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Making our own Pectin

Kat is an Iowan living in Scotland with her husband and three children on a small tenant farm (think Downton Abbey) with a collection of goats, cows, chickens and pigs. Passionate about local food, Kat teaches workshops and online classes all about connecting people with where their food comes from.

Canning season is coming to an end here.  Autumn is rolling in to our small corner of Scotland and it will be wool socks and frost around here soon.  Apples are one of the last things that make an appearance here, with most of our soft fruits coming ripe months earlier. One of my last canning tasks every year is making pectin for next year’s jams and jellies that need the additional help to set.

Making your own pectin is super easy and one of those things that once you do, you will wonder why you every bought it in the first place. While there are many fruits that you can use to make pectin, the easiest and most reliable is the apple.

Unripe apples are one of the highest sources of pectin out there, but they can be hard to get ahold of. We like to use crab apples, as there always seems to be an over abundance and there is only so much crab apple jelly we can eat.

Don’t have a crab apple source? Don’t worry. Cooking apples like granny smith or cooking braeburns are also very high in pectin, especially the cores, pips and skins, so this is a great way to use up extra from your apple pies. I like to keep a bag of skins and cores in the freezer and then make up a batch of pectin when I have enough.

Yields about 400ml of pectin.




1kg of crab apples, cooking apples, unripe apples or apple cores and skins


enough water to cover




wash and chop your apples.


place in a large pan and cover with water


cook for about 30 minutes until the apples are all soft, but not mush


place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and sieve the mixture through. You may need to use a spoon to get all the liquid out.


Pour into a sterilized jar. You can go about canning this in a hot water canner, but I usually just stick the jar in the freezer. One jar usually is enough for one batch of jam with 1kg of fruit.

Gartur Stitch Farm Family


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