Have you ever peeled apples for a recipe or your child’s snack and felt guilty about wasting the scraps?

No? Then you’re normal! I, on the other hand, was born with quite the guilt complex. When I was little, I used to feel bad for the toys I wasn’t playing with and would quickly run over to them to apologize for leaving them out of the fun (this was probably due, in part, to this 1986 Christmas movie by Jim Henson that led me to believe my toys were alive).

If you are still reading, appreciate my quirk, and are finding yourself nodding your head in agreement, then this recipe for Apple Scrap Jelly is for you! (And the good news is, we might not be the strange ones. It is now trendy and hip to be environmentally conscious and reduce your waste.)

apple scrap jelly 1

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1. Peel the apples. Prepare your canner, lids, and jars.

2. Cook the peels and cores in 6 cups of water until soft (30-45 minutes).

apple scrap jelly

3. Place cheesecloth inside of a strainer. Pour the apple parts and water into the cheesecloth and allow them to drain. Don’t squeeze out the excess liquid or your jelly will be cloudy!

4. Add water to the liquid, as needed, to obtain a total of 7 cups. Put the 7 cups of liquid back into your clean pot. Add classic pectin and bring to a rapid boil.

5. Add sugar, stir, and boil hard for 1 minute. You’ll know it’s ready when the jelly starts to bubble up the pot. Remove the pot from the heat.

6. Ladle the hot jelly into hot, sterilized jars, remove bubbles and check head space (1/4 inch), tighten lids to finger-tip tight, and process for 5 minutes in a water-bath. After 5 minutes, turn off the burner and remove the lid. Allow the hot jelly to rest for 5 minutes in the water. Remove the jars, allow them to cool, then check that they sealed properly. Label, store, or giveaway!
apple scrap jelly 3
 Apple scrap jelly is beautiful, and tasty too! I didn’t add any food coloring – the cheery pink tone is from the apple peels. We’ve enjoyed this jelly on peanut butter sandwiches and toast. Of course, I give plenty away to neighbors, friends, family, and teachers.
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Melissa Lennig
Melissa is a photographer, writer, educator, and mother to two boys. She shares her passions for nature, crafts, and family on her blog, Fireflies and Mud Pies. Her work has been featured on hundreds of websites, including About.com, Newsday.com, Bon Bon Break, Red Tricycle, Craft Gawker, The Crafty Crow, and All Free Kids Crafts.

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Posted in: Recipes.
Tagged: .
Last Modified: December 27, 2014

32 comments on “Apple Scrap Jelly

  1. Dawn @ Pin-n-Tell

    This is a PERFECT recipe for when I make applesauce each fall! Thank you so much for sharing, I’m so pinning this! I hope to see you at our next #PinUP Pin Party… we host them every Friday :)

  2. jane

    Thank you for sharing. I have always thought it was a waste to throw all the scraps in the garbage. Making today as I made apple pie filling yesterday.

  3. Ashley

    can the peels and cores be frozen first? like so that i dont need to peel 20 apples all at once and can just toss the peels and cores into the freezer through the week instead and make this on the weekend

    1. Fireflies and Mud Pies Post author

      I’ve never tried that before. The only thing I can think of is you might lose some color because of oxidation. Go for it and let me know how it turns out!!

  4. pip

    Hi, to answer Ashley’s question, you can freeze them, it allows them to be collected over time and then used all together. I make something similar called compost jelly (doesn’t sound as pretty) but it uses citrus peel scraps too. In the past I’ve flavored it with herbs , spices or chillis for variation.

  5. Laura

    I was curious about the freezing. I’ve kept peels and cores in my freezer for soup stock. I love this idea. Thanks.

  6. carol

    is there a version of this to use stevia instead of sugar?

  7. Heidi

    9 cups of sugar seems like a lot, would it still jell with less?

    1. Tina b

      If you use Pomona pectin, available at Whole Foods, you control how muchmsugar you add or honey or sugar substitute.

  8. Breanna

    All I had on hand was liquid pectin so I used 5 tablespoons and 9 cups of sugar.. but it doesn’t look like it’s going to set up. Then water bathed it for 5 minutes. Let it set in water bath afterward for 5. Any ideas on what to do with it or how to make it jell? Thank you!

    1. Fireflies and Mud Pies Post author

      My friend who used the wrong pectin enjoyed the recipe as apple syrup for pancakes, and said it was still delicious. Maybe you could that too! To make it set like jelly, use classic pectin, as specified in the recipe.

  9. Ashley Pickrell

    Could you tell me how many jars you got from one batch? Also, is classic pectin the same as powdered pectin? I have lots of those little boxes around.

    1. Fireflies and Mud Pies Post author

      It should say classic pectin on the box if that is what it is. As for the # of jars, I wish I could remember. I didn’t make apple scrap jelly this year, and don’t remember how many I ended up with years prior.

      1. Lila Deveney

        I just made a batch and I got 8- 1/2 pints and a whole pint plus a little left over, I just put it in a dish and put in fridge. will have it on toast for breakfast. My apples were very sweet, so only used 7 cups of sugar. not sure yet how it will set up. some recipes I have read say to add 1/2 cup sugar for each 1 cup of liquid. We shall see.

  10. Kathryn

    A friend linked me to this recipe, and I gave it a try today while I was making applesauce. I ended up with 11 half-pint jars; probably would have 12, but I spilled some toward the end. I’m so excited to have something different (and delicious) for teacher gifts!

  11. kari

    i was wondering i didn’t hvae the classic pectin and no store in town had it in stock. i had to order from amazon took a few days. i already put my apples and cores in the water and make the liquid i needed before hand. its in the frig ready to make this. i was wondering do i need to heat it up again and then make sure 7 cups are equal again or do i just start with adding the pectin and then bring to the boil. i don’t want to mess it up. also can i do 2 recipes at once or not?

    1. Fireflies and Mud Pies Post author

      I would pick up from where you left off. I also don’t see why you couldn’t double the recipe if you wish! Hope that helps!

  12. Pingback: Apple Scrap Jelly Recipe - VLHamlin

  13. Melisa Hemmelgarn

    I made this over this past weekend, added just about a teaspoon of cinnamon and it’s amazing! I had a case of apples and hated to throw away all the peel and cores; so I hit Pinterest and came across your Pin for this. I’m SO glad that I did!

  14. Erin

    How long do I need to let them sit before we can eat them? The pectin says like a few weeks or so something like that

  15. Julie

    I made it the first time exactly how the recipe states, but it did not get very firm. So today i did it again and used:
    6 cups water (instead of 7 cups) 8
    8 1/3 cups of sugar (instead of 9)
    7 Tbsp of classic pectin (instead of 6 Tbsp)
    boiled it for 4 minutes (instead of 1 min)
    worked like a charm and is delicious.
    PS I used 100% apple berry juice instead of water

  16. Shirley Carpenter

    If I use something like Suregel couldn’t I just use the same amount of juice and the amount of Suregel recommended in the instructions on their recipe sheet ?

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