Sunday, November 6, 2011

Got Apple Cores and Peels? Make Jelly!

I spent all day today processing apples from our trees. After I finished peeling and coring them I ended up with a pretty substantial pile of apple bits. It would be a shame to just throw them out so I decided to use them for all they were worth. I was originally thinking of making them into apple cider vinegar but I didn't really have a container I could use for that. Instead I decided that I'd make jelly out of them. Since you generally just throw out the fruit when you make jelly it kind of seemed appropriate to use the unusable parts of the fruit to start with.

What you will need:
 Apple peels and cores
1 Tbs lemon juice for every 2 cups of liquid

1. Put the peels and cores in a large pot. Add water until you can see it just under the top layer of fruit. Bring to a boil.
2. Boil fruit, uncovered, until it is soft. Strain liquid into a new pot.
3. For each cup of liquid add 3/4 cup of sugar. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil. Watch it carefully so that it doesn't boil over.
4. To check consistency: put some ice in a bowl. Scoop up a small amount of liquid with a spoon and place the spoon on the ice to get it to cool quickly. Turn spoon sideways. If the liquid has jelled onto the spoon and doesn't appear syrupy then it is done and ready to can. If you have a candy thermometer, you want the temperature to be 220 deg F.
5. Ladle hot jelly into sterilized jars. Put on sterile lids and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.


  1. What a great post. Next time I make apple pies, I will save my peelings & cores for jelly making too.

  2. I was thinking you were making pectin! You actually made jelly? Huh! Who knew?! :)

  3. I did this last month with my apples too! I absolutely love the color it turns out because of all the peels. So lovely!

  4. I always wonder can you use limes instead of lemons for canning? My family doesn't enjoy the flavor of lemons. However, limes they are happy to enjoy. Does it matter what fruit you use for the acid component?

  5. Lemons have a higher acidity so it is important to use them. You won't taste them though in the jelly.

  6. Neat. I've always made apple sauce and jelly from the same batch of apples. (Quarter, core, boil, fish out the apple pieces and throw them through a food mill then keep boiling the skins with the leftover juice in the pot.) It works best with crab apples though.

  7. I've been making apple jelly with my leftover peels after I make my apple pie filling each year for canning. However, your post got me to thinking about the smaller amount of apple peels we discard each day. I'm wondering if I could freeze them until I have enough to make jelly or if I could make small little batches of juice and then freeze that until I have enough to make jelly! Something to ponder!

  8. Hi Everyone! I had my first experience making jelly by making apple peel jelly with the scraps from an apple pie fundraiser I organized with my Girl Scouts. So I made the amateur mistake of not testing the jelly before sealing up the jars so I now have 72 jars of runny jelly that is wayyyy too sweet! I know I can reboil the jelly and can it again with new lids, but if anyone can give me some pointers I would appreciate it! I made this recipe with store bought pectin, so should I add more pectin when I reboil or do something else? To fix the super sweetness should I just add water to dilute? Finally, the recipe I followed said to boil the jelly mixture for 1 minute and water bath for 5 minutes. Will boiling the mixture longer or doing a longer water bath change anything? Thanks in advance to anyone who has a spare moment to respond. :) Aimee

  9. Aimee, Unfortunately I never make jelly or jams with pectin so I don't have any experience with them. With this recipe you don't need to add any commercial pectin because the peels and cores contain more than enough. When you added the pectin did you also increase the amount of sugar? If not, you'll need to add more sugar, per the pectin's instructions. Sorry I can't be more help.

  10. Thanks for the recipe! This is the first thing I've ever canned. It's still cooling, but the taste-test I did was delicious!