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In some recipes for apple and cherry pie, it is suggested to pre-cook the filling at low temperature in order to make pectin heat resistant and so preserve the shape and structure of the fruit. This is explained in McGee's "On Food and Cooking" at page 283 as:

Firm-able vegetables and fruits have an enzyme in their cell walls that becomes activated at around 120F/ 50C (and inactivated above 160F/70C), and alters the cell-wall pectins so that they’re more easily cross-linked by calcium ions

Now my question is, what is this enzyme? Is this enzyme available for purchase? And if so, if I were to add it to a, say, strawberry pie filling, would it help maintain its structure?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't know for sure if it is the same enzyme naturally that naturally occurs in apples, but there is a commercial product called NovoShape that serves this purpose. It is a pectin esterase. You can find it in small quantities at Modernist Pantry:

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Thanks! Will test next month! It does seem to inactivate at lower temperatures though, so it's probably a substitute rather than the real thing. Oh well, I won't complain! – CarrKnight Feb 3 '14 at 13:03

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