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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Pomona's Pectin

[Note:  I have no affiliation with Workstead Industries or Harvest Plus other than being a satisfied customer.  The following summary of Pomona's pectin is my opinions only.]

Many of the jam and jelly recipes I make do not use regular pectin (eg. Certo liquid or powdered) but rather use Pomona's pectin, a topic of a recent Frugal Kitchens 101.  Pomona's pectin is not readily available in most stores but can be found Amish and Mennonite country stores, natural/health food stores or can be ordered online directly from them through Workstead Industries (US, International) or Harvest Plus (Canada).   It is available in smaller packages as well if you don't want to commit to buying a larger quantity.

Pomona's pectin is a citrus based, low methoxy pectin that unlike other pectins does not require sugar to gel.  With regular pectins the fruit to sugar ratio is critical so you cannot substitute the sweetener or reduce it otherwise the jam or jelly will not set.  Pomona's pectin instead relies on calcium water.  When you buy Pomona's pecting (mason jar) it comes with a small packet of monocalcium phosphate.  The calcium water (blue arrow) is made by mixing ½ tsp with ½ c of water.  Once the calcium water is made it can be stored in the refigerator between uses where it will last for several months.  Shake before use.  If the white settled powder in the jar discolours, discard it and make a fresh solution.

Pictured is my remaining supply of Pomona's pectin and monocalcium phosphate.  The pectin is over a year old which is fine as this pectin has no expiry date, making it ideal for long term storage.  I'm about halfway through the 1 lb I purchased and am getting ready to place another order simply to avoid a price increase.  One pound equals 128 tsp at a total cost of 37.5¢ per tsp.  Most batches of jams or jellies that I make use 2 tsp of the pectin which works out to 64 batches of jam or jelly.  Syrups take half the amount and jelled candies take double the amount.

It is very important to understand that in the recipes where I specify using Pomona's pectin that I have developed that recipe specifically for that pectin.  You cannot substitute with other pectins.  There are a few recipes in the archives that use regular pectin.  In my opinion Pomona's pectin is a valuable, must have addition to my canning supplies.  Not only is this pectin cheaper than regular pectins, it give me the flexibility for creativity when making jams and jellies.  It can also be used to thicken homemade yogurt, syrups and make jelled candies (eg. gummy bears).

2 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

Thanks for the in-depth explanation. :)

Garden Gnome said...

You're welcome :)