Friday, 2 September 2011

Extracting the Pectin... for Plum Jam-making.

September 2nd, Ahead of the Game Already!

Just a quick post here, as I have been splitting up this blog to form a second one HERE, called Cyberdosh.

This should make it easier for placing the topics into relevant categories, as Frugaldom is more about moneysaving, where Cyberdosh is about moneymaking. Both focus on cash-related challenges but one is a far cry from the other.

So, without further ado, what has been going on with regards to moneysaving today?

The sun shone, the thermometer reached 25C and we've been outside for much of the day. I had a visit from a fellow Galloway LETS member, so coffee was taken on the patio and a few trades done - lettuce seedlings, a couple of insulated boxes for student heading off back to Uni and a dozen fresh eggs. For a change, I was getting eggs! My hens are laying sporadically at the moment - if they aren't moulting, they're broody, and a half dozen eggs per day is never enough for this household, not with a bodybuilder in the family!

Dry weather means making the most of line drying the washing (I don't have a tumble dryer) but I'd completely run out of laundry detergent. This was soon remedied by cooking up a batch of 'laundry gloop', so I now have a total of 7 litres in store. (Check out previous post HERE for details of how to make your own laundry detergent.

Next up was 'making' some pectin.

I never, ever buy sugar with pectin, it's simply too expensive. But I do make all our own jam, jellies and preserves, so a quick check online to a friend got me the details of how to make and preserve the precious pectin from surplus apples.



Instructions

Chop your apples (skins, cores, pips and all)
Place into a large saucepan
Add enough water to cover the fruit and bring to the boil
Simmer with lid on until the apples turn to soft pulp
Strain through a jelly bag or similar (a cotton tea towel or muslin works)
Return liquid to pot and, once again, bring to the boil
Simmer until the liquid has reduced by up to half

It's recommended to use around 6 tablespoonsful of this liquid to every half kilo of fruit, plus the usual squirt of lemon juice.
(Many thanks for all your help with this, Julie.)

My surplus apples have now been course-chopped and boiled, the juices strained through the jelly bag and, as I type this, the resulting liquid is now simmering away nicely. I'll use some of this for making my plum jam. I'm assured that this home extracted pectin can be cooled, poured into ice cube bags and then frozen, making it really easy to use as and when required.

Another loaf has been baked - it's cooling on the wire tray now - and I've used up the last of a packet of sesame seeds I had, by adding them into the dough.

Picked a few more runner beans and I now have all the carrots that I lifted ready for blanching, plus a batch still to scrub and grate for soup making - carrot & coriander, of course.

That about takes care of today. I'm now going outside to sit and have a cuppa, watch the ducklings in the pond and shout at the rabbit, as she keeps hiding in the kale patch. Healthy eating for her but not the easiest place from which to retrieve a huge, German lop-eared bunny.

The moneymaking challenge stuff will, from now on, be posted in the relevant section of the forum and in the new Cyberdosh blog.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting blog but probably easier using fruit with natural pectins or a tablespoonful of lemon juice. Freezing destroys pectin.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting anonymous comment, but I have used the frozen homemade pectin without any problems and frozen fruit seems to be fine when defrosted and made into jelly or jam - I do tend to add a splash of lemon juice to all my jams and jellies, though. The other thing I should add to this is that this is frugaldom - if we have a glut of plums, then it's plums that need to be used unless I can find someone nearby to swap them for something else. Hope this helps explain the lifestyle we have here.

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