Making Homemade Jelly

July 21, 2004

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.


By Erricka from North Carolina (Guest Post)
July 22, 20040 found this helpful

Hi, My grandma in law makes jelly and she does not pay the 2.29 at the regular stores she goes to our local Save-a-lot if you have ever heard of it. It is like an off brand store that sells groceries for cheap. She said that she can buy it there for like .59 which is a lot better but she said that they only have it during canning season in the summer so she goes and buys a lot of it at one time and puts it up. If you have a local grocery store and is like a bulk or discount store because Save-a-lot is a discount grocery store you will probably find it a lot cheaper there.

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By Marti (Guest Post)
July 22, 20040 found this helpful

Save-a-Lot stores have pectin for 59 cents a box. I buy it there by the case.

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July 24, 20040 found this helpful

You can also do it the old fashioned way. You don't even have to use SureJell. In the days before SureJell they simply used sugar and boil it down to where it was thick enough and poured it in the jars. I am sure your Home Economist at your local County Agricultural Extension office can find the instructions for you.

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July 24, 20040 found this helpful

Some fruits have more natural pectin in them than others. Apples for instance have lots of pectin. You might try a tiny batch using apple for the pectin and see how it sets up before you make a big batch.

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By (Guest Post)
July 26, 20040 found this helpful

You can make your own pectin from apples!! Wash, peel and slice the apples and boil for 15 min-1 pint of water/pound of apple slices. Strain off the juice thru cheese cloth(don't squeeze the pulp). Add 1 pint of water to each pound of remaining pulp and simmer for 15 min. Let stand for 10 min and then repeat the straining, without squeezing. Allow pulp to cool and then squeeze out remaining juice by pressing on cheese cloth. Combine all of these. This should produce about 1 quart of juice/every pound of apples used. This can be used immediately, or you can can it or freeze it-to can, heat to boiling point, and pour immediately into hot, sterilized canning jars. Seal and invert jars to cool. To Freeze: allow stock to cool, and then pour into freezer containers. Allow 1" headspace for expansion. 4 cups of this homemade pectin will replace approx. 3 oz of liquid pectin in most recipes.

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July 26, 20040 found this helpful

I make jams using a 6oz. box of jello instead of pectin....and since I'm a diabetic I used splenda and sugarfree jello.

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By Carole (Guest Post)
July 28, 20040 found this helpful

Is the amount of homemade pectin (4 cups) used to replace 3 oz of liquid pectin correct? If it is correct, how do you compensate for the extra 29 oz of liquid? I avoid recipes with liquid pectin because of the price. I buy my powdered pectin in bulk from an Amish market in Annapolis, MD or from Yoder's in Grantsville, MD. The latter will ship all kinds of wonderful bulk foods.

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By (Guest Post)
August 31, 20040 found this helpful

You can use 6 crushed, dissolved in water vitamin c tablets.
This works great.

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By Barbara Cole (Guest Post)
April 4, 20050 found this helpful

Since apple juice is so cheap has anyone tried adding it to the fruit for sweetner as well as Pectin? Also we just made a batch of Jaboticaba jelly and it was jelled on the spoon and in the pan and yet when it was pouring into the jars it wasn't. Is this unusual? I even commented to mom that I had never seen anything jell on the spoon so well. I microwaved the jars so maybe cool jars?

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By DansFreezerJam (Guest Post)
March 5, 20060 found this helpful

I want to open up a family business out of our house...where should i get bulk pectin from. I have made freezer jam for 18 years and normally give away half of what i make to family and friends and this year many people have been asking us to make some more for them. Please help..this would be a great opportunity for my family!

Editor's note: Here's a source.
I searched on Bulk Powdered Pectin in Google and found this link. There are others.

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By Joe (Guest Post)
May 12, 20060 found this helpful

Try Pacific Pectin. They sell pectin in bulk & a fraction of the grocery store prices. Good luck!

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May 12, 20060 found this helpful

For the pectin from apples, does it matter if they are tart or not? My apple tree makes tart apples, which I may mix with pears for sauce, and I am planning on making plum jam from the plum tree. Would the tartiness of the apple adversely affect the plum? This will be my very first try at preserves and I am planning on doing freezer jam.

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August 21, 20060 found this helpful

UNRIPE APPLES!!! My DH "pruned" our tree, so I salvaged the little green apples. I found an article in the Oregonian, (lost the date!) by Vern Nelson (the hungry gardener) and here is a brief rundown:

Select only hard fruit with a strong sour taste. If they start to sweeten, there will not be enough pectin;

Wash and cut apples (quarter large, half for small) but do not core or peel. Add water until almost covered, place lid on pot and cook on low (I set 2 on electric) stirring every 15 minutes until it breaks down into a thin sauce. (Mine took 5 hours)

Strain sauce with cheesecloth, or teeshirt inot another large pot/container and let it set overnight dripping. DO NOT force it to strain, as this will make it cloudy and adversely affect the outcome.

Test the liquid when cooled by putting a spoonful into a small glass with one inch of rubbing alcohol. Use a fork to retrieve the clump. If it remains clumped on the fork, it is a perfect gel. If it sags or hangs, it will be a little loose. This depends on the cooking time.

You can freeze it or fill hot, sterilized jars and process at 185 degrees for 15 minutes.

To use: Use 4-6 tablespoons per cup of juice or fruit. For each 5 cups of pectin/fruit mix, add about 7 cups of sugar.

For more information: Vern Nelson: the Hungry Gardner, PO BOX 16945 Portland OR 97292

It was a blessing to find this! I used a grocery bag full of apples and made 18 oz of pectin, but I also used the pulp to make 12 cups of applesauce with 2 cups of sugar and some cinnamon...YUMMY

I still need to wait for the rest of the infamous NW blackberries to ripen, as I am making my very first batch of freezer jam with this,,,I'll keep y'all posted!

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10 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 20, 2004

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?



By Marti (Guest Post)
August 20, 20040 found this helpful

Most states require you to have a certified kitchen to sell home canned foods. Contact your local county extension office to have them come and certify your kitchen.

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August 20, 20040 found this helpful

Here's some information for Washington State, what state are you in?


Home prepared fruit-based jams and jellies may be sold by the producer directly to the public at places like farmers' markets, holiday bazaars, your own premises or business, or on the premises where the product is made.

The following information will guide you through the requirements for preparing, testing and labeling these products for sale to the public.  Our Jam & Jelly Flowsheet will also help you understand the process.


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By karen fry (Guest Post)
April 30, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you, I have been looking for some help with starting a small jelly making business. Just the 2 feed backs I read has helped me with vital information.

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By Stephanie (Guest Post)
July 20, 20050 found this helpful

Does anyone know how I can go about getting my kitchen certified and what the requirements are? I would really appreciate any advice. Also, I have a stationary company if anyone would like a discount on business cards and such. Please email me at slystx @ (remove spaces)

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By sara (Guest Post)
January 22, 20060 found this helpful

i am thinking of starting a jelly making business. I have no idea on where to start from, i need some help.

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August 31, 2006

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

Karaof4 from MN

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July 20, 2010

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

By barbara from Zenda, KS

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September 4, 2006

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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March 20, 2014

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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October 1, 2009

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

By marjee from Enoch, UT

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July 15, 2015

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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April 22, 2014

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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May 25, 2016

This is a page about making jelly from fruit juice. A quick way to make jelly even if you don't have a lot of seasonal fruit is to use fruit juice.

Making Jelly from Fruit Juice

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July 20, 2010

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

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