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Don't throw away those apple peels! Instead make a cinnamon spiced, apple peel jelly! Oh my, it's SO GOOD slathered on a buttermilk biscuit!
Spiced Apple Peel Jelly
Spiced Apple Peel Jelly
Spiced Apple Peel Jelly

Spiced Apple Jelly is by far and away my favorite jelly.

Sure, nothing says early summer like a good strawberry jam and believe me, I do appreciate strawberry jam, but if you twist my arm and make me choose, I’m going to pick the apple jelly. The spices and the sweetness and the apple-flavored goodness all come together and blend and compliment one another so harmoniously.

Not to mention that, just like Peach Peel Jelly, apple jelly can be made quite economically.

Today I’m sharing two recipes for apple jelly. One is a pectin-free, small batch, Spiced Apple Jelly prepared from whole apples. I can’t remember where I originally found the recipe. It was years ago and I failed to note it. The other is a low-sweetener apple peel jelly made using Pomona Pectin. The batch being as small or large as you’d like. In fact. I tripled this recipe when I made it.

It’s the Apple Peel Jelly though that is a wonderfully frugal way to use up every last bit of the apple after applesauce making. The jelly is made by extracting the flavor and goodness from the peels and the cores. Naturally, if you’re concerned about the seeds, you can pop them out first. But either way, be sure to wash your apples really well before you reserve their peels if they weren’t grown organically.

I was able to take my frugality one step further and come away from applesauce making with zero waste by converting the cooked down scraps into eggs and bacon. I love my Homestead Waste Management Team!

May I recommend that you take your savings and invest in an apple-peeler-corer-slicer? You can find them relatively inexpensively here and each year we marvel at how much more quickly the whole process of making applesauce goes now that we have one.

Spiced Apple Peel Jelly

{Spiced Apple Jelly}

2 pounds apples, peeled cut into large chunks
6 c. water
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 t. whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 c. sugar or substitute, to taste depending on how sweet the apples are will be using

Combine the apples, water, vinegar, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a large pan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain out the cloves and cinnamon sticks. Pour the liquid through a jelly bag or a butter muslin lined colander into a large bowl or pan.

Return the liquid to the pan and add the sweetener. Bring to a boil and boil until it forms a gel, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and ladle into hot pint-sized jars. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes to preserve.

Spiced Apple Peel Jelly

{Spiced Apple Peel Jelly}

Apple Peels and Cores from applesauce making

For every 3 cups of juice:
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
3 t. calcium liquid
3 t. Pomona pectin
3/4 c. sweetener (I used evaporated cane juice)
3 whole cloves
1/4 t. cinnamon

Place all of your apple scraps into a stockpot (I had to use my largest one). Almost cover the scraps with water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the cores are soft. (Time varies depending on your conditions and how many scraps you have.) Strain the scraps from the liquid, discarding the scraps.

Return the apple juice to the stockpot along with the apple cider vinegar, calcium liquid, cloves, and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the pectin and sweetener together.

Bring the juice to a full, rapid, and rolling boil. Wait a moment just to be sure you’re at a full boil. (I always want to jump the gun.) Add in the sweetener and pectin mix and stir well. Once the jelly returns to a full, rapid, and rolling boil, set the timer for 2 minutes continuing to boil and stir. Remove from the heat, ladle in pint sized mason jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

I’ve noticed that either apple jelly can often take days up to a week or more to set up. I’ve given up a batch as syrup and gone back and found it to have set anyway. If it doesn’t, let me tell you apple syrup is fantastic on buttermilk pancakes. FANTASTIC. But if you’re heart is set to slathering this on a buttermilk biscuit, I guess I can’t blame you and you could always try remaking it.

For the batch of apple peel jelly I made a 5 gallon bucket full of scraps yielded 2 gallons of juice which I turned into 19 pints of jelly.


WAIT! Don't throw away those apple peels and cores! Learn how to make a spiced apple scrap jelly. It's so delicious!Quinn

  • Renata

    Thanks Quinn for these yummy recipes! We are 6 months from apple season, but I always enjoy it when it comes! I hope you & your family are going well. Ellie says ‘hi’ to Hannah 🙂

