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Substitutes for Pectin in Jams and Jellies

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This page offers some suggestions for substitutes for pectin in homemade jams and jellies. In fact some fruit is high enough in naturally occurring pectin that they don't require it at all.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 30, 2018

If I use cornstarch in my jam recipes instead of pectin, will it change the shelf life of my jams? Is there any reason I shouldn't use cornstarch?


July 30, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm not a jam expert but I have cooked with cornstarch a lot and it presents no problem. It is a good substitute in vegan products for instance it is great for lemon curd

i see many online recipes that use cornstarch, or that advocate adding conrstarch if things are not solidifying as they should

i think an issue with it is that it thickens rather dramatically so one might have to be careful of that

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July 31, 20181 found this helpful
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We don't have pectin where I live. In order to substitute for pectin, I use lime juice and the skin. I will use a garlic grader in order to grade the skin of the lime very fine.


I add 2 tablespoons of lime juice and around the same for the lime peel. This will jell your jam and make it perfect. I've never had an issue using this when I make jam here.

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April 10, 20190 found this helpful
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Lime Peel is a source of Pectin :-)

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July 29, 2016

I cannot find pectin at these stores nearby. Can I substitute with unflavored gelatin?


March 5, 20170 found this helpful
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No. They are 2 different products. Gelatin comes from animals and pectin from fruit. Unripe fruits contain more pectin than ripe, so if you don't have pectin, you can do like they did before commercial pectin came around, and use a portion of your fruit that is not fully ripe. Apple is best.


If you were to use gelatin, it would not hold up under the heat or the acid of the fruit.

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March 6, 20170 found this helpful
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You need to use fruits high in pectin. You cannot use canned or frozen fruit juices. Peels will add pectin to the product. There are also different processing times for jams and jellies without pectin. This article discusses it in greater detail:

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