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I was recently reunited with something I miss very much – a loaded apple tree! Friends of mine who had a house in the French countryside had a tree that, come fall, had so many apples, the limbs threatened to break off. Not wanting to be an accomplice in apple-cide, I decided to do my part to save the tree, and the apples, and make Apple Jelly.

Ten years later, my friends sold their house, which ended my bounty of apples (and medlars.) So how happy was I when some other friends bought a house in Brittany, which had not one, not two…but four apple trees. Score!

The varieties were Reine de Reinette, Canada, and Boskop, which I found out when a concerned neighbor saw someone (me) swiping apples off the trees, and the ground, loading up sacks of them. I think he figured I was pilfering the pommes, but was reassured when I told him I was friends with the owner of the mini-orchard.

After talking with him a few minutes, I realized he was an expert on the apples and not only knew about the varieties of apples, but also what to do with them and nodded in approval when I told him I was going to make Apple Jelly. He was happy to help me fill some bags, which included green varieties, which are high in pectin and help the jelly set, and are more acidic than other apples, which make the jelly well-balanced and delicious. (Calvados, the famed apple brandy from Normany, use very acidic apples since the flavor is more pronounced once cooked.)

To make Apple Jelly, it’s probably a good idea to either a friend with an apple tree (with an explanation ready in case a neighbor comes by…) or get apples from a source where they might sell you apples that are dented or dinged, which are called pommes à cuire (cooking apples) in France, and are quite popular. At the markets, those apples are usually the first to get sold as people use the bargain beauties to make compotes and tarts with. And French bakers like to use a variety of apples in dessert, like Apple Cake, as the flavor is more interesting than if using just one variety.

In the end, I came home with over 50 pounds (23kg) of apples in all shapes, colors, and conditions. And all went to a good cause. This recipe uses a good deal of apples but makes a half-dozen jars, which is good if you’re anything like me and need to reward your friends, and perhaps a local apple expert, with a jar of jelly.

Apple Jelly

While some sources say to National Center for Food Preservation cook the apple jelly to 220ºF (104ºC), every time I've made this, it jelled at around 230ºF (110ºC). So it’s best to use a thermometer but also to test your jelly by dropping a dab on a chilled plate, putting it in the freezer for a few minutes, then checking to see if the mixture has jelled by nudging it and seeing if it mounds and wrinkles, as shown in the post. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can use the "nudge" method to test your jelly. One pound (450g) of apples cooked will yield about 1 cup (250ml) strained juice from the cooked apples. So if you have fewer apples, or you get a different yield (since all apples are different), you can use that as a guideline and add 3/4 cup (150g) sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice per cup of strained apple juice. You can easily halve this recipe, too. Note that in step #3 depending on the size of your strainer or colander, you may need to use two, as I do. One tip is when putting the apples in the strainers if you can't get them all in, after filling them up, let the mixture sit 5 to 10 minutes; it'll settle down and compress, and you should be able to add the rest after that.
Servings 6 jars, 1 cup (250ml) each
  • 8 pounds (3.75kg) apples
  • 10 cups (2.25L) water
  • 6 cups (1,2kg) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Calvados, brandy, or Cognac
  • Rinse the apples and cut them coarsely into chunks, then put them and the cores and seeds, into a very large stockpot.
  • Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil. When bubbling, reduce the heat a bit, leave the lid askew, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the apples are tender and cooked through.
  • Line a mesh colander with a piece of muslin cloth or a few folds of cheesecloth (or use a jelly bag and stand) and set it over a deep bowl, then ladle the apples and the liquid into the colanders. (I use two lined colanders since it was quite a bit of apples.)
  • Let stand or at least 3 hours (but you'll get more juice if you let the apples drain around ~8 hours), and during that time, no matter how tempting it looks,
    do not press down
    at any time on the apples to extract more juice or the jelly will get cloudy.
  • The next day, measure out the juice. You should have about 8 cups (2L) but may get a little more. Pour the juice into a large, non-reactive pot fitted with a candy thermometer, add the sugar and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. During cooking, as any white foam forms on the surface while the jelly is cooking, gently skim it off with a ladle. (See Note at the end of the recipe for some idea about repurposing the apples and the foam.)
  • Cook until the temperature reaches 220ºF (104ºC). At that point, turn off the heat and begin testing the jelly on a chilled plate in the freezer, using the method mentioned in the headnote. When it wrinkles and holds its shape, it’s done. If not, continue to cook and re-test it at intervals. This batch set at 230ºF (110ºC).
  • Remove from heat, stir in the liquor, and ladle into clean jars, then cap tightly.


Storage: I don’t preserve my jelly or jams in heat-treated jars because I eat them quickly, but store mine in the refrigerator where they’ll keep for several months. If you wish to preserve them, you can find instructions for canning at the University of Georgia website.
Notes: The cooked apples can be passed through a food mill and used as applesauce, or for Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Nonfat Gingersnaps, or my favorite Granola recipe.
Any foam scraped off the top of the jelly while cooking can be refrigerated or frozen, and added to your next batch of jam. It's especially great used in jams made with low-pectin fruit, such as strawberries, apricots, peaches, pineapple, or cherries.

apple jelly

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Apricot Jam

Seville Orange Marmalade

Easy Jam Tart

Bergamot Marmalade

No-Recipe Cherry Jam

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Beer, Shallot, and Cocoa Nib Marmalade



    • Erin

    The description of crusty bread, salted butter and warm apple jelly sounds amazingly delicious right now. Ahhh, what I wouldn’t give to have that for today’s breakfast. Thanks for sharing the recipe and story – glad you were able to make it out of town to relax for the weekend.

