Tart green apples are an excellent and easily-accessible natural source of pectin, and can be boiled and strained to produce pectin syrup that will help set preserves of fruits that are low in their own natural pectin, such as peaches, cherries and strawberries. Though it is best to use fresh green apples at the beginning of their ripening (as this is when they have the highest pectin content), this time of year we can still utilize the last of the storage apples to make slightly diluted pectin syrup for our summer preserves. This year’s batch of green apples won’t be available until much of our summer fruits have passed.
The pectin made from this recipe can be frozen in one-cup increments to use throughout the summer, or stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Green Apple Pectin
(From Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff)
Makes approx. 3 Cups
3 pounds Granny Smith Apples
6 cups water
- Cut the apples into eighths, removing the stems, and put the apples—peels, cores, seeds, and all—in a 6- to 8-quart preserving pan. Add 6 cups water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely broken down and the peels have separated from the pulp, 30-40 minutes.
- Set a large, very-fine-mesh sieve (or jelly bag) over a deep bowl or pot. Pour the apples and their juice into the sieve and let drain for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally but not pressing down too hard on the solids; discard* the solids and you should have about 5½ cups of juice.
- Rinse the preserving pan and pour in the apple juice. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the juice is reduced to about 3 cups (pour it into a large heatproof measuring cup to check it), about 20 minutes.
*The reserved apple solids may be pressed through a food mill using the disk with the finest holes to create a tart applesauce that can be frozen or used right away in quick breads and cakes.