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jars of apple jelly on a table
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5 from 6 votes

Spiced Apple Jelly Recipe (No Added Pectin)

This spiced apple jelly recipe livens up the plain apple flavor with some traditional pairings including lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Resting Time3 hrs
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: spiced apple jelly
Servings: 96 servings
Calories: 35kcal
Author: Grow a Good Life



Extract the Apple Juice:

  • Wash the apples with plain water, remove any bad spots, and roughly chop into pieces. Use a kitchen scale to weigh out 3 pounds.
  • Add the prepared fruit to a large saucepan, and cover with water, about 3 cups. Add the spices and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a simmer over low heat. Simmer until the skins are soft and the juices are released.
  • Gently mash the apples with a potato masher and continue simmering over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmer low and slow because excess heat can destroy the natural pectin.
  • Strain the juice through a damp jelly bag or double layers of cheesecloth. Allow the apples to strain for several hours, or overnight. If you want clear jelly, do not squeeze the bag. Discard solids.

Prepare the Canning Equipment:

  • Wash your jars, lids, screw bands, and canning tools in hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all suds. Set aside to air dry on a clean kitchen towel.
  • Place the jar rack into water bath canner, place jars in the canner, and add water to cover.
  • Bring the canner to a simmer (180˚F) for 10 minutes, and keep the jars hot until you are ready to fill them.

Make the Jelly:

  • Measure out 4 cups of the apple juice and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir to dissolve.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until jelly stage.
  • Jelly stage is achieved once the temperature reaches 220˚F, when the liquid forms a sheet that hangs off the edge of the spoon, and when the mixture gels on a cool plate and doesn't run when tipped.

Can the Jelly:

  • Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Use your jar lifter to remove a jar from the canner, drain, and place on the towel. Keep the remaining jars in the canner so they stay hot.
  • Use your canning ladle and funnel and add the hot jelly to the warm jar leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Swirl your bubble popper through the jars to release air bubbles. Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp towel.
  • Center a lid on the jar, and screw on the band until it is fingertip tight. Use the jar lifter to place the jar back into the canner, and repeat with the remaining jars. Try to leave some space in between the jars.
  • Once all the jars are in canner, adjust the water level to two inches above the jar tops.
  • Cover the canner and bring to boil over high heat. Once water boils vigorously, continue boiling for 10 minutes at altitudes of less than 6,000 ft. (adjust processing time for your altitude if necessary – see notes below).
  • When processing time is complete, turn off heat and allow the canner to cool down and settle for about 5 minutes.
  • Spread a kitchen towel on the counter, and remove the cover by tilting lid away from you so that steam does not burn your face.
  • Use the jar lifter to lift jars carefully from canner and place on the towel. Keep the jars upright, and don't tighten bands or check the seals yet. Let the jars sit undisturbed for 12 to 24-hours to cool.
  • After the jars have cooled for at least 12 hours, check to be sure jar lids have sealed by pushing on the center of the lid. The lid should not pop up. If the lid flexes up and down, it did not seal. Refrigerate the jar and use up within a few weeks.
  • Remove the screw on bands and wash the jars. Label, date, and store your jars in a cool, dark place. Use within 12 to 18 months. Refrigerate the jelly once opened and consume within 3 weeks. Yields about 6 half-pint jars.


This is a tested safe canning recipe from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Changing the recipe may make the product unsafe for canning.
All times are at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. Adjustments must be made for altitudes greater than 1,000 ft. Adjustments for altitude: 6,001 – 8,000 feet = 15 minutes, above 8,001 feet = 20 minutes.
I am happy to answer any questions, but if you need immediate canning help or answers, please contact your local extension office.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 0.1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 8.7g | Calcium: 3mg