The test is simple. Simply pour a glug of alcohol into a small glass and add about a teaspoon of the liquid pectin. Let it sit for a minute and then try to fish it out with a fork.
The pectin gels in the alcohol. If it doesn't, then the apple juice needs to be cooked down to concentrate the pectin in it. The results didn't surprise me, but I'm glad to know how to test future batches. It will also be handy for testing the natural pectin content of other fruits.
After I made my Spicy Fig Jam (recipe here), I still had quite a bit of pectin left. It is said to keep for about a week in the refrigerator, but I knew I wouldn't be using it up that quickly. Two options for longer term storage are freezing or canning it.
Freezing was certainly tempting, except that I don't have much room in my freezer. Plus, I always seem to lose track of the stuff that's in there. Things on my pantry shelves, however, are always in view and easier to remember and find. I decided to can the rest of my apple pectin.
I filled five half-pint jars. It's processed in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
|Did you know you don't need an official "canner" for water bath canning?|
All you need is a pot deep enough to cover the jars 1-2" with boiling water
plus a rack on the bottom to allow boiling water to circulate under the jars.
Now I have homemade pectin ready and waiting for when I need it.
To read Dani's and Jake's informative posts, follow the links below:
Eco Footprint ~ South Africa, "Making your own pectin for your fruit preserves"
The Homestead Laboratory, "Fall Rhubarb and Crabapple Pectin"