  • SarahB

    Just curious, why does the recipe without peels and cores have no pectin added and the recipe made WITH peels and cores need pectin? Isn’t the pectin of the apples in the peel and cores? In fact, you can make pectin, for other jellies, by using the peels and cores. Just cover the peel and cores with water and boil, like you’re making jelly, but when you strain it you put the juice back on the stove to boil off the water. What you’re left with is liquid pectin. Here is a great web site that explains it all: http://www.silysavg.com/tutorials/making_apple_pectin.html
    I love making my own pectin and not being dependant on Ball or even Pomona. If you have access to crabapples, they make the best pectin!
    Also, I just finished my first batch of Caramel Apple Jelly today. Which I make with the mash that is left over from my applesauce. I don’t peel and core my apples before applesauce. I just clean, quarter and remove any bad spots (worms!) and put in stock pot with a couple cups of water. Cook till apples are soft. Then I use either the Foley food mill or my kitchen aide mixer with sauce attachment to separate the “meat” from the waste. The waste is what I call the mash (similar to the apple cider press) and that’s what I use to make jelly or pectin. It’s a beautiful thing to get so much from an apple AND then give the last to the chickens…

    • It needs pectin because you’re not boiling off the water- it’s too watered down to make it work. Basically, you’re making apple flavored jelly water 🙂 I remember there being comments last year about not peeling etc… apples before making sauce. It was a good thread, and I’m sorry to have lost it. I’m also sorry that I’m not sure that we’ll be coming across cheap apple again this year so I can try it out for myself 🙁

  • Brandy G

    What type of calcium liquid do you use? All I can find are cal/mag supplements.. I really wanted to make this last year when I saw it on your blog and now I have all the ingredients except the liquid calcium.. any suggestions?

    • Hi Brandy, When you use Pomona’s brand pectin it comes with a packet of powdered calcium. The instructions will have you mix it with water- et voila! Liquid Calcium 🙂 If you’ve never used Pomonas pectin, be prepared for sticker shock- but it’s totally worth it to me! I’ve NEVER had a batch not turn out! And I love not needed such huge quantity of sugar in my jellies & jams.

  • Brooke

    I’m excited to try this! I’m a dedicated Pomona user and it sounds like a tasty way to use up our apple scraps. I haven’t done any harvesting and processing yet as we’re just entering apple season here, but I’ve started a gallon freezer bag of peels as I use apples in cooking and will definitely be trying a batch soon. Thanks!

    • Hope you all enjoy it as much as we do Brooke 🙂

  • severine

    Could you please specify what is the entire word for t. and c.? French reader and I am lost with measurement! Because I really would like to try the apple jelly as there are plenty of orchards around my place. Thanks a lot.

    • Angela

      lower case t. = teaspoon
      upper case T.=tablespoon
      c.= cup

      • Thanks Angela! I know I should start writing these things out. 🙂

  • Angela

    Just found you and love your humor! Question: I’m curious to the difference between apple jelly and apple peel jelly and wonder why not just cut the apples and cook them down in the first place with peels and cores intact? Then there would be no peeling needed which would be an even better time saver. Just wondered if they create unique jellies in and of themselves. Of course we would still convert the cooked down apples to eggs and bacon!

    • The Apple peel jelly was just a way to use up the scrap peels and cores after making applesauce is all. Of course, now I feel silly because apparently I was the only one still peeling & coring my apples before making applesauce 😉 The other was a recipe I used when I didn’t plan on making applesauce (but still want the jelly) like this year. Why I was peeling the apples first? I don’t know. Maybe they weren’t organic? You could totally skip that part if you wanted.

  • sandy

    I use a apple slicer/corer instead of a apple peeler. Saves time. I then do everything pretty much the same. I use my peeler/slicer when i can apple pie filling

  • Sarah Langland

    So, I have the multi-use bottle of Ball low sugar pectin. Where could I find calcium liquid? I have never heard of that before, but I was going to make apple pie or crisp tomorrow and would love to have something to use the apple peels in.

    • If you plan to use regular pectin, don’t worry about the calcium- that’s part of the pomona pectin. I would find a jelly recipe you know works with your brand pectin and work off that. For example, if it calls for 5 cups juice, 4 cups sugar, & 1/4 cup of your liquid pectin, then sub out the juice for the peel steeped apple juice. You’ll probably get a higher yield too. That is a drawback with pomona. Increased sugar does give increased yields.

  • Serendipity! I went onto Pinterest to look for an apple peel jelly recipe, and there was the link to this post, the very first one on my feed this morning.

    Your blog is lovely. Glad I found it.

    I will be making apple peel jelly this week, now that I have saved enough peels from my — ready? — peels left over from apple sauce. Yes, I peel my apples before making sauce because I really don’t like to use the food mill on them.

    I use the cores to make apple cider vinegar, there’s a batch fermenting away in my pantry right now.

    Since we aren’t allowed to have chickens where we live, the composter gets the leftovers. I love not wasting anything.