    • Maureen in Oakland

    Yummy! I have a boatload of free Gravensteins, some of which I made into apple sauce. I was going to do a butter, but I think I will try this with the balance. The color is lovely too.

      • Sharyn Dimmick

      Gravensteins make the best pies.

      • Andrew

      Gravensteins also make the most delicious apple jelly.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Maureen: I love Gravensteins. Lucky you! You could probably make apple butter with the apple cast-offs left over after they’re drained. Just be sure to toss some unripe apples in the mix for the pectin.

    • Foodie in Berlin

    Apple jelly. What a nice idea. I have never tried to make this but I have a great source of apples in Berlin with the Apfelgalerie so I might give it a whirl.

    I keep reading about Gravenstein apples but haven’t been able to figure out what they would be called in Europe?

      • Marianne Ahrne

      They are called Gravensteiner, an old Danish variety named after Gråsten Castle, Gravenstein in German, near the German border.

      • Esmee

      I made last week an apple jam with star anise; I wish someone more experienced had written the recipe, as putting way too much water into the initial cooking of the apples broke it down to a saucy consistency rather than the chunks that would have been so lovely. The taste is amazing g, though.

      There’s an old apple tree in my backyard, and an orchard with dozens of varieties (some heirloom or just plain old time) nearby. I’m going to try this apple jelly recipe…twice. Once just as you’ve written it because it sounds divine … and then another batch with fresh mint in the water at the beginning.

      Thanks for this, David… you’re such an inspiration and I’ve never once been disappointed.

    • Krysalia

    You said twice that you had no intention to publish this, but I’m glad you did, those simple moments are wonderful and cheerful. I love that you share those, and the way you make this narration.
    Maybe with the rest of the apples, you could make dried apple slices, crusty as chips ? I think it would be a nice addition to your train mix :D

    • Hanna

    Ohhh this looks absolutely delicious! I’m glad you decided to post this :)

    • Sommer J

    Sounds like a fabulous project! I am a big apple jelly fan. Hope to be making this soon!! Beautiful photography and writing as always. I love when you go realized that was recipe was indeed blog-worthy! Hope I do this justice.

    • Teresa

    Hello David! I follow your blog from Portugal and today I was so happy because your post talks about 2 things I love: apple jelly and Vinho Verde! Your recipe of apple jelly makes me think of my grandmother, her apple jelly was so delicious. And even today every year me and my mother we make apple and quince jelly. We make also “pâte de coings” (with the “pulp” of the quince) and quince jelly (with the seeds and skins): on utilise tout, c’est trés écologique ! it’s a early november tradition in our house, and in a lot of portuguese families. Et le Vinho Verde c’est fantastique (en été avec des fuits de mer ….), comme la région du Minho où il est produit, avec des cépages natives. Si un jour vous venez au Portugal je serais revis de vous donner quelques contacts dans la région, les proprietés où le Vinho Verde est produit sont fantastiques! Je vous envoi le link du site de l’organisme qui represent les interêts des producteurs de Vinho Verde: I love your work David!

    • Jill in Atlanta

    My family went apple picking in the north Georgia mountains over the weekend. I read that the best way to store apples is to wrap each one in newspaper and then box them up in a cool spot. Ask me in a few weeks or a month if it works! If it doesn’t… apple jelly time! We also love to make apple butter- a bit of brown sugar, some cinnamon, allspice and cloves….

      • Cooking in Mexico

      It does work! I did this years ago when we lived in Oregon and had an orchard. Store in a very cool place and check occasionally for “bad apples”!

      Check The Spruce Eats for instructions.

    • Margaret

    What a nice weekend. I love picking and preserving. Apple jelly is a but sweet for me so I usually make a spiced one with quinces ornamental or larger. Easily foraged here in Dublin. Make it a bit tarter and it us good with meat or cheese or in a glaze for pork or stirred into a sauce instead of redcurrant jelly. I usually don’t peel the apples but sometimes only put the quince peel and cores in the jelly pot cut up the flesh cook seperately and suspend in the jelly .

    being Irish I just clean the jars sterilise seal and keep on the shelf. Make some chutney with your apples!

    • Margaret

    And Lakeland is the site you want for jelly bags preserving pans preserving spoons etc

    • Shira

    interesting… almost the end of apple season here in Connecticut – but I may be able to squeeze this in.

    thanks, as always, for sharing.

    • dinazad

    @Foodie in Berlin: Gravenstein apples are called “Gravensteiner” in Germany and Switzerland, where they’re very popular…..

    • Stephen

    My sister regularly makes jellies from sloes, wild damsons, brambles and crab apples while I often make soft cheese or strained yoghort and if we need something to do the straining in we go to Mothercare here in the UK and buy three-ply muslin nappy liners which work perfectly.

    • Hannah

    Well I, for one, am super glad you did post. I’ve never done a spontaneous trip like that, but I’d like to think that one day I’ll as cool as you and will do so :) Especially if it ends with jars of apple jelly that remind me of my grandma. Thanks, David!

    • parisbreakfast

    They look soooo pretty!
    Pretty as a picture to paint..

    • Maya

    Hi David –

    This jelly looks great! As a jelly novice, when you say “Pour it into a stockpot fitted with a candy thermometer”, is this something I could buy already fitted or do I have to rig it this way? And if I have to rig it, how does one do that? Thanks!

    • Judi

    I made jelly this weekend too – but they weren’t free apples. As you suggested, I ran the “leftover” pulp through a food mill, put all of it in the crockpot with some brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and after cooking it most of the afternoon wound up with apple butter. Thanks for getting me back into jelly/jam making – there’s nothing better than home made jam.

    • My Kitchen in the Rockies

    I would love to have a bite, too! The jelly looks great in you Bon Maman glasses. I have many of them waiting to be filled. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Maya: Candy thermometers have clips, which allow them to be attached to a pot. (I use a thermometer like this.) You can buy them at hardware stores and in most supermarkets if you live in the states, as well as online. They’re pretty inexpensive and I recommend people buy two because invariably you might drop one–as I did once when I needed it and didn’t have a back up.

    btw: I’m not fond of those digital probe thermometers that some might ask about, since the probe often reads the temperature of the bottom of the point, where the point rests, and doesn’t give an accurate reading of the jelly, unless you keep the probe suspended.

    • Camille

    It just occurred to me that this would be a great use for all the seeded grapes I’ve been getting from the CSA! Do you have any tips particular to grape jelly? Should I put some apple in there for good measure?

    • Susan

    I’ve never made my own apple jelly, (I will now, thank you!) but I always keep a jar in the fridge. Aside from using it on toast, it makes, hands down, the best glaze base for just about anything from savory to sweet dishes. I prefer it on most glazed fruit tarts over apricot that seems to be used for most glazes. It also makes a nice sweetened thickener in some instances.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Camille: At the link to the University of Georgia jelly guidelines, they have proportions to use for grape jelly. (And if you need étamine, I suggest Marché Saint-Pierre, which is—literally—10 times cheaper than the BHV.)

    Susan: When I poach fruit, I often reduce the syrup and use that as a glaze or a sweetener. It lasts quite a while. In fact, I’ve had a jar of it in my refrigerator that’s been there for about a year, that I dip into every once in a while.

    • Joan Bedard

    Hi David, I just happen to have some beautiful pink-fleshed apples sitting on my patio waiting for me that would make a fantastic jelly. Thanks for the inspiration.. They are tangy yet sweet and turn a lovely pink color when cooked. I don’t know what kind they are. The next time you make jelly and need a bag ,(our handyman suggested this) try using a nylon (unused ) stocking.It sounds kind of funny but it probably works very well. .

    • margie

    I love the burnished, almost pink color of this jelly. I’m normally not much of a jelly person – I make Concord grape jam instead of jelly, and I love my apple butter with a fierce passion – but that is just too pretty. Thank you for sharing!

    • Lucy

    I was thinking along these same lines to use up some of this fruit we’ve got here. Thanks for the inspiration, David!

    • Deeba

    I like the sound of the jelly …and I love how good it looks. Also that we can used the leftovers too! Yay!! Too good to be true. Do you think it would work well as in an apricot glaze too?

    • Camille

    Super! Merci, David!

    • Vicki B

    What beautiful jelly! I was just thinking about my favorite jars being Bonne Maman and how they were perfect for jam. Oh, Duh! They did have jam in them, being jam jars and all.

    • Beth Fontenot

    I haven’t had apple jelly in years! When my grandmother passed away, we were told to choose some keepsakes. Everyone else headed for the jewelry box and I headed for the pantry. She had terrible taste in jewelry, but her preserves were amazing! I chose a couple of jars of apple jelly, as well as a few jars made of crabapples and my favorite, mayhaw, and a bottle of her wine. I have a collection of Bonne Maman jars, too, and you’ve inspired me to see if I can make apple jelly myself! Thanks, David!!

    • Belinda

    I am so excited to try this- you have totally inspired me to go apple picking this weekend. I’m doing a trial run today, if all goes well, I hope to include this in my Christmas goodie bags :) Thank you!

    • anne

    So timely! I’m about to get a load of apples from my parents’ fuji tree when they come up to visit this weekend. Can’t wait to try this.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    anne: Yay for free apples! But Fujis are pretty sweet so you may want to chip in and add some very tart apples (or have them bring you some unripe ones.)

    • Celia

    I put on five pound just reading your wonderul description. I really miss salted butter in Italy!

    • Dime Store Foodie

    Looks amazing David. I love jam and jelly making. I am very fortunate to have a fig tree in my back yard and love to make fig jam in the late summer with lots of vanilla and spices. It always takes me back to memories I had of my great grandmother, who would make a wonderful crabapple jelly. I bet this would make a great glaze for tarts as well, which I think several have already mentioned. Your remaining apples would make a nice sauce to go over roasted pork, just add some cardamom, raisins, or other dried fruit, maybe some allspice, shallots, and a little Rosemary on the pork. Yummy!

    • Cooking in Mexico

    Beautiful apple jelly, David. And I see that your great collection of jars came in handy. Ever since I read about your jar collection, I have been more careful to save jars, especially the pretty ones and the ones that are the right size for marmalade.


    • amy W

    David, I love making preserves and jellies. My mom taught me to can a looong time ago and I think it is a great skill to have, especially if I want to win a reality show about living in the 1800s. :) Thank you for the great post and recipe. I have only had apple butter, not jelly, so I look forward to trying this.

    • Ross

    I’m perpetually out of pectin, so Apple Jelly is one of my favorites – it has TONS of natural pectin! I’m also a big fan of cognac, but never though to add it to my jelly. I’ll certainly try this recipe out soon though! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sue

    Love your comment about Vinho Verde. We can get Portugese Vinho Verde here too. It’s inexpensive and refreshing!
    Good for you with the free apples and your jaunt out of the city.

    • Jean Marie

    For a minute there, I could swear that I smelled the jelly apples cooking. It was so real. Then, I remembered the apples on my stove that I had started for applesauce! Am definitely going to try making jelly with more of our big CSA supply of mixed apples.

    • Stephanie

    We’re huge Vinho Verde fans too! Drank it literally all summer long. Loving the heavier red stuff now, but man that got us through some HOT days.

    • becky and the beanstock

    What a fun, accidental adventure! And too funny (but not…. believe me) that even on holiday the lure of a kitchen project is irresistible. Hooray for the getaway — and the souvenir!

    • Alison

    I love your brain! I have been resenting the apples (from my neighbor’s tree) falling in my yard. I already put up peaches and I am not fond of applesauce. First you catch me with the picture, then the mention of vinho verde, which I also just discovered, and the next thing I know I am making apple jelly! mdr

    • Juliana

    Last year my husband made apple jelly, then made a batch of apple-lavender jelly. The lavender blossoms added a wonderful floral/herbal taste and a rosy hue. The jelly was irresistible!

    • Shari

    I loved this post, and the WTF post I would never have found if you hadn’t of posted this, like you threatened. I knew apple peel had pectin, but until this week i had no idea that under-ripe fruit had more pectin. I just recently read of someone making blackberry jam and using 4 cups of blackberries and 1 cup of pink (unripe) black berries, because they have more pectin. I’m always amazed at the information I learn from these interesting and entertaining websites! The WTF post had me laughing so hard, that i put it in my favorites for a quick peek for one of these days when I need a good laugh. Thanks David, you never fail to keep my interest.

    • Sandra Castro

    Lovely and hope all is well!!

    • dinners& dreams

    I love how it’s orange and clear like honey. I’ve never had apple jelly and had somehow imagined it to be more opaque and yellowish a bit like applesauce. Nice surprise.


    • Linda H

    I went to Washington DC last week to see the museums, but one of the highlights was a huge farmer’s market full of varieties of apples I had never found before. Virginia has marvelous apples, and the countryside is filled with orchards. It turned out I was there at the right time.

    • Linda

    Love it David. So cozy and comforting.This weekend being Thanksgiving here in Canada I made uthe usual pumpkin pie but I also made a recipe for Drunken Apple Tarte from Leite’s Cullinaria ( Seemed fitting ’cause we had some heavy drinking Germans visiting us. I bet Calvados would be good instead of the rum. Also made an almond apple tarte from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers Easy Italian using almond meal. Good food for reading food mags and just blobbing.

    • Kristin

    Yum, thanks! I’m glad you shared. I am totally making this this weekend! And I love the idea of using the applesauce for something else, I hate throwing away things like that! Merci!

    • Charleston Dave

    David, I follow your blog from Charleston, SC, and had to comment on your affection for vinho verde. I recently discovered it to be an absolutely perfect match for one of our favorite local traditional foods, shrimp and grits (the shrimp is fresh and local, pan-sauteed with butter, onion and bacon, and served over creamy white grits; every local restaurant has its variation, perhaps a soupcon of garlic, a trace of shrimp stock, a bit of brown gravy…).

    Should your travels ever bring you to the “Lowcountry” of South Carolina, please do let this avid reader treat you. And thanks for the apple jelly lesson!

    If you’re ever in need of a blog topic, I know I’d love to learn more about how you photograph food so beautifully.

    • Sally from My Custard Pie

    Golden jewel-like apple jelly – delicious and beautiful. But Vinho Verde…I discovered more years ago than I care to remember. Literally green wine which perfectly describes its light flavour. Lovely

    • Skippy

    You have New Yorkers idling in your apartment? How can I get to be one?

    • Stefania

    Che delizia questa gelatina, baci !

    • Sissi

    You are so right about unripe apples! I also think the uglier the apples the better the preserves are! (from my experience). It’s my first comment on your always inspiring blog, but I simply must say I thought I was the only person getting lost at BHV! I don’t live in Paris, but I go there quite often and I went twice or maybe three times to the underground part of BHV looking for something (I didn’t find by the way) and every time I had to ask where the lift was!!!
    As for the jelly, I use gauze too (plied in two). I simply go to the pharmacy (also in France) and ask for the biggest and cheapest gauze sheets they have (I explain why just in case they have something they want to throw away with a “servez-vous” note ;-) and I strain the juice just like you did. Oh and I also buy there alcohol to make home liqueurs. They are never surprised.
    You made me dream of summer… Even though we have a big choice of Portuguese wines in Switzerland, vinho verde will have to wait next year! It’s already autumn :-(

    • Dinetonite

    Last year my husband made apple jelly, then made a batch of apple-lavender jelly. The lavender blossoms added a wonderful floral/herbal taste and a rosy hue. The jelly was irresistible!

    • Barbara | VinoLuciStyle

    I get inundated with apples this time of year from a tree in the backyard, even despite the squirrels and their penchant to pull a fruit, take one bite and pitch the rest on the ground.

    I have no idea what type of apples they are but they are definitely cooking apples so I’ve about had my fill of apple crisps (even though my favorite does have some adult beverages included to spice it up!) and apple pies. Not sure why I’ve never thought of apple jelly instead of giving away as many as I can but now I’m inspired.My holiday gifts to friends and family are always baskets filled with homemade foods, candles and liqueur; this year I think they’ll be seeing some apple jelly!

    • Saule

    Hello David,

    I don’t use sugar in my kitchen for health reason and I was wondering if you think using agave or honey instead of sugar will work. I understand that pectin is the allows jellification for hte most part, but sugar helps for sure. Please let me know what do you think.

    Thank you!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Saule: I’ve not made jams and preserves with liquid sweeteners so can’t advise. I would image you’d have to add pectin, as you mentioned, and perhaps you can find a recipe online or in a jam-making book that specializes in preserves with honey.

    Sissi: I know! And BHV has 2 sets of escalators so it’s kind of hard not to find them, but I still have trouble. Last year they remodeled the basement and aside from taking out the fabulous café that looked like a toolshed, they put up some maps. Of course, there’s only one or two of them somewhere down there. But as usual, I just walk around in a circle for an hour until I find what I’m looking for.

    Alison: Yes, use those apples!

      • Liz Fountain

      So great, thanks very much. My 6 year old picked 4 buckets of deer apples this fall at my folks’ farm (so the wasps don’t get them, the kid says lol) and this gave me a way to use them before they went bad!

        • David
        David Lebovitz

        Yes, this is a great way to use a windfall of apples!

    • Patricia

    Seeing the mention of vinho verde put a big smile on my (Portuguese) face. Do try to get the ones made with the Alvarinho grape, more expensive but oh so nice. And keep away from the really cheap ones, that stuff can be nasty…
    Now off to find some apples…

    • Judi Suttles

    The apple jelly looks wonderful! I am definitely going to try this-now if I only had some of that divine French butter to go with it.

    • Diane@2stews

    We are on the same wavelength….I made jam a few days ago and had it with sel de mer butter on Poilane bread. Very comforting.

    I’ve never made apple jelly and like how yours came about. Now you’ll have sunshine all winter!

    • kathleen

    I’ve been making jelly and sauce this autumn with both apples and crabapples. I threw some chopped jalapenos into the cooking juice which resulted in a wonderfully smokey flavor with a bit of a kick. Very nice with brie!

    • Jade Boudreault

    I made your apple jelly recipe last week-end. Wow! I’m not a fan of apple jelly habitually, but this one is amazing! I put ice wine-brandy (a little bit more than you!) in my mixture. Thank you very much to share that! Bon appétit! :)

    • Colleen

    I love apple jelly! This is an especially beautiful batch. And vinho verde? The tops!
    Bonne Journee…

    • Ellen Terry

    Hi David,

    Do you add the Calvados/brandy when you cook the apple juice with the sugar and lemon juice? I’m planning to do the first step of this tonight. Can’t wait!


    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Ellen: The liqueur gets added in step #7.

    • Ellen Terry

    Thanks, David. Sorry I didn’t catch that! The apples are cooking right now. What a fabulous smell!

    • Victoria Murphy

    Where can I get jelly jars like the ones above???

    • Eva

    @Victoria Murphy: Correct me if I’m wrong, David, but those look to me like re-used Bonne Maman jam jars. You can see in the topmost picture a peek of the “Bonne” on the glass. David said he doesn’t preserve his jelly, so they needn’t be new lids. That said, I’m sure you can find similarly-shaped jars somewhere on the internets… the Seattle-based Specialty Bottle Company ( sells a few types, though the closest are probably the large hex jars.

    Happy hunting!

    • Tall Clover

    Just got through making a batch of Apple Jelly infused with rosemary–a favorite of mine. The jars look like jewels in the late of the day, the sun streaming through the sides like facets on a gem. Good to eat, great to look at.

    • David

    Eva: That’s what they are. I swipe them from my in-laws, who have a sizable stash of them!

    Tall Clover: I love this jelly because not only is it tasty (and a good way to use an overload of apples), but it is, indeed, beautiful to look at. Thankfully I made 18 jars so I have a lot to took at : )

    • IM InFoodITrust

    I recently went apple picking so I had a lot of apples and was already running out of ideas. I made the jelly last night and it came out great, nice an clear with a beautiful color. I was surprised how long it took to get to 220F and than to gel at 227F. Now all I need is a crusty bread and some great butter.

    • Sini

    I love apples and quite everything you can make out of them. You know that you are really convincing when you tell people that something is delicious, don’t you? “It was so worth almost getting bonked on the head by an apple for.” >Bookmarked and hopefully tried out soon enough!

    • vanillasugar

    i’ve always wanted to make an apricot butter like jelly. have you? i wouldn’t know where to begin. i just love that 1st picture.

    • Kate

    After reading this recipe and noticing the amount of apples that had gone untouched in our fruit bowl I decided to improve my jelly making skills. I brought some more from the local farmers market which were quite a pale green-y yellow, I can’t remember the variety unfortunately. The jelly came out even better than I had hoped, the calvados gave it an amazing flavour and the lemon kept it from being too sweet. We served it with scones yesterday and it was incredible. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • Ronda

    I just made this and it is wonderful! I did squeeze the apples and it turned out very clear, but I think it was the apples I used. (They were just some apples growing in a friend’s backyard, so I can’t say what they were.)

