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I was wondering if there is a way to make jam without going through a gelatin type product. There is no real motive behind that question, except for curiosity

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3 Answers 3

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From the National Center for Home Food Preservation:
Making Jelly without Added Pectin
Making Jam without Added Pectin

  • Use a mixture of 3/4 ripe and 1/4 under-ripe high-pectin fruits. Under-ripe or just barely ripe fruit contains the most pectin.
  • Cook the fruit with cores and peels to add extra pectin (but do remove stems or pits). Put through a sieve before adding sugar and spices.
  • Citrus peel contains lots of pectin, so consider adding some of it to your mixture.

Fruits low in pectin: apricots, blueberries, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, and strawberries. That's not saying you can't make jam/jelly/butter from these without added pectin. It just may be a little more difficult than, say, using apples. In fact, as an example, here's a pear butter recipe w/o pectin.

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I'm not sure if you can with all fruits, but some fruits, like fruits like apples, blackberries, gooseberries, crab apples, cranberries, and grapes are naturally high in pectin and might produce the desired effect without extra help.

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Exactly - I make apple butter every fall, pectin free. –  JustRightMenus Aug 22 '10 at 15:19
This might be semantic nitpicking on my part- but it isn't "pectin free". It's "free pectin". Apples have a TON of pectin- you just don't have to pay extra for it. –  Sobachatina Aug 23 '10 at 13:53

You can simply simmer off enough liquid until any fruit is thick. For example, I make a blueberry sauce for pancakes and blintzes by just putting some blueberries, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan, bringing to a boil, and then reducing heat to low until it is as thick as I want. When cooled in the fridge, it will be pretty jammy. (This isn't a canning recipe, it only keeps a few days).

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A friend of mine used the same basic recipe when he brought into work crepes on Bastille Day this year, except he added a little fresh lemon juice to the mix as well. Got a really nice thick consistency out of it and it was delicious! –  stephennmcdonald Aug 22 '10 at 17:29
I add juice of one lemon as well, just 10 minutes before cooking is over. –  MissesBrown Dec 16 '11 at 23:56

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