhat looser or firmer set. It would help to know precisely what you're using the pectin for.

Good luck with your project.

P.S. You can boiling water bath or freeze any excess pectin for later use.

Carol

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 5:45PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As an alternative you can just use one of the many other recipes for the jam, one that doesn't require the liquid pectin but uses dry pectin like Certo or SureJel instead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Apple jam with powdered pectin

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 6:34PM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

Looking to make habenera jelly. Guessing I can reduce what I have to make enough. Suppose I could boil another batch of apples in the last broth. Nice reddish pink color and smells nice... yeah I could see making apple jam out of this. The pulp I strained off has a flat apple flavor.. either I'll eat it or my rabbit will get it.

This is cooking as I love it.. only half know what I'm doing but know where I want to go.

I found some grape vines while picking apples and now have two quarts of grape juice from wild grapes. Probably not worth my time but I'm having fun which counts for something.

Thinking I'll boil some more apples in what I have... can't hurt to be extra strong. Lots of apples... even have a different variety... redder and sweeter but still a tart pie apple. Going to be apple/habenera when I'm done.

: )
lyra

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:58PM
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2ajsmama

The same book has a recipe for pepper jelly using the homemade pectin. I haven't tried it yet (had a partial box of Ball No-sugar pectin I wanted to use, so made Apple Jalapeno Jelly yesterday with apple juice, cider vinegar and jalapenos). Going to try it soon (this week or next) just to compare the set, color, clarity with the juice/powdered pectin batch.

Hot Red Pepper Jelly

1/4 pound small hot red peppers (if you're using habaneros, you may want to reduce this to 2 oz, or mix with milder peppers!)

1 Tbsp salt
2 3/4C Homemade Apple Pectin
1/3C white wine vinegar (though I suppose you could use cider vinegar since the apple pectin will probably turn the jelly amber anyway)
2 3/4C sugar

1. Mince the peppers without seeding them (again, you may want to seed the habs - wear gloves!). Toss them with the salt in a small bowl. Let them stand for 1-2 hours, until they have released some liquid. Drain and rinse them, then drain again.

2. Combine the peppers with the homemade pectin, vinegar, and sugar in a preserving pan. Stir the contents over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium-high, and boil the jelly until it passes the spoon test.

3. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and let the jelly cool for 5 minutes. Then give it a stir and pour it (slowly to minimize bubbles!) into hot half-pint jars. Add rings and lids, and process for 10 minutes in a BWB.

About the grapes - I made grape jelly too, mixed grapes with apples in the pan and the second batch was a little short on juice so I added a cup of homemade apple pectin to the 3 cups of apple-grape juice (not reduced), that batch did set up a little more quickly. The apple-grape combo results in a lovely ruby-red/cranberry colored jelly without the cloying Concord grape taste. DH picked more grapes yesterday and I'm going out today to look for more, going to try making just the grape juice and do a small batch with just that and the apple pectin to see what proportions result in purple color without overpowering grape taste.

I also use the grape and apple pulp (put through the food mill to take out skins and seeds) with chopped-up plum and apple to make a variation on Autumn Fruit Jam from Small Batch Preserving. Yummy with the spices (though it wouldn't taste like much without since all the goodness of apple and grape came out in the juice). But an alternative to compost.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:10AM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

Thank-you Carol, digdirt, and ajsmama! I did use some powdered pectin and what I had for homemade pectin. This morning I has jam!

Having a go at things again. Lots of apples and habeneras this year. I want to see if I can get it to set up nice with just the homemade this time. One jar did not seal so I'll be eating some soon. The homemade pectin increased the batch volume so I found myself with an unexpected extra jar. I quick dipped an in the boiling water but must not have been long enough to properly heat the jar. Oh well needed a fridge jar for taste testing anyway. Hard for me to judge the amount of habenera... I have three types of hab... hot, extra hot, and freaking smoke rolling flaming hot (red savina). So far sticking to a combo of orange Burpee habs and Carribean Red habs that I know cook down to agreeable levels of heat. I did use enough to have one hab for each jar... probably going to be pretty warm. Was enough pepper being in the kitchen was uncomfortable due to the peppers cooking... I nuked them to make certain they were cooked down and not raw hot.

Mixed a pint of that grape juice with vodka last night... wow!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:26AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

bunnyman - thought I'd jump in here to give my "2 c's" on my experiences.

A few years ago, I rendered pectin from orange peelings - cuz that's what we have a lot of. As I recall, it involved boiling the peelings and putting them in a jelly bag, allowing it to drip free, then extracting as much of the oozing gelatinous material out - (squeezing a lot). A cup of the pectin was used per recipe. I liked it a lot - especially because it gave a citrus flavor to the finished product - (can't remember what it was now).

Anyway, I have sinced embarked on making home-made wines - with some reasonable success. Those wine grapes sound like a lot of fun. I have planted some in my back yard - Chardonnay and Thompson, with hopes that next year, I will be able to "wine" them.

