Never heard of that. But I don't use any pectin in several of my jams. Some have fresh homemade applesauce added that both acts like pectin (apples have a lot of pectin naturally) and stretches then more expensive berries. My favorite strawberry jam is like that. You can't tell there's apples in the finished jam. Others I just use the old fashioned fruit and sugar with a bit of lemon juice then boil till it reaches the gell stage.
Something tells me that vit c and pectin would do two different things. Pectin is for gelling and I dont believe that vit c has those properties? I did crack open a bunch of vit c capsules last year canning tomatoes, etc as I wanted a high acid content and they will do that.
Yeah, vitamin C is ascorbic acid -- for acidifying things to a pH safe for water bath canning. Most recipes call for lemon juice for that. And I think there are old wives tales about crushed aspirin in pickles keeping them crisp, which may have resulted in the idea of crushed vitamin tablets.
but no, it's not going to thicken anything.
You can make many jams without pectin, though you have to be willing to cook them down a lot longer. I've done both grape and plum preserves without pectin and they turn out great. The deal is that they have to be a lot more concentrated, so they take longer to cook and they tend to taste more cooked.
if you go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website, they've got a number of jam recipes without pectin. You do have to do high or medium pectin fruits to get it to work, however.
Crushed vitamin C tablets are an effective preservative substitute for citric acid, and you can sub these at a 1:1 ratio. Citrus peels, especially the white part, or pith can also be a substitute because they are naturally packed with pectin.
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