Making Homemade Jelly

Thinking of using that bumper crop of fruit, great prices on fruit at the market, or even fruit juice to make homemade jelly. There are some questions that might arise. This is a guide about making homemade jelly.

Homemade Jelly
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Question: Jelly Making Prices Seem High

Does anyone else think that the price of jelly-making is too high? I bought a package of surejell today for 2.29. I bought this in addition to the sugar and the canning lids. I picked the grapes for free, but many people buy their fruit for jelly-making. I read in the instructions that one package will make 8 cups of grape jelly. I read on the ingredient label that what I am buying (1.75 oz) is Dextrose (some kind of sugar), fumaric acid, and fruit pectin. 2.29 seems way too high for what I'm getting.

Does anyone have an alternative for making jelly, or a cheaper source of buying the fruit pectin? Thanks--Paula in Waco.

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Most Recent Answer

By cacollie 2 12 Flag

September 12, 2014

The problem with using no fruit pectin and letting it cook down is that you only get about half as much jam to put up.

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Question: Jelly Making as a Business

I am about to embark on a jelly making frenzy so as to start a business. Anyone have any advice? Is there a way to make really large batches at a time?


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By guest (Guest Post) Flag

November 11, 2008

We made some concord grape jelly and it didn't set. I think there were maybe about 2 cups too much liquid for the amount of pectin we put in. Does anyone know whether we can re-heat it and add more pectin? Or do I have to settle with 10 jars of grape syrup? Many thanks!

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Question: Making Jelly from Fruit Juice

By Alie T. 1

I would like recipes for jellies made from storebought juices, like cranberry, blueberry, kiwi, etc.

By Alie T.

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Most Recent Answer

By Patti 14 Flag

May 31, 2011

Grape Jelly from

I like this because it makes like 1 1/2 quarts; we eat it quick enough that I don't even process it, just put it in the fridge & eat it on toast & PBJs! We use frozen concentrate and don't dilute it, because we like the strong delicious grape flavor. But do what you like!

3 cups grape juice (Prepared from frozen concentrate is fine)

1 package powdered pectin

4 cups sugar

In a large saucepan combine the prepared grape juice and the powdered pectin. Stir it up to eliminate all of the lumps. Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium heat, stirring some as necessary. Add the sugar and return the mixture to a boil. Boil for a full minute and remove from heat. Ladle the jelly into clean sterilized jars and seal with bands and lids. Process in a boiling water bath for about 10 minutes to seal. Remove the jars and allow to cool before storing on the pantry shelf. Makes about 5 cups.

Or just pour into 1qt jar & 1pt jar, put in the fridge if you're going to eat it within 6 weeks or so.

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Question: Turning Jelly Into Syrup

By MomtoAll 8

Can I make a jelly recipe, add water to make a syrup and then can it?

Karaof4 from MN

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Most Recent Answer

By Warren D. Lockaby 2 168 Flag

September 4, 2006

The stuff that causes jelly to 'jell' is a substance called 'pectin', a carbohydrate that occurs naturally in ripe fruits and berries. Many jelly recipes call for adding pectin in case the fruit doesn't have enough to allow it to congeal. (Kraft's 'Sure-Jell" comes to mind, but there are probably other brands available.) If your recipe calls for adding pectin and you don't want it to set, the first thing I'd do is leave that stuff out. I don't know what to do about the naturally occurring pectin in the fruit; if it's good and ripe fruit often has enough to make the jelly set.

Good luck, and happy Labor Day, everyone!

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Question: Making Jelly Without Sugar

By Mona 7 1

I would like to make jelly without sugar. I buy "Simply Fruit" from town but would like to make my own if I could. Any ideas?

Mona from Lumberton, MS

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Most Recent Answer

By guest (Guest Post) Flag

September 6, 2006

I make freezer jam all the time with splendia and love it. Some people don't like the sweetners but it's fine for me. It's sweeter than sugar so try 1/2 the amount called for and taste test from there.

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Question: Jelly Did Not Set Up

By barbara 1

How can I fix jelly that does not set up after it is done?

By Barbara from Zenda, KS

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Most Recent Answer

By Margaret 13 124 Flag

July 22, 2010

Several years ago I made mulberry jelly that did not set up. I called the 800 number on the box of sure jell. She told me that if the sure jell was out of date that could be the problem. That is something that you really need to watch. I told her that was not the problem. She said that I should go through the whole cooking process again but not to add more sugar, but to add the amt of sure jell that was required. I was disgusted and thought it was too much work. So my husband had some very good mulberry syrup for his pancakes. Now, every time I make jelly he hopes it won't set up so that he can have some more flavored syrup. LOL!