In the meantime, I have made wine from a bumper crop of limes and some plums. The lime wine is a bit astringent - but Ok with lots of ice. The plum is excellent, giving me the desire to pursue my new found habit - ahem!

I recommend a beginner's wine-making kit if you are in to the venture. Also - found the web site "Leener's" to be helpful to any who wish to pursue this. It is a bit confusing at first, but once the mystery of the hydrometer is solved and the pH meter, the rest is pretty basic.

Hope you find something helpful here.

Good luck - admire your adventuresome spirit.

Bejay

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:59AM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

I'm an old wineo! I free style wine on the fly... been doing it for years and never had any that was not drinkable. I've bought fancy wine with french labels.. good stuff but I've made far better. I prefer not having sulfides in my wine... cleaner taste and no pickled tummy feeling after drinking. Most of my wines these days have an apple juice base... just cheap and easy to come by. Handful of dried blueberrys into a fermenter of apple juice wine and it looks like this!

That is Lulu my offical wine inspector. No wine made in my kitchen that Luna Looski does not personally approve. Yeah I'm single so my house is cluttered... not bad for someone that works 6 or 7 days a week for endless years. I still have a gallon of that wine... no sulfides and has not gone bad yet. You can see a few of the blueberries floating on top and the rest on the bottom. Wine is easy... anyone one interested should give it a try. That jug was 4 gallons of cheapy store bought no preservative on sale apple juice, 4lbs corn sugar (wine store), handful of acid blend (wine store), handful of dry blueberries (walmart cereal section), and one packet of wine yeast (wine store). All in all about $10-12 for 4 gallons of wine running about 12% alcohol. I did not hydrometer it, I did not rack it, no heating pad, no adding sugar to keep the ferment going, lazy person wine to the max. Certainly no campden tablets!... yucky. Three gallons juice into the fermentor. Boiled the other gallon of juice to mix in the sugar and acid blend. Dumped hot juice in with the cold juice. Sprinkled yeast on top of the warm juice and corked it with a bubbler lock. Six months later I started pouring it off gallon/half gallon at a time for drinking. Mix with seven-up or faygo moon mist soda pop when I want it sweet. Noooo you can't add sugar after it quits bubbling to sweeten it... as my buddy attempted. He did not understand the yeast is alive and will start fermenting again blowing bottle corks in the process. Btw... wine yeast like bread yeast will not hurt you and is full of B vitamins... if a little gets in your glass drink it down like a health tonic!... most of it sits on the bottom until you attempt to pour out the last quart.. by then you won't care if it has yeast... *hic*.

As for the hab jelly! I opened the fridge jar because I got curious. It has jelled and tastes great! Two slices of jelly toast and probably another before I head off to work second shift.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 11:46AM
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2ajsmama

Just curious - how many habs did you put in, how much homemade pectin/juice/vinegar/powdered pectin?

No more grapes today - have 3 lbs (stemmed) that DH picked simmering for juice right now. Gotta go wash and sort/cut apples to get that batch of juice/pectin going. Oh yeah, and think about what to have for dinner tonight...

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 11:55AM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

4 large ripe Caribbean Reds.
3 small ripe orange Burpee habs.
2 ripe red jalapenos
1 green jalapeno

Habeneras can be eaten green. They have a different heat and are milder... certainly a variation I'll try in the future. Recipe calls for sweet red bell pepper that I didn't have so the red jalpenos were substituted.. and a green one for color... pretty jam.

Less-see....

1/4 cup of dry apricots cut into tiny pieces then put in a plastic jar to soak in 3/4 cup 5% white vinegar for 4 hours.

Chop fine 2 Caribbean Red and all other peppers into the apricots & vinegar. (using gloves)
Chop fine 1/4 cup or so of red onion.. and toss in vinegar/peppers/apricots.

Mess around all afternoon picking two kinds of apples and boiling apple chunks in 4 cups of water with a shot of lemon juice in it. Stain all apple bits leaving the liquid. Simmer liquid for hour while playing with grape juice. Nine small apples did not seem like much so I added chunks from 6 medium apples and boiled them. Figured I'd add the last two Caribbean Reds at this point.. they boiled awhile and were removed with the apple pulp when I strained it a second time.

Put pepper/onion/apricot/vinegar mix into the microwave and brought it to a boil. Wanted them peppers cooked... then added it to my saucepan of homemade "pectin". Wondered if it would be enough so I put in a 1.75oz box of certo pectin.

Finally 3 coffee cups of white sugar.

About this time my canner water was boiling. I put in 4 pint jars to warm.

Meanwhile the saucepan was boiling up a foam and smelled good.

Discovered I needed a 5th jar while filling... a perfect 5 pints.

Last jar didn't get warm enough so it didn't seal.. fridge sampler.

