Mon 18 Feb 2013
Oh pectin, you rascally ingredient!
When I made the Tequila Sunset Hot Pepper Jelly, the recipe called for liquid pectin, not powdered. I had never ever ever heard of liquid pectin until that point. So I adventured to three different grocery stores to try and get my hands on some, but did eventually come home with a few packets.
I have consulted with other jelly making friends about this other, wetter type of pectin. I don’t know whether or not to conclude if the liquid stuff is less common or if I live under a rock and just never heard of it. Responses to my discovery varied from “Liquid pectin? What’s that?” to being flabbergasted that I hadn’t used it before, not to mention known of it’s existence.
So, for those of you who are looking to be in the know like I was, here’s some information:
- Liquid pectin is generally used in clear jellies because its addition won’t cloud them. This is not always the case, but a rule of thumb.
- Interchanging liquid and powdered pectin in a recipe does not generally yield good results.
- In general, with liquid pectin you boil your jelly, stir in the pectin, bring back to the boil and can immediately. Setting is activated at a lower temperature when you are using liquid pectin, as compared to powdered.
- Usually, when using powdered pectin, the jam or jelly is boiled for a set time after the pectin has been stirred in. The pectin needs to be exposed to more heat for jelling to be activated.
- For pectin to set (whether added in or just naturally occurring in the fruits used) there needs to be sugar, acid, and heat present in the right ratios. All of these contributing factors make it extra frustrating when your jelly doesn’t gel, but reprocessing isn’t too terrible and generally you can save a jelly that isn’t setting up.
So what do you do if you have powdered pectin but need liquid pectin?
How to Convert Powdered Pectin into Liquid Pectin
First take a package of powdered pectin (1.75 oz here. If yours is a different size, we will have to change the proportions accordingly. More on that later!) and stir it into 125 ml water.
And bring this mixture to a boil and continue to boil for 1 minute
Pour the combination into a measuring cup and add room temperature water to make a total of 250 ml volume.
Let cool and then use your liquid pectin!
When I converted my powdered pectin into liquid form I had some left over and stored it in a resealable container in the fridge. It was still good to use about a week later, but I wouldn’t use any I had stored if it grew mold or went clumpy. Common sense, right people?
Say, hypothetically, you were making this recipe. It calls for 170 ml liquid pectin. To make this amount from powdered all you do is adjust the proportions accordingly; take 1.19 oz pectin, stir it into 85 ml water (that’s 5 3/4 Tbsp!), bring it to a boil and keep it boiling for a minute, and then add water to make it the total of 170 ml.
You can bring the amounts up or down for whatever your recipe requires, which is lovely for those of you who buy your pectin in bulk, though it does get more difficult to measure without a scale or graduated cylinder.
Hurray for preserve making nerdiness!
Hip hip hurray for jams and jellies!
This time last year: Black Pepper Cookies
And the year before that: Balsamic Roasted Vegetables