Margaret from Denton, Texas

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Question: I Forgot the Lemon in My Canned Jelly

By marjee 1

What will happen if I forgot to add lemon in my canned jelly?

By Unycrn from Enoch, UT

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Most Recent Answer

By Loretta 18 125 Flag

October 1, 2009

Quite often the lemon is required to level out the pectin according to the fruit being used, which makes the jell process work, so if you have made it without the lemon, and it has not set up, (jelled well) within a week or two, it is possible you will have to call your jelly a pancake and waffle spread, which i do frequently, on purpose. If it tastes good, just enjoy it. From Loretta in Alabama, who raised 7 by using every means possible to not waste anything edible.

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Question: Making Jelly from Syrup

By grandmaduck 1

I made raspberry syrup, but it is way too thin. I'm thinking of making it into jelly. Any ideas how much pectin to use and any other ideas to make this process easy as possible?

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    Most Recent Answer

    By DCA 4 1,346 Flag

    July 16, 2015

    Simple! You can just boil the syrup down to reduce the water content.

    Getting the right consistency takes some trial & error, because the sauce thickens as it cools. Boil it for a bit to reduce, allow it to cool, test it and boil again if too runny. If too thick, mix in a bit of water.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

    Question: Making Jelly From Juice?

    By glenda eileen lockhart 61 16

    I'm wondering if anyone has tried making blueberry jelly from Ocean Spray blueberry juice? Blueberries are very expensive this year and I thought this might be a cheaper alternative, I know you can make jelly from the cranberry juice. If anyone has made it this way I would appreciate hearing how it turned out and what recipe they used. Thanks.

    By Glendat from Nova Scotia

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    Most Recent Answer

    Question: Making Low Sugar Mulberry Jelly

    How much juice, sugar, and pectin do I use to make mulberry jelly? Last time I made it, it did not set right.

    By Carol

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    Question: Fixing Jelly That is Too Tart

    I made cherry jelly with tart cherries. It is much too tart even with plenty of sugar. Would a little bit of baking soda ruin it or stop the pectin from working? Other ideas?

    By Jean M.

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    Archive: Making Jelly From Juice?

    I was given several free bottles of Juicy juice with no sugar added and was wondering if I can make jelly for Christmas gifts, any recipes? I do have 3 boxes of surejell ready for use also. I have made jelly from fresh fruit but never from bottled juice. Please help! I am currently unemployed and money is tight but I still want to give some gifts of LOVE. All help will be appreciated.

    Mary from Brownstown, IL


    RE: Making Jelly From Juice?

    Have you looked in the boxes of sure jell for instructions? When I wanted to make pepper jelly I looked all over for a recipe to do it and there was a recipe right in the box. (12/13/2006)

    By dpcw

    RE: Making Jelly From Juice?

    I'm sure you can use most juices. Several years ago I made grape jelly from grape juice and it was the easiest jelly I ever made. Your Sure-Jell will give you the measurements and directions. It's a lovely idea and I'm sure your recipients will be pleased. Merry Christmas! (12/14/2006)

    By SalTCBug

    RE: Making Jelly From Juice?

    Here's a thrifty hint I learned from a friend. When you peel apples for pies or whatever, scrub them really good first, then put all the peels and the cores into a large pan (minus any bad spots, of course). Cover with water (careful not to use too much) and put on to cook. Once it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for a couple of hours. Strain, throw out the peels, and use the "juice" to make apple jelly. (12/15/2006)

    By susanmajp

    RE: Making Jelly From Juice?

    Try this link:

    I've made jelly from this recipe and it turned out really well. (12/15/2006)

    RE: Making Jelly From Juice?

    I would like to thank everyone who responded to my question. I have since just tried my own recipe and the one I came up with was pretty good. I am new at writing recipes but here it is none-the-less.

    The ingredients I used are:
    1-46 oz. bottled juice * 1 Box sure-jell pectin * 1-Tb.+ 1-tsp. lemon juice * 8 1/2 cups sugar * 1/2 tsp. margarine

    Take one 46 oz. jar of any juice & put on medium high heat till it starts to boil. Add all the lemon juice (I used bottled). Bring to a rolling boil stirring occasionally. Then pour in one box of Sure-jell pectin and the margarine and stir often to prevent sticking. In separate bowl measure out 8 1/2 cups sugar, and set aside. When the juice comes to a full and constant rolling boil, add sugar all at once. Stir to dissolve the sugar and stir very often until it comes back to a full rolling boil that can't be stirred down. Then time for ONE MINUTE stirring constantly. After one minute take off stove & fill 6-12 oz. jelly jars and put in water bath for 10 minutes.

