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Making Jams and Jellies

Apple Jelly
without added pectin

  • 4 cups apple juice (about 3 pounds apples and 3 cups water)
  • 2 tablespoons strained lemon juice, if desired
  • 3 cups sugar

Yield: About 4 or 5 half-pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.

To prepare juice. Select about one-fourth underripe and three-fourths fully ripe tart apples. Sort, wash, and remove stem and blossom ends; do not pare or core. Cut apples into small pieces. Add water, cover, and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until apples are soft. Extract juice.

To make jelly. Measure apple juice into a kettle. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir well. Boil over high heat to 8 degrees F. above the boiling point of water, or until jelly mixture sheets from a spoon. Remove from heat; skim off foam quickly.

Pour hot jelly immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Apple Jelly in a boiling water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints
or Pints
5 min 10 15

This document was adapted from "How to Make Jellies, Jams and Preserves at Home." Home and Garden Bulletin No. 56. Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 1982 reprint. National Center for Home Food Preservation, June 2005.

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