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Losing my mind to pectin jellies

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

First time poster, long-time reader. Actually, I stumbled upon this board when I was googling about sugar pulling because I became enamored with the idea of it, and I was dying to know how to create those long, sugar stick candies. (I still don't know, but I have a better idea, anyway. I'll probably bother you all with it later.) I was completely thrilled to find this place and see all the reviews and responses from people who knew what they were talking about! I've been cooking/baking for over a decade now, and I do fairly well. I'm having dreams and ambitions of actually doing something with it, but my heart is in confections and candies (and I can't find a school in Atlanta that will teach me any of that so I'm kind of on my own.)


Recently, I had purchased this book because I love baking and I love science and his explanations in to a lot of it was mind-blowing! (Not to mention the sweets pictured were incredible, as well.) I have been trying to make pectin jellies for almost a year now - don't joke, I'm completely serious - and I keep having problems with it. I also tried the recipe for them I found in this book a few months prior. I have tried following the recipe to a T all the times I have tried them, and I've never gotten it to set right -- it was always too soft and squishy.


I've come to the conclusion that I'm trying to make the wrong kind of jellies.... I believe both these books cater to the more French kind of jelly, when I'm looking to make something closer to orange slices. :D (I know, I'm not gourmet.) I like my jellies firm and flavorful, but of course, I would like a little different flavors but with the same consistency.  


So far, Greweling's recipe has worked the best. But I'm also wondering how to make these kind of jellies with oil more than puree. I just find there are more flavor options from LorAnn than I could ever make. Also, I tried some blackberries that I pureed myself and they just tasted... bad. And I tried some frozen green apple puree and that was also... bad. May just be me, though...


Any advice would be so very appreciated! 


Oh, I'm using Pomona's fruit pectin. I'm not using the little pouch that comes with it because the recipe only calls for pectin, but I may be doing that wrong, too.


Thank you!

post #2 of 4

Glad I wasnt the only one who ever had trouble with the pectin jellies!


Sounds like your getting on the right track, but I have a few suggestions. Firstly, Chocolates and Confections is a great book to have, thats the best text to start out with, also check out The Art of the Chocolatier, the formulas he uses for pectin jellies is my preferred, as, unlike Greweling, he doesnt require a cooked down apple puree. There are alot of different types of pectin, and with the pectin jellies, I've seen that the biggest difference comes from the type of pectin your using, you really cant use anything thats found in a grocery store, they are formulated for jams. Although the books dont really say it, its assumed your using apple pectin. I got mine here:


I wasnt too excited about dropping $45 on pectin, but this stuff works, I've used it with both Grewelings and Notters formulas, and have had no problem with the mixture gelling. I've made the pate de fruit plenty of times, using the wrong pectin, and got results exactly as you did, way too soft. After I got this pectin, the formulas started working right. So as far as the pectin jellies are concerned, I would have to say just pick up some apple pectin.


Also, regarding your comment about not making the right type of jellies, I would suggest you look in Grewelings book under Agar Jellies. Though orange slices can be made very well using just pectin, its my understanding that they are more commonly made with agar agar. The agar jellies set up a little more firmly then the pectin jellies. The up side is that they are pretty much fool proof, you wont have trouble with these not setting, but on the down side, I wouldnt say that they are more flavorful then jellies made with pectin, pretty much because jelllies made with agar are going to contain less fruit puree, where as the pectin jellies use a fruit puree as a base for the candy. When my apple pectin had arrived in the mail, I ordered a pouch of agar agar at the same time, I made a blueberry puree and made jellies with both gelling agents, and the ones with pectin definitly had more flavor, there was more punch to it, and you could easily identify the flavor, where as the jellies made with agar were nice, having a more firm texture, but if you tasted a piece blind, with out seeing the color, it could be missed that a blueberry puree was using in making the candy.


And about the Lorann oils, your not going to make jellies, as you say, "with oil more than puree." The fruit is a basis of the candy, oil cannot serve that purpose. Lorann oils have very very nice flavors and oils, and from a confectionery perspective, they are used as a flavoring in items such as hard candy, marshmallow, nougat, taffy, fondants, etc. The pate de fruit's are different since they have a flavor that comes from an actual fruit puree. Thats not to say, though, that you cant enhance you jellies with the oils, such as making a black cherry pate de fruit and adding a few drops of a clove oil to accompany it.


Well hopefully that helps, try the agar jellies, that may be what you are looking for, and they will be less headache then the pectin. :-)

post #3 of 4

Oh, one more thing I forgot. If you dont want to order the apple pectin, Greweling has another book called "Chocolates and Confections at Home with CIA." The candy formulas in this book are more catered to the home cook. Specifically, the formula for pectin jellies uses typical liquid pectin as you would find in any grocery store. The formula works, but its a huge pain. In the formula for pectin jellies you've done, boiling the fruit mixture to 225f or so is enough, then it gets poured into a frame. But in the formula from the "At Home" book using the liquid pectin, it requires you to cook the fruit mixture to 238f, which is pretty difficult without scorching at least some of the mixture. Anyways, it will set up with the liquid pectin, but cooking the fruit to that high of a temp is a pain, not worth it in my book, but it uses a pectin that is much more easily found. Just wanted to add that.

post #4 of 4

Wanting something rustic (like orange slices) for my Christmas kitchen giving I placed all my betting money on a Pinterest recipe that one of my followers had "liked".

Why I don't have a clue.

I think it was the slick photography, lol.

Based on regular grocery store gelatin, it never got any chewier than gum.

Tried to refrigerator dehydrate, but only got as far as cold gum, lol.

These posts have renewed my interest.

Candy work is always a struggle for me, but maybe with a more serious approach than Pinterest I will perfect one really good example before the next holiday season.

Thanks sugarwitch for raising the question and minas for being so kind as to explain and provide insight.



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