I have some surplus cooking apples which I will be trying to make jam with. I can't find pectin in my local supermarket, but they do have "jam sugar", which contains pectin, but is twice the price of regular sugar.

From what I've read, apples are a natural source of pectin. So do I need to add extra pectin to my jam in order for it to set?

FYI: I don't have any crab apples, which people have suggested adding to jam to hep it set.

  • But, is this a duplicate of cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/25392/…? Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 23:26
  • @thursdaysgeek hmm, searched for apple and pectin, that one didn't come up...
    – Ken
    Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 23:28
  • I know, sometimes a search doesn't find what is clearly there. I searched on just pectin, since asking the question, I knew how best to find it. Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 23:30
  • 2
    While you can make jam with pectin-rich fruit, you have to cook it for a very long time, because the ratio of pectin to water is not optimal and you have to wait until much of the water has evaporated. It works, but the taste of the jam is not as good as the taste of short-cooked jam with added pectin. I would go with the premixed pectin sugar.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 23:38
  • 2
    You could always just make apple butter!
    – Cascabel
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 1:17

2 Answers 2


Yes. See the accepted answer for Can most sour fruits be jelled by cooking with sugar?. After getting that answer, I have successfully made apple jelly with fresh cooked and strained apple juice and sugar, and nothing else. You can search for apple jelly recipes and find directions.


Yes, you can.

I have recently successfully cooked a batch of apple jam with only apples, sugar and water. The trick to extract enough pectin in order for the jam to solidify is either to cook them for a very long time or let the fruits sit for a night or so.

I just added the diced apples to a boiling sugar-water mixture (about 1:1), cooked them briefly and put them in the fridge for about a day. Afterwards I continued cooking until the mixture solidified, which happened after about 20 minutes in the process (depending on the pectin content of the apples as well as the size of the diced apples I imagine). In fact the jam got quite solid and can be cut with a knife now.

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