All were set up this morning. I had some of the sample jar already... came out good. Tangy with a heat that kicks in... no bite to the peppers. I like habs but not if they bite.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 1:50PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

I'm interested in the brand of commercial apple juice you refer to. I recently purchased a box of our local mountain-grown apples, hoping to venture my first apple cider brew. Unfortunately, it hung up when I tried to press out the juice from the ground up apples. The resulting pulp was still too full of juice - but nonetheless, useful in cooking. It made some great apple waffles, using my recipe for pumpkin-style waffles.

However, I'm sure there must be a better way to render juice from the apples, and decided this forum has such great folks who have the best ideas - for the least amount of money - to solve the problems.

I would love to be able to render more juice from apples - mainly because I planted 5 low-chill apples which are doing great, and I expect to be harvesting lots in the future.

The cider mills are a bit pricey - and hesitate to purchase if I can manage otherwise.

The idea of making wines without all of the add-ons is appealing, but as a beginner wasn't taking any chances when I made my initial batches. Your comments are encouraging.

Bejay

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:40AM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

When looking for wine apple juice I select the cheapest brand in the grocery store that does NOT have preservatives. Apple it seems can just be heated enough to kill yeast/bacteria and then bottled. Guessing not that different then home canned. Often I'm not in the market for AJ but will be shopping when a big display is put out or some killer "loss leader" sale. At that time I'll buy 5 gallons. If you are lucky you might find it in gallon glass jugs! Those are priceless for small batch wines... what I make elderberry or rhubarb wine in. You can make wine one gallon at a time... which is great for berries or oddball stuff that you don't have time to prepare a large batch.

So short answer is I just buy cheap aj. Some smaller cider mills will press your apples for you... for a fee. Grapes I toss in a soup pot and use a potato masher on them. There are nylon mesh bags available at the wine store for hand squeezing grapes and berries.

Lots of wine books make way to much deal about wine. Fruit juice has been bubbling in the jug all on its own for thousands of years with some happy human drinking the results. If you want to hobby it there is an endless science experiment in making wine. Huge first step is to find a wine store for supplies like wine yeast. A glass fermenter is probably going to be the largest expense if you have to buy one. Watch garage sales. A bubble lock and cork will probably cost all of $2! Yeast about 50 cents a packet. Brewing sugar can hit $2 a pound. Acid "blend" is a couple bucks for a bag that will dose many batches. The acid is just food grade fruit acids like citric acid... sour stuff makes the best wine!

What wines I make do not taste "homemade". I used to advise against making "grandpa style" where cane sugar is added until the alcohol content is high enough to prevent further fermentation (it stops bubbling). Then a friend got into making that style and it is a huge hit... that overly sweet odd tasting stuff sparks memories in people.

I'll be back if anyone has wine questions... might not be a bad idea to start a wine thread. I would not say I'm an expert but I've done it before. I've also done beer which has more to do but is much quicker... you can be drinking beer in about 21 days!... ten days to ferment and ten days to condition then it is drinkable.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:52AM
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harvestingfilth(6-6B)

I almost never use boxed or liquid pectin any more. I have become a purist with fruit-sugar-lemon juice for the fruits that have high pectin.

For lower pectin fruits or fruits that I have a hard time getting a good jel with, I use my currants which I freeze in the spring, and add a cupful or two to a batch of lower pectin jam or ones that are hard to set (blueberry-currant, for example).

I have yet to try the apple pectin stock method, but have seen many recipes for it. I'm hoping to make some mint jelly this fall this way, before the mint gets a frost.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 2:14PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

Bunnyman - you mentioned in your posting above - reference to "brewing" sugar. I purchased a bag of sugar yesterday, and it has nothing on the outside to identify it. What is exactly "brewing" sugar. I've used cane in the past - but would beet sugar be a problem.

I'm presently having difficulty with a "stuck" lime wine. I made a batch last year at the same time - and it was a "bear" to start too. I think it is because our weather has been much cooler in recent years - foggy, etc., not much sun - hard to ripen tomatoes, etc. But also could be other factors. I put a warm grow light next to the fermenter bucket, with a dishcloth around it - and I have high hopes.

But - would like your comments about brewing sugar please.

Bejay

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 12:18PM
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happyday(WI4a)

Bejay, I got juice from apples by steaming them in a juice steamer I just got, it's still on sale at Amazon for 80 bucks then I found out I could dump the leftover mash into a spaghetti insert and let the last juice drain out in the fridge overnight. Used a pot like this

The final apple mash was very dry.

There is a wine forum here, not much activity. Why not come over and talk about wine there? Bunnyman could you repost your image of the wine with blueberries?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 12:45AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

happyday - that looks like a great idea! Why didn't I think of it, cuz I know steaming always creates more juice anyway. I have one similar - although smaller. Thanx for the tip.

About the Wine Forum - I have tried it - unfortunately, the helpful answers were long coming. It is not a very active forum, must admit. But I find info on the "Net" elsewhere, books, etc., and making progress. But couldn't help jumping in - interested in bunnyman's posting.

I always seem to be hijacking somebodies posting, but the folks here are so great with the knowledge they have on many aspects of food processing.

Bejay

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 2:46AM
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