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spooning apple jelly out of a jelly jar

Homemade Apple Jelly without Pectin

How to make apple jelly everyone will love with 3 simple ingredients. Easy home canning recipe with no added pectin!
4.43 from 33 votes
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Course: Canning & Freezing, jams and jellies
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 half-pints
Calories: 22kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff



  • Mix together the apple juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a stock pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, constantly stirring.
  • Continue to cook the mixture, constantly stirring, until the mixture reaches a temperature of 220° with a candy thermometer. If the jelly hasn't begun to gel once it's reached 220°, you may need to cook it just a little bit longer.*
  • Remove the jelly from the heat, and promptly ladle or pour into clean and sanitized/sterilized jars for canning or freezing. Be sure to leave about a 1/2-inch gap at the top of each jar.
  • Wipe the rim of each jar with a wet towel or rag, place the lid on, and tighten the band.
  • At this point, you can either can the apple jelly or freeze it. I prefer water bath canning apple jelly, where I place the hot jars down in a boiling hot water bath canner with 1-2 inches of water over the jars. Then we process those jars in the hot water bath for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Once canned, allow your jelly to sit undisturbed for 24 hours before labeling and storing in your pantry.


*You can buy store bought juice to make apple jelly, but you may need to add a little pectin to it if it's not a good quality juice. Some store bought juice may not have all the natural apple pectin you'll get from a good homemade apple juice made by cooking the whole apple.
*It will likely take a good 30 to 45 minutes, maybe longer for your jelly to gel. And even as you remove it from the stove, it won't be completely set. Whatever you do, do not cook it too long, or it will end up like our first batch... A sticky, gooey apple taffy mess that eventually turns into a slab of apple rock.
How long will jelly keep in the pantry?
Most sources say that pantry stored (and canned) jam and jelly can last 1 to 2 years. Freezer jam is a bit less with a freezer life of about 6 months.


Serving: 128servings | Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
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