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Raspberry JELLY possible w/o added pectin?

Posted by weedlady Central OH 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 20, 12 at 13:28

I have been making rasp jam for years and never add pectin.I always prefer jam to jelly becasue I hate wasting so much of the fruit! (Of course, now I have a worm bin so I am sure the "waste" would delight the herd! Still...)

But this year both my dad and a neighbor expressed a wish for seedless jelly, hence my search for a recipe. As I perused my various canning books, none listed seedless jelly w/o added pectin.

Now, I have no real objection to using pectin, I just am wondering if there actually is some reason the product would not jell without help? I always use a mix of some underripe berries to be sure of enough pectin. But is the presence (or not) of the seeds a factor?

Also, rather than use a cheesecloth jelly bag, I used my Villaware food mill to strain out the seeds, thinking that would be quicker and that way I would not waste as much pulp (I do not care at all if the jelly is "clear and jewel-like" --it's just that the seeds are an issue.)

I was not happy with how much pulp was left behind, though, so after making one batch (with powdered pectin, following the jelly recipe from the package) and seeing there was not enough for another, I added some water (not much, maybe a half-cup)to that and hung it in a bag. But a couple of hours later, not much had happened, and I had to do a lot of squeezing to get the juice out. But now I do have a full quart to work with.

I don't want to end up with just syrup (talk about WAIST!--LOL), so can anyone clear pectin/no pectin dilemma up?
Many thanks!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Raspberry JELLY possible w/o added pectin?

What you're talking about is really more a seedless jam than a jelly. The main issue is the pectin is in the cell walls of the fruit and the seeds, so once that is removed, the pectin level is lower. If your fruit was dead-ripe then the pectin level has further degraded and that will really make it difficult.

However, I have made true raspberry jelly and seedless berry jams like those you describe without commercial pectin. The set will probably be slightly softer, not a syrup but not super-firm. If you get too eager for a firm set, there is a risk of overcooking, but it can be done and the preserve may further firm up over time.

There are some parts of the country where this is easier to achieve due to differences in growing conditions which result in a higher natural acid level. So how well it will work in your case I do not know.

If you use 1/4 underripe fruit, add lemon juice and cook the mixture with a bag which includes the lemon seeds and whatever pulp you have, the odds will improve as citrus has a lot of natural pectin. Just don't overdo it or the lemon flavor will predominate.

The other option would be to add some natural homemade pectin from apples (i.e. an apple pectin or apple jelly base).


RE: Raspberry JELLY possible w/o added pectin?

Thanks, Carol. I had a feeling the seeds had something to do with the pectin level (like the seeds & membranes in peppers have the bulk of the heat). :-)

I have access to some nice wild crabapples and could make up some apple pectin. But I do not know how much of the apple extract/juice I would have to use to make a good product, the flavor of which would be assertively raspberry.


RE: Raspberry JELLY possible w/o added pectin?

The benefit of apple is it's neutral, and since all you're trying to do is give the raspberries an additional pectin boost, even a couple of tablespoons should make a difference without diminishing the berry flavor.


RE: Raspberry JELLY possible w/o added pectin?

Good info, Carol. Many thanks!

RE: Raspberry JELLY possible w/o added pectin?

If you go to page two of the PDF document at the link you'll see instructions for a pectin test which you can do on your puree. That will give you an idea of how much pectin is present. You could also test with some apple pectin added, if you like.


Here is a link that might be useful: All About Pectin

RE: Raspberry JELLY possible w/o added pectin?

I made a huge batch of green apple pectin a few weeks back, using thinnings from our overloaded apple tree. I've been using this to make jams and jellies from low-pectin fruit, mostly peaches and pears. I tried using the same rough proportions as the commercial liquid pectin, around 1/2 cup per pound of fruit, and got very, very syrupy jellies.

Then I found in Ellie Topp's book a few recipes using green apple pectin. Her ratio of homemade pectin to fruit is about 1:1, so for 6 cups of peaches she uses 6 cups of pectin. So I upped the amount of pectin drastically and I reduced until I got to the temperature of a soft gel. I also tested each batch using cold plates.

I'm getting much better results this way, and the jams have a very good fruitiness which I like. The taste of the peaches or pears comes through beautifully, the pectin just adds a fruity tartness which is very pleasant.

I should have mentioned that I reduced the amount of sugar a LOT, up to half, which is a big factor in getting a good set. But the jams taste like good fruit and not like candy which is what I wanted.


RE: Raspberry JELLY possible w/o added pectin?

Carol--what a great source of information is at the link you supplied! I have printed it out to put with my canning recipes. Thanks once more!

Cheryl, many thanks to you for sharing your experience--and especially the info regarding sugar. How many times I have wished I could cut back on the sugar but was afraid to deviate from a "real" recipe!

Gardenweb folks are THE BEST!

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