Thursday, April 2, 2009

Adventures in Pectin

I purchased three pounds of pectin online. Bulk pectin usually ends up costing about $1.00 per batch of jam. Much better than the $2.50 it costs in the store! I eagerly opened my new bag of pectin so I could get rid of the last bags of summer fruit in the freezer. I put the juice I had already extracted into the pot, and added the pectin. BOOM. Instant block of pectin plaster. WOW! What was this stuff?? Well, after a lot of thinking and a little experimenting I figured out that it was commercial pectin. Hmmmmm.... In the end I figured out that it only took 1 tablespoon of this pectin (instead of 1/3 cup) and that the pectin needed to be mixed in with the sugar and added after the juice was boiling. This isn't the usual method at all. The great news is, now that I only need one tablespoon per batch instead of 1/3 cup, that plummets the cost from $1.00 per batch to $0.20 per batch! The other great news - I contacted the seller after my initial disaster. The standard recipe was posted with the pectin and obviously didn't work. He refunded all of my money, which basically has covered the 6 cups of juice I lost (which I actually may be able to fix still) and my time to figure out the correct recipe. In return, he gets the correct recipe and can advertise it as an incredible savings over regular pectin. So now, instead of $0.20 per batch, it will cost me nothing. Now, if only it were kosher for pesach!

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