Pectin Gummies: A Guide for Pectin Gummy Candy

Pectin Gummies: A Guide for Pectin Gummy Candy

Susan Hallak

Welcome to the comprehensive guide to making pectin gummies and pectin gummy bears. This simple kitchen alchemy can lead you to a world of chewy, delicious, and vegan-friendly gummy candies made with pectin, a natural gelling agent.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Delicious Pectin Gummies

Dive into making your own pectin candy recipe with this straightforward guide. Making gummy candy with pectin is precise and demanding, but if you are careful you can do it. Pectin, a plant-based gelling agent, gives these gummies a distinctive texture and makes them a great vegan option. Our step-by-step instructions will help you mix, cook, and mold your gummies to perfection, ensuring a delicious treat that's just as fun to make as it is to eat.

What is Pectin and its Role in Gummy Making?

Pectin: A brief overview

Pectin is a natural substance found in fruits that plays a vital role in gummy making. When combined with the right amount of sugar and acidic component (like citric acid), pectin transforms mixture into a gummy texture, creating pectin gums.

Making Gummies: The Role of Pectin

While some make gummies with gelatin, using pectin allows a different texture and type of gummy candy. Slow set or rapid set high methoxyl (HM) pectin is commonly chosen for pectin gummy recipe, creating a batch of pectin gummies that won’t melt and have a satisfying chewy feel.

What is the difference between gelatin and pectin in making gummies?

Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen originating in animals, while pectin is extracted from citrus fruit peels. Compared to gelatin gummies, pectin gummies have a different texture, often described as a more natural and fruit-like texture compared to gelatin. Pectin is a perfect option for those who prefer a plant-based diet, as the making of pectin is vegan-friendly.  Pectin is also used to help gel the ingredients into a solid, but it requires high sugar content and low pH to set effectively. Pectin also gives the gummies a different texture, 

High Methoxyl Pectin: A Key Ingredient for Gummies

High Methoxyl (HM) pectin, when heated to around 240°F with the right level of acidity and amount of sugar, causes a gummy mixture to gel, thus is often preferred for making pectin gummies.

Pectin Gummy Bear Recipe


  • 3 tbsp Pectin (Rapid Set HM Pectin preferred)
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Isomalt or Glucose DE42 (replace with normal sugar if unavailable)
  • 1 Tbsp Citric Acid
  • 1 cup and 1 tbsp Water
  • Flavorings 
  • Coloring (natural colors, liquid food coloring, or gel food coloring)
  • Emulsifiers (Lecithin or Polysorbate 80, if using fat-based ingredients)
  • Additional sugar for coating

Steps to Make Pectin Gummies:

    1. Dry-Mix Pectin: Mix the pectin with 1/2 cup of sugar to prevent clumping.

    2. Hydrate Pectin Mix: Combine the pectin and sugar mixture with the 1 cup of water and heat it to a boil.

    3. Combine Additional Sugar: While the pectin mixture is heating, dry-mix the 2 cups of sugar with the isomalt or glucose DE42. Add this to the heating pan while whisking to avoid clumping.

    4. Cook to Desired Temperature: Cook the mixture until it reaches 240°F for the best gummy texture. For a softer chew, stop at 230°F, and for a firmer texture, heat to 250°F.

    5. Add Flavor: Once the desired temperature is reached, remove from heat and add the flavor drops, mixing well.

    6. Add Acid: Create a citric acid solution with 1 tbsp of water and add it to the heated sugar mix once it reaches 240°F. Mix briefly and then pour into a large silicone mold to set for 1 to 2 hours, or add a drop of the citric acid solution to individual molds if using.

    7. Emulsify Fats: If adding fat-based ingredients, include an emulsifier like Lecithin or Polysorbate 80 during the boiling process.

    8. Coat Gummies: Once set and cut or de-molded, sand the pectin candy (coat the gummies in sugar) to prevent sticking. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

    9. Storage: Store the gummies in an airtight container or a cool, dry place for up to one month.

You can also start with fruit puree, pectin, sugar, and citric acid. Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature, pour the mixture into the molds and let the gummies fully set.

Choosing the Right Mold for Your Pectin Gummies

Using a silicone mold, due to its flexibility, can make the process of removing gummies from the molds easier, creating desired shapes with ease.

Adding Flavor: Tips and Tricks

Citric acid and flavorings are key to creating a tangy, delicious batch of pectin gummies, just ensure not to overdo it to preserve the chewy texture.

Why Your Pectin Gummies Won't Set: Troubleshooting Tips

Sometimes, pectin gummy won't set due to a lack of sugar or too low a temperature. It’s important that the bottom of the pan reaches the desired temperature for gelling to happen. Induction burners are recommended.

Expert's Corner: Making a Pectin Gummy Mixture

Remember that cooking time and temperature, the amount of acid, and the laminitis of the sugar (measured in Brix) are critical when making a pectin gummy mixture. A precise scale and thermometer are essential tools for successful gummy making.