    I made this jelly a few days ago and so far it looks fine and has set to a medium firm stage.

    Feel free to use this recipe, and hope for the best. Your results may be different than mine.
    I know my friends and family will enjoy it. The samples I took from each batch I made tasted great.
    Wishing all a great & safe holiday season. May God be with you all. (12/16/2006)

    By Mary from Brownstown,IL

    Archive: Jelly Did Not Set Up

    I made elderberry jelly last night, it didn't set up. I used two pouches of liquid pectin. Any suggestions?

    By Boo/Nana from Eldon, MO


    RE: Jelly Did Not Set Up

    My grandmother always added apple juice to elderberry jelly. I always thought it was because of the taste but perhaps it was because the pectin wouldn't set it up. (08/19/2009)

    By CharlieDi

    RE: Jelly Did Not Set Up

    If the balance of acid, sugar, pectin and liquid isn't right, the network of pectin molecules may not form. If this happens, what's left will still make a good ice cream topping, but it isn't much use as a spread. (08/19/2009)

    By scott E.

    RE: Jelly Did Not Set Up

    The simplest option is to melt a jelly in a small amount of water (you can do this in the micro) and stir it into your jam. (08/23/2009)

    By skinnyjinny

    RE: Jelly Did Not Set Up

    I have made lots of elderberry jelly, and it is notorious for not setting up. When I first made it, and this happened, I called the Sure-Jel help line. They told me to add just enough water to get it to get it hot again and add more Sure-Jel (or pectin of choice) according to the amount of jelly that you end up with. If need be, and you need a little more than one...just go ahead and add two. I've never had any failures this way. I have learned over the years, however, to add extra pectin to begin with and hope it works. I check the "jel-stage" the old fashioned way by letting it run off the edge of a spoon. If it doesn't set up to my satisfaction, I add even more at that time. To me it's worth it. There's nothing like elderberry jelly. It just takes a little extra coaxing. **LOL** (08/23/2009)

    By lmgluvscat

    RE: Jelly Did Not Set Up

    This recipe is from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. As you can see, it doesn't require added pectin. It could be that the vinegar helps the pH and gets it to set up.

    Elderberry Jam:

  1. 2 quarts crushed elderberries
  2. 6 cups sugar
  3. 1/4 cup vinegar

    Combine elderberries, sugar and vinegar in a large sauce-pot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to gelling point. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Add more time for higher altitudes. Good luck! (08/24/2009)

    By coreenhart

  4. Archive: Making Jelly From Juice?

    How do I make grape jelly from grape juice?

    By cbauer from Winston-Salem, NC


    RE: Making Jelly From Juice?

    Buy a box of Sure Jell and follow the easy directions. (07/07/2009)

    By Glenn'sMom

    RE: Making Jelly From Juice?

    Here is a recipe that my grandma had and it works well and yum!

    Grape Jelly

    Makes: about 7 (1-cup) jars
    or 112 servings, 1 Tbsp. each
    • 4 cups prepared juice (buy about 3 lb. fully ripe Concord or other loose-skinned grapes)*
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
    • 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine (optional)
    • 1 pouch CERTO fruit pectin

    Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

    Stem and crush grapes thoroughly, one layer at a time. Place in saucepan. Add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place 3 layers of damp cheesecloth or jelly bag in large bowl. Pour prepared fruit into cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth closed; hang and let drip into bowl until dripping stops. Press gently. Measure exactly 4 cups juice into 6- or 8-quart saucepan.

    Stir sugar into juice in saucepan. Add butter to reduce foaming, if desired. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

    Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary. Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 5 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

    *If using wild grapes, Malaga or other tight-skinned grapes, decrease prepared juice to 3 1/2 cups and add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Concord grapes give best color and flavor. (07/09/2009)

    By Craftslady2008

    RE: Making Jelly From Juice?

    I've used Welch's grape juice, apple juice, and even Kool Aid to make jelly. Just look on your Sure Jell instructions. Use the amount of juice and the amount of sugar and Sure Jell called for and follow your instructions. I made strawberry Kool Aid jelly a few times. Put your package of unsweetened Kool Aid in a pot. Add the amount of water to equal the strawberry juice called for. Then add your sugar and Sure Jell according to directions. Ummm, good. Enjoy!

    Margaret from Denton, TX (07/09/2009)

    By matjat

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