Honey, Rosemary, and Apple Jelly

This apple jelly recipe is made with honey, rosemary, lemon, and lotsa apples. Sweet and savory, it’s perfect with almost anything.

A jar of honey, rosemary, and apple jelly beside two lemons and a pile of rosemary twigs.

This apple jelly spans the sweet and the savory. You can eat it on toast or scones or put a spoonful on your plate to accompany roast meats or cheese on toast. It is great with cold meats and all cheeses.

It also works well as a glaze on an apple or other fruit tart. Gently warm the jelly in a small pan and brush it liberally over the finished tart, then leave to set.

The lemon juice heightens the flavor and helps the pectin, a natural setting agent in the apples, to work more effectively. The honey means this jelly isn’t as crystal clear as some, but the preserve develops a beautiful deep pinky-orange color as the mixture boils, and it looks divine.–Hattie Ellis

Apple Jelly FAQs

Do I have to can this jelly?

Nope. You can proceed with the recipe through step 6, pack into jars and stash in your refrigerator. The jelly will keep for about 6 weeks.

How do you serve apple jelly?

As the author suggests, use this sweet jam as part of a charcuterie platter, schmeared on toast, scones, or biscuits, or serve alongside roasted meats. It can also be brushed over fruit tarts to give them a shine.

Why do you add the apple skins and cores to the jelly mixture?

Apples skins and seeds are naturally high in pectin, so they are initially added to the jelly mixture to extract as much pectin as possible, so that the jelly sets properly.

Honey, Rosemary, and Apple Jelly

A jar of honey, rosemary, and apple jelly beside two lemons and a pile of rosemary twigs.
This honey, rosemary, and apple jelly works well on both sweet and savory dishes. Honey, earthy rosemary, sweet apples, and a bit of tanginess from lemon juice.

Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 5 hrs 15 mins
18 servings
174 kcal
5 / 3 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Spoonfuls of Honey cookbook

Want it? Click it.


  • 2 pounds (about 4) large apples (eating apples such as Cortland, Gala, and Golden Delicious work just fine)
  • 2 pints cold water
  • 2 large sprigs rosemary
  • About 1 pound granulated sugar
  • About 10 1/2 ounces honey preferably a light, floral type such as clover or wildflower
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  • Cut the apples into quarters. Cut out the stems and any blemishes. Roughly chop the apples and toss them into a large pan—including the skins, core, seeds, and all. Pour in the water and add the rosemary. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and gently simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Ladle the apple mixture onto cheesecloth suspended over a large bowl. Let this drip through the cheesecloth, without squeezing, for 3 to 4 hours. Meanwhile, put a saucer in the freezer.
  • Measure the liquid and transfer it to a pan. For every 18 ounces (500 ml) liquid, add 9 ounces (250 g) sugar, 5 1/2 ounces (150 g) honey, and the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to ensure the sugar has dissolved by the time it comes to a boil.
  • Boil the jelly mixture for about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and put a teaspoon of the liquid on the cold saucer and put in the fridge for 1 minute. Push the mixture with your finger and if it wrinkles (or rather, if it leaves a defined trail left by your finger) then it has reached setting point. This is known as the "wrinkle test.” If not, then continue to boil the mixture and test it every few minutes, cleaning the saucer and putting it into the fridge between times and turning off the stove each time so you don’t overcook the jelly. It can take 15 minutes or longer for the jelly to be done, depending on the particular balance of pectin, acid, and sugar in your jelly. Skim any scum from the surface of the jelly.
  • Turn off the heat and let the jelly rest for 10 minutes.
  • While the jelly mixture is boiling, sterilize the jars.
  • Skim any scum from the surface of the jelly and then ladle the jelly into the hot sterilized jars, filling them right to the top. Put the sterilized lids on immediately and process according to manufacturer’s directions. The jelly will set in the jar as it cools.
  • Keep in a cool, dark place and consume within 1 year. Once opened, keep in the fridge and consume withing 3 weeks.
Print RecipeBuy the Spoonfuls of Honey cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 174kcal (9%)Carbohydrates: 46g (15%)Protein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.004gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 65mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 44g (49%)Vitamin A: 28IU (1%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 5mg (1%)Iron: 0.1mg (1%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I’m so excited to add this gorgeous apple jelly to my preserving repertoire! As the author suggests, this jelly is more complex than overly sweet, with a strong overtone of honey and herbal undertones. It would be wonderful with any pork dish, in a grilled cheese sandwich, or just smeared on buttered bread.

I used 4 Cortland apples, which have a dark rose skin and slightly pink flesh, and they made the jelly quite beautifully pink. Because I had gone on a soup-making bender, all of my deep pots were out of commission. I used a wide Le Creuset Dutch oven and boiled off a good bit of liquid.

When you boil the syrup, remember to boil hard it hard or it takes longer to come up to temp and you get more evaporation. Mine took almost 30 minutes to set via the “wrinkle test.”

It’s also a good idea to skim the scum while you are cooking, as it’s harder to remove once the jelly starts to set. My yield was almost 16 ounces of clear blush jelly. Gorgeous.

Looking for a flavorful accompaniment to a roast turkey tenderloin last holiday season, I made this tasty honey, rosemary, and apple jelly and loved the sweet-savory flavor combination. It took a bit of time to make, although it was sort of half-science experiment, half-cooking—it was really fun!

Having made jam before by just boiling various fruits, lemon, and sugar, I was intrigued by the use of apples for their natural pectin in this particular apple jelly recipe. You aren’t using the apple flesh here for the jam, just the juices that come from allowing the cooked apples and rosemary to seep through cheesecloth.

This was a wonderful accompaniment to turkey, and I could also see it being very yummy on a wedge of buttermilk cornbread or a homemade biscuit.

In terms of the recipe itself, I used 2 Gala apples and 2 Golden Delicious apples. The recipe explicitly says how much sugar and honey to add depending on how much liquid your apples produced, which was very helpful. I ended up with 360 milliliters of liquid, so I added 7 ounces sugar and 3 ounces honey followed by 1/2 a lemon.

The wrinkle test worked perfectly after only the first 10 minutes of boiling the jelly, which I was excited about. I’m thrilled to have this fragrant and super delicious jam in my fridge!

Originally published September 9, 2015


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. 5 stars
    Beautiful recipe with precise instructions. I have doubled the recipe and it came out perfect.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. We’re delighted that this turned out so well for you, Sumeet. Thanks for taking the time to let us know.

  2. According to Nigella Lawson (and several other sources), the setting point for jam is 220°F/105°C. I think using a cooking thermometer is more reliable, easier and less messy than the wrinkle test.

  3. 5 stars
    I had a big bag of crabapples and wanted to try something a little different. The rosemary is very subtle and my jelly is a beautiful blush colour from the crabapples. The hardest part was waiting for the liquid to drain (patience is not my strong suit) but worth it in the end. The leftover cooked apples are being turned into apple butter as I just didn’t want it to go to waste.

    Three canning jars filled with pink honey rosemary apple jelly

    1. Heather, I love every word of this. Every. Last. Word. Many thanks for taking the time to let us know how it worked for you. And many thanks for repurposing the cooked apples in such a lovely fashion. Kindly let us know which recipe on the site you try next…

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish