How To Can Apple Pear Jelly (From Juice and Peels)

Last night I felt like experimenting. I had about six cups of fresh apple juice I’d made from some Galas that were given to us, which was enough to make apple jelly with, but I also had 3 cups of pear juice which wasn’t enough to do anything with by itself. So, I decided to mix the two together and see how it would turn out.

cans of apple pear jelly

First, I searched all over the internet and in my books for a recipe for apple-pear jelly, but I could not find a single one! I found some jams which mixed the two, but I had juice to work with, not whole fruits, so that wouldn’t work. I decided I’d just wing it. Hey, what’s the worst that could happen?

apple peels

The pear juice I’d made was from leftover peels and cores I had from canning a bunch of Bartlett pears. I just put them into a large pot and filled it with water about two-thirds of the way up the peels.

I then simmered them over low-med heat until everything was all mushy. After straining the mix through a cheese cloth, I was left with about three cups of juice.

Here’s how I made the Apple Pear Jelly:

First, I measured out how much juice I had. I poured the 6 cups of strained apple juice and the 3 cups of strained pear juice into a large stockpot.

Next, I added 6 1/2 cups sugar. (3 cups of sugar for every 4 cups of juice, plus a little for the one cup extra I had).

Then I added 4 Tbsp and 1 tsp of lemon juice to the mix. (2 Tbsp lemon juice for every 4 cups of juice, and again a little more for the extra cup of juice I had).

I brought it all to a boil, and let it cook until it looked like it was to the gelling point. I didn’t do the spoon test. It was sticking to the stirring spoon pretty well, so I figured it was getting close.

Next, I poured the hot jelly into hot, sterilized jelly jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. I screwed on the hot, clean lids and put the finished jars upside down to cool on a rack.

There was enough extra jelly in the pot that I could put some into a jar to refrigerate right away. I tried it this morning, it’s good!! The consistency is funny though. It’s actually exactly like honey, very sticky and somewhat runny. It’s really good though; sweet like honey too. It’ll go great on breakfast biscuits. Oooh, I bet mixing it with butter like honey butter would be divine! I’ll have to try that.

I’d debated on adding pectin to the mix. Perhaps that would have allowed it to gel better. Anyways, I’m happy with the results!

7 thoughts on “How To Can Apple Pear Jelly (From Juice and Peels)”

  1. Would it work if you made the apple and pear juice with a steam juicer? Also, the skins of my pears are diseased. So does that put them out of the question for any kind of preserving? And while we’re at it, do you have any good techniques for treating/preventing disease in pear trees? Thanks a bunch!

    • Micaela,

      Yes, you can make jelly from steamed juice. You don’t have to use the skins, it’s just a good way to put them to use. If the skins are diseased, I wouldn’t use them. The best advice I can give as far as pear trees go is good hygiene (pruning, mulching, fertilizing). If a tree is healthy, it generally does better fighting off disease. Although… speaking from experience… sometimes even your best efforts aren’t enough to prevent certain more aggressive diseases. I’ve had a lot of trouble with Black Rot. Best of luck to you!

  2. I had a couple of different kinds of jelly turn out runny this year so I am going to use them to glaze hams and pork roasts and use them like syrup on pancakes, biscuits, etc.

  3. “I did that and when I took them out it was like the apple expanded and exploded out of the tops of the jars. I am stumped as to why that happened. Any ideas?”

    Did you take the lid off the canner and let the jars sit in the cooling-off water for a good 5-10 minutes before removing to cool off? That was the culprit of missing liquid and goofy things in my canning the first year or two.

    Baby apples have more pectin. Ripe and yummy, mature, possibly mushy apples? Not so much pectin, so they won’t set up as firm.

  4. Apples are supposed to have their own natural pectin and from what I have read you shouldn’t have to add it. That said last year I made apple jelly and used no pectin and it became that same consistency. So not really a help but at least I know it wasn’t just my batch. So what about canning apples can you offer any help? Actually it was apple pie filling. The recipe I used said to process the quarts for 30 minutes. I did that and when I took them out it was like the apple expanded and exploded out of the tops of the jars. I am stumped as to why that happened. Any ideas?

    • Amy,

      I’ve done apple pie filling, and it’s turned out great. My first question would be did you leave an inch headspace? I’ll try to remember to post the recipe I used soon so you can check it out and see if there is anything different from your recipe. That’s a bummer that they didn’t work out after all that hard work though!


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