This apple jelly recipe is made with honey, rosemary, lemon, and lotsa apples. Sweet and savory, it’s perfect with almost anything.
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
- 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.
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
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
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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.