    So good! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Lindsey

    I made this jelly tonight with local Jonagold apples – it is the most beautiful color, I can’t wait to try it!! Thanks for this wonderful and inspiring post!

    • Alice

    This turned out so well I’m making a second batch! I reduced the strained juice a bit more than the recipe, then boiled it down even more after adding the sugar. And threw in a cup of local (Hudson Valley) cider, and used Apple Schnapps for the liquor. The end result is a gorgeous amber color with a double-apple whammy. Fab.

    • Ginette Bisaillon

    Oh how I miss the New Brunswick village where I lived for a decade! It had an abundance of abandoned apple trees which provided free apples for jelly every autumn.

    • John Rynne

    Incidentally, feel free to press down on the jelly bag — forget the old warning that you’ll get cloudy jelly. All you need to do is add a little lemon juice added halfway through the boil and any suspended solids come to the top as scum (and very tasty scum, may I say!)

    • Marvin

    BEAUTIFUL. Inspiring. Thank you David!

    And sorry, but my question goes against everything that is acceptable and allowed and standard and good with all that you do. As you clearly state, not pressing down on the apples is how one keeps that clear jewel-like quality of the jelly.

    Do you have any idea what happens if one does press down on the cooked apples? Do you get three times as much jelly that looks more like apple butter? Or do you only get a scant few spoonfuls more of something awful that doesn’t set and is unpalatable?

    • Alice

    The color is so amazing.I’m impressed that you keep using the cooked apples & foam!

      • Allyson

      I have an extremely tall and gangly apple tree in my backyard of unknown origin and variety and while in past years it’s borne ample fruit, this year I’ve been the recipient of literally two apples…and I am using the word literally in it’s most formal context. If I ever get fruit again I know what to do with it! All is not lost however, wild grape vines seem to have taken over the apple tree – tbd on whether that’s resulting in the lack of apples, but after a very hot and dry summer I had an abundance of wild grapes so I made Wild Grape Jelly for the first time ever. I essentially used the exact same method, boiling the fruit and letting it drain overnight then just added a little sugar and cooked to 220. It jellied perfectly Allyson pectin or anything. Very exciting! I love a bit of foraging! Merci David, for giving me the idea!

    • Anne Epstein

    Hi David, I see that you’d mentioned Medlars in the Apple Jelly post. I have a small tree that is LOADED with medlars, most of which are about 3-4 cm in diameter. They are now a rusty- bronze color. Are they ready to harvest now, or should I wait until they darken and shrivel? How do _you_ use medlars? Thanks ; }

    • Claire S

    We are about to have access to many varieties of apples at our farmers’ markets here in Vancouver so this apple jelly recipe is timely. But interestingly, we have never seen Canada apples here….

    • Nanci Courtney

    So glad to have this recipe with all the personal tips, as well – “no matter how tempting, do not press down on the apples to extract extra juice”! I live in the land of abandoned apple trees and this is perfect!

    • Rockyrd

    Thanks for reminding me about apple jelly. Growing up in N.J. my mom would make it every year from our apple trees but her favorite was crab apple jelly. Squeezing the bag while it dripped was a no-no although very tempting. I just gave away all of my canning jars but now your article has peaked my interest, so I better go and buy some more. You are such an inspiration. Xo


    Thank you so much for your wonderful post on Apple Jelly. I have not made apple jelly and it sounds delicious! Also, thank you for linking to a reliable recipe from the NCHFP. As a master food preserver we teach to always use a tested and proven recipe. Love your posts and insights on food and life.

    • Léon Gniwesch

    Cher David,
    Belle recette!
    Auriez-vous une recette pour reproduire le Figolu, biscuit fourré au figues de mon enfance?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Oui, dans mon livre <<Room for Dessert>> (en anglais)

    • Lindsay

    What are your thoughts about using a copper pot to make jelly in? I’ve heard it works really well, but I have French friends who say it’s toxic if unlined.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t have the space to have a special one-use pot ; ) so just use a big stainless-steel Dutch oven, which works fine.

    • Rob

    My grandmother used to make apple jelly – the only person I know who did – & it was always my favourite conserve. Once married, we were lucky enough to score a japonica amongst the fruit trees on the property we bought, & I have made japonica jelly ever since. Thanks for the memories of my grandmother’s apple jelly, & the way the light shone through it in the jars…

    • Jann

    Apple-cide. Good for a giggle! Stay safe and stay well.

    • Kimbo

    We have a huge crabapple tree. I’d love to try this recipe using the crabapples!

      • Lora

      I commented before I saw your comment. My grandma always made crabapple jelly…it was one of my favorite things ever.

    • Sharon

    Thank you sooo much for this recipe. A few years ago I had apple jelly for the first time in my life as an appetizer with some lovely bread at a restaurant. I asked for the recipe but the chef didn’t want/have the time to give me the recipe. I didn’t even know it was called jelly before reading your post. I kept looking for a clear jam recipe online with no success until I gave up. and now Voila! Thank you!


    Dear David, Thank you for this recipe (and for the Arroz con Pollo recipe of 2016 …which I will make tomorrow w/ 1/2 cup chorizo). I have 4 apple trees that often produce enormous quantities of apples that I end up using to make an apple wine (14%) that is delicious but laborious. I will try making this jelly.

