Friday, May 10, 2013

Adventures in pectin...... by product orange juice and zest.

One of my refrigerators is dying a slow death so have to get a different one, Bug gave me his so won't be a problem other than moving them.  I have four that I have accumulated in the last 10 years or so.  I asked Poppie yesterday why we couldn't make them into raised beds.  He didn't know if we could so I went on line and voila you can.  We are going to use them to make raised strawberry beds, no bending over to pick, yay.  I check and several sites had good advice, from their mistakes, on how to go about it.  We have three that are square which we will probably put together and one round one, maybe for salad greens.  We will have to strip them down, and drill them, put gravel in and then soil, but the soil will be manageable and we should be able to grow things at different ph's pretty easily.  Poppie wants them by the green house.  Hoping to work on them and get the garden planted this weekend.  We are going on a mushroom hunt first thing in the morning.  We actually scoped out some so just have to go harvest them tomorrow.

Due to the dying refrigerator I have to remove a case of oranges from the frig.  I was going to make orange juice so started researching it on line.  I found that it can be canned but a lot of the people felt it tasted more like grapefruit when canned.  I like grapefruit so that wouldn't have been a problem for me.  I ran across an article that spoke of citrus pectin.  I knew you could make apple pectin but hadn't really known of the citrus, though I have used commercial citrus before come to find out.  I found out that when you make the apple you need nasty little green ones to make the best pectin,  I know where to find those when they come on, so will make some then.  Citrus pectin is made from the pith of oranges, membranes and seeds, the part I would throw away to make orange juice so was intrigued.  I, having learned a valuable lesson from the zesting of already juiced lemon rinds, began by zesting all of the oranges I wanted to use.  I decide that half a case was enough to begin with.  I hand zested the oranges.  I got 4 cups of zest for cooking, I froze it.  Sliced the oranges and juiced them with my little electric juicer, it is barely one step up from my rimmer so took awhile but it does not juice the white membrane sections between the orange sections like the fancy juicers do so it was a better options, a blessing but it did take a long time to juice them.  I then chopped the pith and ran it through my food processor.  I ended up with eleven pounds of pith.  It took an hour of resting in the lemon juice, then two hours of resting with the 3 and half gallons of water on it.  Alas, I was ready to cook it.  I took about an hour to heat up and then boil for the 10 minutes.  It was late in the evening so I left it over night and now will have to strain it out this morning.   I am going to do the Pectin test on it this morning before I can it for future jellies. 

 The Pectin Test.
To give the pectin test, pour 1 teaspoonful of jelly stock into a clean cup. Pour into cup a teaspoon of grain alcohol (or denatured alcohol). Gently shake. Pour into a spoon. If the pectin shows a solid clot, use one measure of sugar to one measure of juice. If it is not so solid use less sugar.

I am excited to see how it tests.  I hope it turns out well.  I am just tired of paying the high prices for pectin.  I did look on line and can get it bulk for fairly reasonable but if this works it is basically free.  I really have no use for the pith of the oranges or other citrus and can keep it in the freezer for making up batches, and a case of oranges or citrus occasionally will make it up quicker.  Next time I get to make Apple, well after the other half of the orange case I guess.  Oh, and my pectin is organic no pesticides in my pectin, yay.

The Lord's glory bless your day and keep you in his arms, if you have business to do with the Lord on your salvation, today is the day, ask for his Grace today..... tomorrow.

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