How To Make Your Own Pectin
What is pectin you ask? Why do I need to know what it is? Well pectin isn't something you directly eat but it is a key ingredient into making jelly. When trying to survive off of the land food can be a boom or bust type of thing and the ability to store food for later is key to survival... and jelly taste good. ;-)
Pectin is what? Pectin is the ingredient that turns what would be fruit juice into jelly... it makes it firm. Pectin comes from apples or citrus. Pectin will be more prevalent in these sources before the fruit is ripe.
To extract pectin the fruit must be first cooked. Which you use will be determined by where you live. Colder climates will have fruits like apples or crabapples etc. In the south citrus will be more readily available. Wild citrus such as trifoliate orange grows wild. You might not want to eat the fruit but it can serve as a source of pectin for you blackberry jelly!
OK lets learn apple pectin first.
Apples are a favorite source of pectin because the apple pectin doesn't alter the flavor of the jelly much.
2 lbs. unripe apples
2 cups of water
To extract pectin obtain unripe fruit if at all possible. Remove the stem, you only want the fruit core and all but none of the branch and leaves.
Cut the apples in to small pieces. They don't have to be super small but you don't want big chunks. Pieces can be large as long as they are thin.
Fill a large pot with the apples and add enough water to almost cover the apple pieces. Excess water will dilutes your pectin so less in this case is more.
Bring the apples and water to a boil. Now reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Now that you have the apple sauce like substance you will want to strain it to get just the liquid. A fine mesh cloth or cheese cloth suspended over a bowl will allow the pectin to drip into the bowl. Allow it to drain on its own without applying pressure to speed up the process. This can take hours so simply find something else to do.
That is it! Your bowl will contain usable liquid pectin for making your favorite jellies.
Pectin from Citrus!