Many jam and marmalade recipes call for a gelling agent in order to solidify the fruit-sugar mixture. While some fruits (like apples) may contain enough of a gelling agent (pectin) to solidify themselves while cooked for a long time I wonder what I can do with other fruits if I don't have a gelling agent at hand (they are quite hard to get a hold of where I live).

I read about adding orange, lemon or apple peel or cores as well as boiling down apples in order to extract the pectin but I'm curious if there are other, maybe more foolproof and accurate ways, to imitate a gelling agent (pectin or anything else which works for a jam).

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    When you boil apple, you are not imitating anything--you're getting pectin! You can do the same for gelatin by boiling bones. There are plenty of other gelling agents for you to try as well--consider psyllium husk, chia seed, or mung bean starch. Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 22:15
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    Marmalade is usually made with only the pectin from the orange or citrus peel itself. If you're having to add pectin, something is wrong with the recipe. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmalade Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 23:11
  • So the question is about making something that can be stored as a shelf stable powder and dosaged accurately? Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 11:12
  • Seeing the tag and the body text, it seems that you are interested in jam making only. So I edited your question, because most gelling agents are not suitable for preserves (gelatine certainly isn't!)
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 15:20
  • Also, is it really a matter of "don't have it at hand?", or do you mean it in a more general sense? If there is a method, it will certainly take more time than just going out to the supermarket for packaged pectin. It is also possible that you have to get to the supermarket nevertheless, to buy sufficient quantities of fruit as input.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


The book Putting Food By (Hertzberg) has a recipe:10 lbs. apples yields 1 pint pectin. Seems jam & jelly specific.

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    It would be a much better answer if you could give a rough description of the method. Also, is this a pint of pectin of the same concentration as the powdered pectin available in the store?
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 6:25

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