On a recent visit to a friend’s new home, I was inspired to make apple pectin from green apples I thinned from one of the many mature fruit trees on the property.
Since I hadn’t tried it before and I was without my usual go-to kitchen resource, The Joy of Cooking, I searched online for a recipe and was rewarded with many variations on a basic theme, below.
The approximately fifteen pounds of green apples I picked made one gallon of apple liquid. The homeowner and I each got two quarts. I may make a sweet cherry & apple jam or perhaps a pepper jelly with my portion. Either sounds plenty tasty and worth the minimal effort of processing those otherwise unwanted green apples.
Put washed green apples in a stock pot with enough filtered water to make the fruit float. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring regularly to avoid scorching. The fruit will quickly soften to a pulp, but keep simmering until the liquid is amber colored. Strain the pulp through a metal colander lined with cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve. Don’t rush it and press the pulp or your final product will be cloudy. Refrigerate straining pulp overnight. In the morning, use the clear liquid as-is, or reduce to your desired consistency, to help set low-pectin preserves. You can also process it in a water bath canner to use at a later date. Due to time constraints, I chose to refrigerate the liquid with the intention of using it soon.
Although this recipe is not from either resource below, I am continually inspired by
Grow Your Own, Eat Your Own: Bob Flowerdew’s Guide to Making the Most of your Garden Produce All Year Round and The 1997 Joy of Cooking.
The 2007 edition of Joy is handy for all preserves and the 1997 edition for everything, and I honestly mean everything, else.
Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to Sustainableeats.com!
**Note, when I make mine I quarter and core the apples but don’t peel them. I use green apples around mid summer or early July so the pectin levels are still high, or crabapples or granny smith if it’s winter time. I cook them for 30 minutes, then strain the liquid and make sauce with the pulp. Once strained, I boil the liquid until it becomes viscous and syrupy. Times will vary depending on how much pectin is in the apples and how much you have. At that point I freeze the pectin until I need it for a jelly or jam recipe. ~Annette