Pectin-free canning is a wonderful way to create traditional jams and preserves. Because you don’t have the addition of boxed pectin, not only is more frugal, but you can decrease the amounts of sugar used! I don’t know about you, but as a health conscious homemaker, this makes me so happy!
There are a few things you should know about creating pectin-free jams, particularly if you’re accustomed to using boxed pectin in your home canning.
Differences with Pectin-Free Jams or Jellies
The are 7 key differences you’ll get when creating pectin-free jams or jellies vs those with added pectin. When you are relying on the natural pectin found in fruits and berries, or on the consistency of the fruit to help thicken things up, you will get a unique product. Let me walk you through these differences now.
#1: Aesthetic Differences Are Apparent
Jellies and jams made without commercial pectin take on a darker hue. Longer cooking time leads to a more concentrated product and more oxidization of the fruit. Light may not penetrate your homemade jellies. From a food-safe perspective, this little detail doesn’t matter. But if aesthetics matter to you, well. You’ve been forewarned!
#2: A Fruitier Flavor
Pectin-free, home canned goods have a stronger fruit flavor and jelly, particularly so. Longer cooking time intensifies and concentrates the natural zip, sweetness and richness of goods. But you’ll also notice things won’t have that fresh burst of flavor. Instead, your jams and jellies will resemble the flavor of a baked pie or cooked dessert. Still tasty. But different from jams that used boxed pectin and short cooking times.
#3: A Thicker End Product
While jellies remain as jelly, jam contains high volumes of fruit in contrast to jelled substance. Do you like light, jelly-like jams or robust, chunky spreads? Generally speaking, natural-pectin jams are the latter and will stick to homemade bread in a most delightful way!
#4: More Fruit is Required to Fill Jars
Instead of jelling extra juices with purchased pectin, a portion of the liquid will evaporate off as you wait for goods to thicken. The result? It takes more fruit to fill the jars! If you have a bountiful supply of how grown fruit, this isn’t an issue. However, if you are purchasing your fruit, you will need a bit more to make your homemade jams and jellies.
#5: Costs May Be Higher
Because old-fashioned canning requires a bit more fruit, it may be less cost-effective. Did you purchase, grow or forage the fruit? How much is available to you?
Also take into account the amount of gas/electricity it takes to thicken goods. In order to keep costs down, be sure to use these 3 techniques for successful pectin-free canning.
#6: The Option of Alternative Sweeteners
Pectin-free canning allows for lowered sugar content. It also enables the use of alternative sweeteners (such as raw honey). However, be aware that jams, jellies or preserves with reduced sugar content will spoil much sooner in the refrigerator. If lowering sugar content, preserve in smaller amounts that will be used in 7-14 days time.
#7: It Takes Time and Patience
Making pectin-free, home-canned goods requires time. You’ll have to watch the stove and spend time stirring your jams or jellies as they cook. This is why its important to follow these 3 techniques to help speed the thickening process.
Is Pectin-Free Canning for You?
Wholesome and frugal as pectin-free canning is, this method isn’t suited to everyone. Sometimes, we need to invest the required time into more important things. Does canning fill or drain you? Is it taking time you know is needed elsewhere (housekeeping, resting, relationships, getting outdoors)?
If so, let this old fashioned method slide by and consider using the 100% natural option of natural Pomona’s Pectin. You can use alternative sweeteners and get things done in no time at all.
Wanna learn how to use it? I have a tutorial and a video for you here!
It’s Up to You!
So there it is! What do you think? Is pectin-free canning the very thing you were looking for? Or should be looking at other alternatives (such as Pomona Pectin)?