    • Sarah

    Have you ever used a steam juicer instead of the method of using a jelly bag? I’m curious if they are equally good or if one is better than another. I have access to an apple tree.. no idea what variety … a bit tart. I tried to make apple butter but had difficulties reducing without scorching. Have you tried to make apple butter before? If so do you have a good recipe? Thanks!! I’m new to your blog but love your cookbooks!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I made it last year using a slow cooker and that worked well. (Some people make it in the oven.) But on the stovetop, it’s very easy to scorch…

    • KGL Staff

    Thank you SOOO much for making Apple jelly me a cook! Your recipes are so easy and delicious. I have never really considered myself good at cooking but your recipes have made me love being in the kitchen. My family can be somewhat picky but he loves your food too so that’s saying something! Keep it up! Can’t wait for more damn delicious!

    • Lora

    My late grandma made crabapple jelly for as long as I can remember. Her sister had a tree and she’d get all the crabapples she could use for her. It was one of my most favorite things. I don’t have access to crabapples but I’ve made regular apple jelly and it takes me right back to Grandma’s kitchen.

    • Andrew

    Hi David, I make a “jelly bag” using two layers of muslin, then gathering the ends together, tying with string and hanging on a wooden spoon balanced between two chair backs. You’d probably get more juice that way as there’s more pressure on the pulp. Then I just do the old cup for cup of sugar.
    Love your recipes.

    • shelley

    That jelly is jewel-like gorgeous. When I had an apple tree I always made apple butter. Funny,people would love to get it as a gift but would never eat it.

    • Jessica

    Apple jelly is one of the first things I remember making with my grandma. I haven’t made this in years, but you’ve inspired me to make a batch (and send some to her for her 80th birthday!)
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Rachel

    It’s funny, I had bookmarked your older post on apple jelly a few weeks ago to make this weekend, and then you posted on it again this week! Just finished up, and ended up with 12 cups of liquid after cooking the apples (could be the type – from a backyard tree in Canada). It made around 10 cups of jelly. Didn’t have a candy thermometer, so just used the freezer test. It’s beautiful stuff!

    One question – could I reduce the sugar, or would that affect the consistency too much? If it can be reduced, what would you recommend? Of course, I tasted it warm, so it may be just right in the end, but just curious. Thanks so much!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      The sugar is the recipe is there to help it jell and preserve it. If you search “moldgate” online you can see what can happen if you lower the sugar too much (!) My recipe uses less sugar than the standard 1:1 so I personally wouldn’t lower it.

        • Rachel

        Thank you! I appreciate your response. It’s very sweet, but it’s possible I boiled it longer than necessary (was a bit distracted towards the end). I’m trying for a pear and ginger jelly today – was tempted to just use some apple cores in it, but may add some pectin to be safe…

        I had forgotten about moldgate :)

        Also, have you tried the tea jelly from Dammann Frères? Lovely stuff.

    • Caroline in Sonoma

    I made this recipe today (started yesterday, of course) with some Golden Delicious and some tart apples, possibly Gravensteins, from a neighbor’s tree. Beautiful and delicious, although I forgot to add the brandy at the end! Thank you for the recipe. The jelly highlights all that’s wonderful about apples.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Happy you liked it> Gravensteins have a wonderful flavor so happy you found a good use for them – enjoy the bounty!

    • Charlene

    Making this today, but the juice is more golden than red. Does the color come from the skins? I’m using honey crisp apples from my local orchard. I’ve also got a crockpot of apple butter going. The house smells wonderful!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      As the juice reduces it becomes red, even if not using red-skinned apples. The juice after draining will be golden yellow but should turn a nice red color as shown. I made 18 jars (!) and they all turned out rosy-colored and yours should too. I posted some step by step in my Instagram Stories that shows the whole process, from apple to jelly, if you want to take a look there.

    • Cooking in Mexico

    David, your photos are so spectacular, and I especially like the first one here. It depicts apples in all their natural glory — spotted, blotchy, maybe a few worm holes. In short, just how organic, unsprayed apples are supposed to look. I bet they taste incredible, also. I know your purpose is to primarily share top notch recipes with us, but I want you to know how much your photos shine. Thank you for your photographic excellence!

    • David

    I visit an orchard in Washington State about 40 min. from my home each year to get a case of Gravensteins and make applesauce, a pie and/or tart, and this year a very successful Apple Jelly. I followed the recipe using a candy thermometer and it set perfectly to a beautiful rose hue. There are two varietals of Gravensteins available to me: a green and a red. I prefer the green for applesauce and pies etc., but used about 10 lbs. of the Red for the jelly and couldn’t be happier. I was going to leave a photo or two but do not see that option available. Maybe my oversight.
    Thank You,

    • Marianne McGriff

    Thank you for this post. I took my husband to an orchard near us last week to pick apples. I made your Apple Jelly this past weekend!!! I LOVE the way you post recipes relating to the seasonal produce. It looks so pretty in the jars—PERFECT Christmas gifts! Blessings on your week, Marianne

    • Marianne McGriff

    I just gave my husband some of the Apple Jelly for lunch. He told me that it was the BEST ever and I should buy some at the store for Christmas gifts and keep the ones I made for him❤️

    • Rosemary

    Thanks for including the Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I, too, went to an Apple Farm last week, made applesauce so wanted to try Nick’s cookies. I switched the baking soda to 1 t and the baking powder to 1/2 t to aid browning as there was reduced butter. 12 minutes. Delicious!

