Learning the method of canning jam without added pectin utilizes fruits natural pectin to create a thick spreadable jam. Exploring the subject of pectin, it uses, how it retracts and even how we can make it ourselves can really help us understand the science of water bath canning.
Pectin, a substance necessary for gel formation, occurs naturally in most fruits. It is concentrated in the skins and cores of various fruits. This is why many recipes include the skins and cores in preparing fruit for juice or pulp. The amount of pectin varies with the kind of fruit and degree of ripeness. Underripe fruit has a higher pectin content. As fruit ripens, the pectin is changed to a nongel-forming substance. Use one fourth underripe and three fourths fully ripe fruit to ensure sufficient pectin in jellied fruit products made without added pectin.
To increase the success of a natural gelling no added pectin jam recipe, try combining a low pectin fruit choice with a high pectin fruit choice.
Spoon Test (to determine when the mixture will form a gel): Dip a cool metal spoon into the hot fruit. Immediately lift it out and away from the steam and turn it horizontally. At the beginning of the cooking process, the liquid will drip off in light, syrupy drops. Try again a minute or two later — the drops will be heavier. The jam is done when the drops are very thick and two run together before falling off the spoon.
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