Thursday, July 29, 2010


Summer has reached its zenith and it is now time for the exciting process of making jam. This season I will be using blackberries, black and red currants, aronia berries and elderberries in my jam-making. All of these are vitamin rich and full of anti-oxidants. More importantly, they are bursting with rich juicy flavor. Before jam, fruit pectin must be made. Pectin is readily available in the grocery store but at a very high price- it is the most expensive ingredient in the making of homemade jam. I like to make my own pectin using a very simple process.

These Dolga crab apples are not quite ripe yet which is perfect. Very high in natural pectin, they are wonderful for making homemade pectin since the flavor of their juice will not overpower the fruit used for the jam.

The apples are washed and coarsely chopped in a food processor. The chopping makes the extraction of the pectin from the skins and cores of the apples much faster than if the apples were left whole.

After the apples have cooked on low heat for almost 2 hours, the pulp is placed in a muslin jelly bag and suspended to allow the juice to slowly drip over night. This is a slow process but will result in more available pectin and the liquid will be very clear because the pulp was not squeezed. The liquid pectin will be stored in the refrigerator during the jam making process.

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