Exploring Different Forms of Pectin for Gummies

When choosing what type of pectin to use in making gummy candies, the decision often cascades down to either High Methoxyl (HM) or Low Methoxyl (LM) pectin. Both work efficiently as gelling agents, but their selection may vary depending upon the desired chewy texture and the amount of sugar in your recipe. Making a batch of candy with HM pectin requires a high sugar concentration, while LM pectin, on the contrary, gels with low-sugar and requires a calcium source, like sodium citrate.

Liquid Pectin in Gummy Recipes: Pros and Cons

Liquid pectin can simplify the gummy-making procedure since it merges seamlessly without clumps. However, the mixture tends to set faster, which won’t leave much time for flavoring or dye distribution. In contrast, powdered pectin offers more control over gelling pace depending on the type - slow-set HM pectin for chewier gummies and rapid set for firmer ones.

Understanding the Pectin to Sugar Ratio in Gummies Recipes

Having a correct pectin to sugar ratio is imperative to ensure your gummies fully set. A low ratio may result in gummies that won’t set, while high sugar concentration could produce excessively hard candies. A good rule of thumb is to maintain a Brix (sugar level) of 70-75% for the best results with HM pectin.

Advanced Topics in Pectin Gummy Making

Pectin Gummy Bears: A Special Recipe

Designing delightful shapes like gummy bears can add a fun element to your gummy-making journey. With a simple addition of fruit puree and the right amount of pectin to your gummy mixture, you can pour the mixture into silicone molds to create your desired shapes. It commonly takes about 2 hours for the mixture to fully set in the molds.

Coating Gummies: Different Techniques and Recommendations

Adding a coating to gummies can enhance their taste and texture. Sugars or citric acid can serve as popular coatings providing a sweet or tart twist on the flavor profile. It's important to wait until the gummies are fully structurally set before coating to avoid melting.

Aspiring Gummy Makers: Tips, Troubleshooting, and Best Practices

Important Tips to Avoid Gummies from Sticking to the Mold

One of the issues when working with gummy recipes is the candies sticking to the mold. Applying a thin layer of vegetable oil to silicone molds can prevent the gummies from sticking, ensuring a clean removal from the molds without breaking the gummy shapes.

Ensuring Your Gummies are Shelf-Stable: Tips and Practices

To ensure that your gummy candies do not melt or clump together, it is advisable to store them in a cool and dry environment. Certain practices such as adding citric acid or a sugar coating can also enhance the shelf-life of pectin-based gummies.

What about Drying Pectin Gummies?

Let gummies dry for 24-48 hrs, ideally in 35%-40% relative humidity. Continue drying the gummies until the desired consistency is reached.

Is Fruit Pectin Vegan-Friendly? 

Yes, pectin is vegan-friendly, as it is derived from fruits without any animal products involved in producing pectin, making vegan pectin gummies an excellent alternative to gelatin gummy.

How is a gelatin gummy different than a pectin gummy when it comes to making and setting?

A: Gelatin-based gummies will start to set at room temperature and take a few hours to fully set, while pectin-based gummies, especially those made with slow set HM pectin, may take longer and require precise temperature control. When using high methoxyl pectin - you must also add the citric acid to achieve proper gelation.

Are there reasons why one might use less pectin when making gummies?

A: Yes, by using less pectin, you can achieve a softer consistency in your gummies. If you're aiming for a stiffer, more candy-like texture, you'll likely need to use high amounts of pectin. Remember, however, that too little pectin may result in gummies that can't maintain their shape.

Can pectin be used for sugar-free or low sugar gummies?

A: Pectin can be used in sugar-free and low sugar gummies, however, it's important to use a specific type of pectin, known as low sugar or rapid set HM pectin, for these types of recipes. Standard pectin typically requires high sugar content to set properly, so it's important to use the proper technique and type to achieve a great texture.

What's the best temperature for making pectin gummies?

A: The best temperature for making pectin gummies is usually around 230°F. This allows the sugar mix to fully incorporate with the pectin and other ingredients. It's crucial to stir the mix constantly to avoid forming lumps.

Can pectin gummies be given natural colors?

A: Absolutely. When it comes to making pectin candies, using natural colors is a common practice. This can come from the fruit itself, or be added separately. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making creatively colored confectioneries!

Do pectin gummies have a specific taste?

A: Pectin doesn't have a strong taste, so it won't affect the flavor of your gummies. However, it is known for providing a good fruit-like texture to the gummies. This makes pectin a great way to make gummies that are not only flavorful but also fun to eat!

What are common issues when making pectin gummies?

A: The most common issues when making pectin gummies might be related to the setting process. If the sugar and acid content is not right, or if the mixture isn't heated or cooled correctly, the gummies may not set properly. Also, if you use regular pectin in a low sugar recipe, your gummies might not get firm enough.

Can pectin gummies maintain their shape?

A: Yes, pectin gummies can maintain their shape, and they can be cut into various fun shapes, like fruit or other pâté de fruit (a type of jelly candy). However, they will need some time to set, typically a few hours, before they are firm enough to keep their shape without changing.

What should I do if I'm still not sure about using pectin in gummy candy-making?

A: Candy-making is an art and a science, and it can involve some trial and error. If you're still not sure about the process, don't give up! Take the time to understand the process, control your temperatures precisely, and keep experimenting. Remember, practice makes perfect in the world of sweets and confections.