What is it and why do I need it?
Pectin is a naturally occurring substance in many fruits such as apples and berries. It acts as a thickening agent when heated. Most often pectin is utilized in jams and jellies.
- Ball Realfruit Liquid Pectin, 6-Ounce (Note that not everyone has 100% success rate with a liquid style pectin. I recommend using 1.5 times as much as the recipe calls for – unless you don’t mind a syrup instead of jam/jelly)
- Ball RealFruitTM Classic Pectin – Flex Batch 4.7 oz. (Most commonly used pectin – it goes a lot faster than you’d think.)
- Ball RealFruitTM Instant Pectin – Flex Batch 4.7 oz. (Used for no-cook jams/jellies – those that you store in the freezer.)
- Ball Real Fruit, Low or No-Sugar-Needed Pectin 4.7 oz. (Pack of 1)(As the name states, for a low or no-sugar added recipe.)
Now, I recommend using ‘Ball’ brand pectin when you first start since most recipes are prepared knowing how this pectin reacts but as you become more and more comfortable, feel free to branch out to other types of pectin (such as Hoosier Hill Fruit Pectin, 2 lb bag).
Lastly, there are certain recipes that call for clear jel, a thickening agent. There is not specific brand of clear jel that is to be used as long as it is Cook Type. For example, there are variations of pie filling where you can either use with clear jel that makes a ready-to-use filling, or you can make a non-thickened pie filling and when it comes time to use, you thicken with cornstarch (Note: You do NOT can with cornstarch – this addition only comes right before pouring into the pie shell.). Recently, we have made pie filling utilizing Clear Jel and its amazing how well it works.
Update: Ball Canning posted a great youtube video on different types of Pectin and when each should be used – check it out: Science of Canning: Pectin