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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Make Your Own Pectin for Jams and Jellies

This would not be cost effective for me because lemons do not grow well here (some day I will live in a place where I can walk out to the backyard and pick a lemon or lime for my cocktail). However, I have friends in other parts of the country that talk about having more lemons than they know what to do with them so this is for them.

Lemon Pectin Extract
Taken from Preserving In Today’s Kitchen (1992)by Jeanne Lesem (Winner of The James Beard Awards)

Seeds and coarsely ground white pith of 5 to 6 large, thick-skinned lemons, about 1.5 lbs, or the equivalent weight in small lemons

3 tbsp citric or tartaric acid (citric acid also called sour salt can be found in spice section, tartaric acid is sold at wine making supply shops)

6 quarts water

Remove and discard zest (I would never discard, see Chocolate and Zucchinni Roasted Lemon Zest Powder), leaving the white pith. Squeeze lemons, reserving seeds, pulp and pith (save that lemon juice for Canning with Kids Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate). Grind the pulp and pith coarsely and measure, should be 2 cups packed. Place this, the seeds and 1 tbsp tartaric or citric acid and 2 quarts water in a straight-sided 4 quart sauce pan. Let stand, uncovered, for 2 hours, then measure the depth of pan’s contents and note it. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Boil rapidly until reduced by half, this will take an hour. Pour extract through strainer or colander lined with 4 thickness of damp cheesecloth into a bowl with at least 2 quart capacity. Return pulp to sauce pan, add another tbsp of acid and 2 more quarts of water and repeat cooking process until it has been reduced by half. Then repeat a 3rd time with remaining acid and water. Each step should reduce faster than the original hour. After 3rd step put pulp in clean 2 thickness bag of cheesecloth and let sit without squeezing for several hours until you have a total of 6 cups of pectin extract. Refrigerate is using in the next few days or freeze for longer storage.


  1. Hey! You've gone and changed everything here! It looks really great! Love your new header and logo! Thanks for the tip on lavender...awesome idea! I'm going to stick it in my frugal tips in a couple of weeks (every Thursday). :)

  2. You are a GODSEND for posting this recipe! THANK YOU! This will put my hundreds of lemons to good use! ;)

  3. Hi ABG: r u a nurse? what are you up to? missed you!