Jelly Making

Making jelly is so simple!  For most jams and jellies, I follow the instructions that come in the Sure Jell package.  I’ll share some pictures here of my last crab apple jelly making because sometimes just seeing someone else do it gives us the confidence to try it on our own.

Mostly I use regular Sure Jell in the yellow box.

Inside each box is a fold out piece of paper with instructions for making jelly, jam, freezer jam and I don’t know what else, for a great variety of fruit.

For the crab apple jelly I was making, the paper said I needed 7 cups of crab apple juice and 9 cups of sugar.

I washed enough crab apples to almost fill up my big pot and then I filled it with water.  I deviate a bit there from what the instructions say but I find that following their instructions doesn’t give me 7 full cups of juice.

Simmer the crab apples.  Some say you shouldn’t crush the crab apples as that will give you a cloudy jelly but I crush mine and find my jelly to be plenty clear.

Once the apples have simmered til I think all the juice has been released, I kinda crush them with a potato masher.  BTW, crab apples are one of the fruits that has enough pectin that you can make jelly without using Sure Jell but I still use it.

I set up my chinois into which I’ll dump the fruit and strain it out.

Once the juice has been strained out from the chunks, the juice is strained.  You can use cheese cloth or a jelly bag or you can buy a pair of cheap panty hose, cut each leg into three sections, tie knots in one end and stretch one piece over a large cup. (By cutting each leg into 3 sections, you’re getting enough pieces to make 6 batches of jelly.)

Perfect!  Pour your juice down the leg! 🙂

Strain out the pulp.

Squeeze as much juice out but be careful not to spring a leak and dump the pulp back into your juice.  Measure out the amount of juice needed for your recipe.  In this case, I need 7 cups of juice.

In a separate bowl, measure out the amount of sugar you will need — 9 cups for me.  Set it aside but have it ready to dump when ready.  Timing is crucial.

Pour the juice into a pot and add the Sure Gel.  Stir or whisk til the Sure Jell is dissolved.  A tiny bit (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) butter can be added to help reduce foam.  Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring.

Add the sugar, continue stirring.  Once it begins to boil hard, let it continue to boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir.

That’s it!  Add it to jars and process it.  The jars should be sterilized and hot before the hot liquid is added.  Leave 1/2″ or whatever is recommended from the top.  This is the “head space”.  Wipe the tops of the jars well, add the flat part of the two part sealing unit.  Then add the rings and tighten.

It’s processed in a water bath which means the jars are submerged upright in a pot with boiling water to cover them by at least 2 inches.  Let them boil for whatever time is recommended.  It took 5 minutes for the crab apple.  Any pot that is deep enough to cover your jars by 2 inches will work.

You can do it!!


  1. 1


    Have you ever done jelly that is made with some kind of artificial sweetener? Hubby is diabetic as are a couple of close friends (who would love homemade jellies). Your recipe sounded easy enough, but that is a LOT of sugar….and couldn’t have so many jars of that around with a diabetic in the house!!!

  2. 3


    I love making jelly! Have made red raspberry, black raspberry, grape, strawberry, elderberry, and apple. The black raspberry is the favorite. On homemade bread–mmmmmmmmm!!

    • 3.1


      Judy, Did you find a place to buy your lids in bulk? We talked about that last year. We sold our house and are going “full timing” in our RV for a couple of years. I am living through you this summer as I am SOOOO missing my garden and filling the pantry shelves with my home canned goodies.

        • says

          One catch is that you still have to keep some of the normal ones around because if you share your canned goods, like most of us do, you may never get your lids back.

        • says

          I did look at them and though they are more expensive, they pay for themselves after a few years. I believe they’re worth the money and will get those when I need to stock up again. Though I’m not an alarmist . . I wonder what would happen IF something happened and we couldn’t get the regular lids or they were way expensive. We have the jars and the rings but surely can’t can without the lids so I do try to keep a stock of lids on hand. Using these reusable ones would give me an extra peace of mind that I’ll always have lids available.

  3. 4


    And the last step is… Enter your jelly in the fair. 🙂

    I have been making red currant jelly this month and it’s so delicious.

  4. 5

    Jane says

    Your blog is back to the old one?? And you make everything look soooo easy!!!! :o)

  5. 6

    Bell says

    I am usually a lurker, but just have to say, I’m glad to see the old blog format back. It seems much friendlier.

  6. 7

    Cynthia H., El Cerrito, CA says

    I’m happy to see the previous blog format back, too. The temporary (?) blog format, at least on my computer, only allowed three or so days’ blog posts from Judy per page. The “standard” (?) blog format allows five or so days’ posts; much less choppy.

    The font size of the other format is also very large. Since most of us can enlarge or reduce the viewing font size ourselves, this seems unnecessarily large; maybe it’s a contributing factor to the “three days per page” limit?

    In any case, being able to see more info per screen is good. Thank you!

  7. 8

    Denise ~ justquiltin says

    I have longer legs than you so I could get at least 10 batches per pair of pantyhose. ROFLOL 😉 (couldn’t resist)

  8. 9


    The last couple of years I have been using the food processor for the fruit. It chops it so fine, my jam is almost like jelly. We seem to like it quite a bit!

    Have you ever pickled zucchini spears? Heard about it, but I have never tried it.

  9. 10

    Cindy from CA says

    Thanks for showing the steps to making jelly. This may be the year that I make some!!

    I am also happy to see the “Original” blog format back! So much easier to find things!

    Have a good day!

  10. 11


    I’m looking for a chinois like yours! Haven’t found them online anywhere 🙁 It’s twin is sitting on my counter right now, but it belongs to the nice Boss Lady.

    Yummy looking crab apple jelly. I’ve never had crab apple either.

  11. 12

    butterflywing says

    has anyone else tried wine jelly? if you haven’t, you should. the recipe used to be in the ball recipe book, but i haven’t looked for it in a long time. it started with very sweet kosher wine and went from there. we melted it back down and served it like a wine syrup on ice cream. it’s also delicious spread on plain pound cake.

  12. 13

    Margo says

    Judy –

    I have a question for you.

    I remember my mom making frozen strawberry jam/jelly/spread??? when I was a kid. We loved it on toast and ice cream. If I remember correctly it seemed very easy to make – I am not even sure it was cooked.

    You have inspired me to possibly endeavor to make this kind of jam for my own kids if I can just find a recipe – in fact you might have already posted one sometime in the past.

    Does this jam sound at all familiar to you?

    Thanks – Margo :0)