When making jellies and jams, cooks can substitute traditional pectin by changing the cooking method, using high-pectin fruits, making a homemade pectin or using a natural pectin product. Some fruits contain more natural pectin than others, so the chosen method depends on the type of jam or jelly.
One method to replace powdered pectin in jams and jellies is by either cooking the fruit longer or baking the fruit before making the jam. To cook the fruit before making the jam, chop or mash the fruit and place it on a baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar over the fruit and then bake it at 200 degrees F. Experiment with cooking times to find the right consistency for the fruit, which varies based on the type of fruit it is.
Another potential replacement option for powdered pectin is to add high-pectin fruits to the mixture during cooking, and then removing the fruit before canning. Some possible options for high-pectin fruits are crabapples, apples, grapes, blackberries, plums and citrus fruits. Experiment with the amount of additional fruit to reach the desired consistency.
Making homemade liquid pectin from apples is another replacement option. To make pectin from apples, cut the apples into slices, place in a pot and cover with water. Bring the mixture to a boil until it turns to a sauce-like consistency. Then drain through a cheesecloth and store in an air-tight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze or can it.
Another replacement option is a natural pectin product that utilizes a calcium powder to activate the pectin.