Jam Maker’s Tip: Save Lemon Seeds for Homemade Pectin

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I rarely use commercial pectin in my jams, relying instead on the natural pectin of the fruit (plus I like a looser set). But there are times when a little boost is helpful if I’m preserving low-pectin fruits, making a larger batch, or wanting to reduce cooking time. That’s when I reach for my perpetual stash of lemon seeds.

Lemons and other citrus fruits are rich in pectin, which thickens jams. I use a lot of lemon zest, peels, and juice in my kitchen so whenever I have leftover seeds, I save them in a container in the freezer. They last forever and can be pulled out when needed. Of course, you can also use fresh lemon seeds, too.

To get a real sense of the pectin, place a tablespoon or so of seeds in a small dish of water overnight — by the next day they will have formed a gel. You can strain out the excess water and add this gel to your preserving pot. Or, you can simply tie some lemon seeds in a piece of cheesecloth and simmer that with your jam. The flavor is pretty neutral so I use this method with all manner of fruit preserves.

How about you? Do you use homemade pectin from lemons, apples, or other fruit?

We support our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.