on 7/7/2003 12:49:57 PM
There are two main types of pectin, crystalized (dry) and liquid. When canning, recipes call for one or the other depending on type of fruit being processed and the steps you're willing to do to accomplish your task. The most commonly available types are Ball and Sure-Jell. Liquid pectin is usually less laborious as far as preparation of a jelly and it comes in a small bottle, so the package is substantially larger than the dry. I'm sure you'd be able to find dry pectin in almost any larger grocery store in the baking section or canning section if they have one. As far as the dry, you will see a small Jello sized box with directions for amounts of fruits and amounts of sugar needed to "jell" the fruit.
For your information, there is one other available, but not readily. I only knew about it from a rather obscure message in a conservation cookbook. That pectin is radically different from Ball and Sure-Jell. This pectin uses monocalcium phosphate to make jams/jellies without any added sugar, honey, etc. I managed to find it at a health food store under the name of Pomona's universal pectin, but I've never seen it in regular grocery stores. I definitely would not use this. It is scarce enough that I'm quite sure that the pectin your recipe calls for wouldn't be this one. Most pectins need 55-85% sugar to jell. If your recipe includes sugar, use the more commonly found ones in the grocery stores. There are lower sugar versions of the regular Sure-Jell dry pectins, but these are still not the same as the monocalcium phosphate which require absolutely no added sugars.
I hope this explanation has been helpful and not overly confusing.