Fresh fruits and juices, as well as some commercially canned or frozen fruit juices, may be used with commercially prepared powdered or liquid pectin. Powdered and liquid pectin products are not interchangeable (you cannot substitute one for another). Low-sugar and no-sugar pectins are also available. Note: Because sugar has a preservative effect on jellies and jams, those made with less or no sugar may have a softer set and may not hold their color as well as higher-sugar types.The order of combining ingredients depends on the type of pectin used. Complete directions for a variety of fruits are provided with packaged pectin.
Be sure to use mason canning jars and self-sealing, two-piece lids and process the jars in boiling water or atmospheric steam. Purchase packaged pectin needed each year. Old pectin may result in poor gels. Check the expiration date on the package. The following special jelly and jam recipes use regular packaged pectin:Grape-Plum Jelly, Blueberry-Spice Jam and mint jelly recipe mint jelly recipe . Do not use low- or no-sugar pectin in these recipes. If using pectin that is sold in a jar or by bulk, check with the manufacturer for the amount equivalent to one box.
USDA and Penn State Extension recommend a boiling water or atmospheric steam canning process for all cooked jelly, jam, and fruit spreads. Outdated practices such as paraffin, open kettle, and inverting jars after filling risk bacterial, mold, and yeast growth in the product.