Does using homemade apple pectin really reduce the amount of sugar in recipes?
Recently, I've been cooking jams and marmalades at home by using homemade apple pectin. From what I've read so far, people are saying it is a great way to reduce the sugar ratio in recipes. I've successfully reduced the sugar by %60 and the results are fantastic, but I'm not sure if the ratio of sugar in the final product is actually reduced. Here's what made me think this way: I still boil the jams until 220 F, which is considered the right temperature for the jam to set. Harold McGee states in "On Food and Cooking" that a jam at 220 F indicates that the sugar concentration has reached 65%. So no matter how much sugar we use, a jam at 220 F indicates that it is 65% sugar. If I had used more sugar, maybe the jam would have reached the same temperature earlier. Am I missing something? Does the temperature at which the jam would set change when you use homemade apple pectin? I'd really appreciate if you can share your thoughts on this.
What is your yield using apple pectin?
For example, if the typical recipe produced 10 jars and the apple pectin recipe still produces 10 jars, I would say you've reduced the amount of sugar, unless the apple pectin is providing a lot of sugar too.
If the apple pectin recipe is yielding only 5 jars, then I would say the sugar content is probably the same as a regular recipe.
Maybe, the reduced sugar people are touting is maybe a claim of using less granulated sugar.
It's like the bogus fruit juice ads that claim "no sugar added" but use fruit juice concentrate. Sure no "granulated sugar added" but the reality is there's still the same amount of sugar (it's just not sucrose.)
I know the yield from the one with apple pectin but I haven't tried the same recipe without pectin. I guess the only way to know would be to cook them side by side. I guess you're right about what they mean when they say less sugar. It is simply less granulated sugar. Which would also mean a more fruity flavor - even though it has the same sugar ratio.
IMO, you still have 65% (+/-) at 220 degrees but it's a combination of fructose and sucrose. Of course any fruit jam will be a combination of fructose and sucrose (all fruits have natural sugar, whether or not they're used for homemade pectin) so the amount of sucrose you're ending up with may not be worth the trouble.
"On Food and Cooking" - excellent choice .....