recommendation for brand of pectin?? Making jam and would love any advice!
What kind of pectin you use and if you use pectin at all depends on the fruit you are using to make jam. For example, with strawberries I don't use pectin. Here is a site that explains a lot about pectin. If you scroll down it has a chart on different types of pectin and advantages and disadvangtes. http://www.pickyourown.org/pectin.htm
I've used Pomona pectin for the past twenty years, and I make a lot of preserves and jams with low-pectin fruits. I like that you can use very little sugar with the Pomona pectin. I find that cooking fruit without a pectin product long enough for it to firm up often adversely affects both the color and taste of the fruit, as one would expect with overcooking (which, to my mind, is what happens when making most preserves without additional pectin). There are recipes out there for homemade apple pectin. I have tried several of them, and frankly, don't find them worth the effort. I make between 12 and 18 dozen jars of preserves, jams, compotes, etc., in small batches (4 - 6 half-pints each) every summer. I wouldn't use anything else. ;o)
This site explains some things about naturally occurring pectin:
I've had good success using lemon juice and pits in my blackberry jam. I cook the jam with a small cheesecloth packet full of lemon pits. But this is with a small quantity of jam, and blackberries are already naturally high in pectin. Depending on your fruit, you may not find this method worth the effort, as AntoniaJames has found.
At the recommended website, you can buy Pomona's pectin! Good site, good pectin...
I have been using Ball No Sugar Needed but now I think I will switch to Pomona - just have to find it - AJ - Whole Foods right?
I never use pectin, as taught to me by my great granny and my grandmum. If the fruit is right, and not over ripe, you will end up with a more tender product. All fruits have some pectin. I personally find most jams in this country are to tough . . . too much pectin. My jams always set using fruit, sugar and lemon juice added at the very end. I do pre-sugar blueberries the night before to breakdown the skin and allow the natural pectin to release into the fruit. . . same with red currants.
aargersi, I first discovered Pomona pectin at Whole Foods, 20 years ago, when they opened their first store in the East Bay. I've been buying it there ever since, though I can also find it during the summer at my local Safeway, as well as at my independent bulk-foods store (the Food Mill, in Oakland). And, in a true emergency resulting from discovering local just-picked (hours before) raspberries on the North Umpqua River in Oregon, while on a kayaking/hiking/bicycling vacation last summer, I drove 40 minutes to get some at a farm stand on the other side of the nearest town. The jam-making that night in our tiny rental unit on the river was memorable. I'll tell you about it next time I see you. ;o)