    • Alexandra

    David, I made the apple jelly and it came out crystal clear like that of a ruby, and so tasty! I used golden and red delicious the two apple trees of our garden. Thank you for your idea to make this fantastic jelly and for the great recipe!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Happy it came out so well – thanks for circling back to let us know!

        • Alexandra

        My pleasure David! At the end, I poured part of the liquid jelly in little liquer glasses. It is just enough this portion to spoon out and accompany an espresso – it makes you smile!
        Have a nice weekend -A

    • Charlotte K

    Hi David, I just made this. It took a very, very long time to gel, although eventually, it did. I think … maybe … I should have used more sugar to make it happen faster. But it looks just like yours (right down to the leftover Bonne Maman jars).

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It can take a while depending on the natural pectin in the apples, as well as the amount of sugar. I cut the sugar down by 25% from a traditional recipe so that inhibits the jelling a but it does take some time to cook and jell as there is a considerable amount of water in the recipe used to extract the juice and flavor of the apples, and that needs to be cooked down to give it the great flavor and color.

    • mumimor

    Thank you David for posting this.
    For ages, I have checked your blog at least once a week, but I’m not so much a cocktail person so I fell out of the habit for a while. Then today I decided I had to make jelly out of ALL the apples on my tree. Some years ago, when there were an abundance of mirabelles, I only made a couple of jars of jelly. Then for the following several years, there has been a late frost and I have not had one plum. So I learnt you need to harvest and preserve when you can, and this year the apples are abundant (still no mirabelles).
    Anyway, I googled to look for different recipes because I’m looking at at least 10 kg, and your new post came up! Serendipity. I already know you are the best source for everything sweet.
    Right now it is pouring down, and there is a deer in my garden eating the apples that have already fallen off the tree. I’ll let her have them.
    I might mix some of the apple with elderberries, just for variation.

    • Jane Peyrouse

    I made this delicious recipe last week. The jelly tastes so good. But. . . my jelly never really set. Any suggestions welcome for uses for yummy apple syrup. Thanks!

      • Anita Lautsch

      Mine didn’t set either.

      • Laurie


    • Louise

    Thanks so much for this recipe, David. I had a pile of apple cores and skins after making a big pie so decided to try this recipe with them for less waste. I weighed them and scaled the recipe and my 2 jars came out perfectly.
    It’s reminiscent of a recipe I found on pinterest for peach syrup which used peach skins and pits after jam making – stewed with water, strained, sugar added and made into a pancake syrup – but a commenter said that it works well with apple cores and peels too. And it does!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for letting me know and glad you liked the jelly!

    • Leo Noordhuizen

    I always love your newsletter with the amazing photography and recipes !

    One remark: Its not ‘boskop’ but ‘Boskoop’ named after the dutch town which is a center of fruit growing in The Netherlands.

    Kind regards, Leo

    Ps: I hope you will have a quiet night !

    • Kelle L Standley

    Hello David, thank you for the lovely recipe on how to make apple jelly and the beautiful photos as well. I have extracted the juice form the apples( without pressing) and an in love with the pink color_ I cooked the cores seperately because I am going to use the apple much for apple sauce and it seemed easier to cook them separately so I don’t have to sort them out when I do the apple sauce. My question is this; the juice form the cores is a lite Brown in color. My juice from the apples is a gorgeous Pink, which as I said , I am in love with. Do you suppose I can skip putting the brownish core juice in with the lovely pink juice, or do I really need that because the cores/seeds have more pectin? I used 12 pounds of mixed variety heirlooms, some green, some red. I have about 9-10 cups of juice and am looking forward to making jelly in the next couple days. Thank you so much for this blog. I love the recipes and your warm writings of your shared life in Paris.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know because I’ve not done that but you could try cooking both juices separately and see how they turn out? Let us know the results if you do!

    • Mary

    Hi David,
    I’m just straining all my cooked pink ladies right now. Maybe this is a silly question, but when you say you can pass the remains through a food mill and reuse for other recipes, do you use the core and seeds and all or do you try and separate them from the apple chunks?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      If you’re passing them through a food mill, seeds and tough parts of the cores should be left behind in the disc, and not go through the holes. That’s something great about food mills!

    • John Rynne

    I remember the bit about not squeezing the bag from when my Dad made apple jelly when I was a kid. However, in my experience, there is no harm in squeezing the bag. I usually add the lemon juice once the sugar has all dissolved and the liquid is boiling. The sudden addition of lemon juice causes all the dissolved solids to surface in the form of foam, which can be skimmed off. I have never had cloudy jelly.

    • Anna

    I’m late to this party but just made jelly with golden Duchess apples. Fingers crossed it’s not too loose or solid. I have kept a quart back of the Apple foam. How exactly do I use this? Thanks for a lovely site

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      The foam is usually discarded since it’s got impurities but you could add some to subsequent batches of regular fruit jam (not jelly)

    • Rachael S

    I just made my first batch of apple jelly using your recipe and it turned out perfect! I was bummed my juice was cloudy (no I didn’t squeeze the bag), but after skimming it was clear! Such a fun way to preserve two large grocery bags full of apples. Next I’m going to infuse the juice with different flavors maybe ginger or camomile. Thank you again for inspiring me!

    • Devine

    I have always been a fan of your blog, your recipes are so fun to read. I just brave myself to try your apple jelly recipe and it is still cooling down in the jar so as i am typing this comment. I just want to say thank you for your awesome recipe and I cant wait to eat up my jelly. Sending love to you from Indonesia.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks! : )


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