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Apple Jelly

Updated July 31, 2020

Megan Erickson

SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist

A jar of apply jelly sitting near a tree with four apples on the ground.

Try this research-tested recipe for homemade apple jelly courtesy of the National Center for Home Food Preservation.


  • 4 cups, Apple Juice (about 3 lbs apples + 3 cups water)
  • 3 cups, Sugar     
  • 2 tablespoons, Lemon Juice (optional)

Yield: About 4 or 5 half-pint jars.


To Prepare

  1. Sort, wash, and remove stem and blossom ends, but do not pare or core.
  2. Cut apples into small pieces.
  3. Add water, cover, and bring to boil on high heat.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until apples are soft.
  5. Extract the juice by pouring everything into a damp jelly bag.


  1. 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.
  2. Remove from heat and skim off foam quickly.
  3. Pour hot jelly immediately into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Secure lids and process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes (Altitudes above 1,000 ft require an increase in processing time).

Canning Tips

Selection & Preparation

  • Select about one-fourth under-ripe and three-fourths fully ripe tart apples.
  • Do not overcook apples, excess boiling can destroy pectin, flavor and color.
  • Instructions on water bath canning can be found in this resource.

Adjusting for Altitude

Altitude (feet)
Water Bath (minutes added)
5 minutes
5 minutes
5 minutes
10 minutes
10 minutes

SDSU Extension recommends using evidence-based recipes when engaging in food preservation at home. The recipe above has been research-tested and provided by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Do not modify ingredients.

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