Pectin is used in the making of jam, preserves and jelly (I’ll refer to them all as jam) for primarily one reason, the speed of cooking to reach a jelling state. It is about a fifteen minute process between putting the ingredients in the pot and pouring the jam into jars. Not only is time saved flavors do diminish when heat is applied. Unfortunately nothing is perfect. In order to make jelling happen using pectin the brix level (sugar measurement of the mixture) must be between 55 and 60. This translates into a lot of sugar. Cooking jams the old French way may require an hour of stirring but the sugar can be added to the user’s desire. And although the additional cooking reduces the flavor the concentrating of the fruit compounds flavor so take a little give a little. But all said, pectin rules in the jam world. The problem is that it is not always available, especially from fall until Berry season again begins. What to do?
Enter Pacific Pectin, a family owned company. I have used their products for fifteen years. And the really good news, they are a business not a seasonal spot on a shelf. Not only do they sell bulk pectin at about a 1/3 to a 1/4 of what the little packs cost, they offer a liquid pectin mix and a host of other ingredients; plus, there are people there to help with questions and challenges. They have no idea I am writing this, maybe don’t even know I have sung their praises in both my canning books for my purpose is not to get a “kick back” it is to offer to my readers the best and in this case the nicest products available.