Save Those Peels And Cores and Make Apple Scrap Jelly

Waste not, want not, we always say. Save those cores and peels from fall apple pie-making and create a delicious apple scrap jelly. Get the recipe here!

Waste not, want not! Save those cores and peels from fall apple pie-making and create a delicious jelly that’s easy to make, and tasty on a peanut butter sandwich, or spread on warm toast with butter. This recipe uses no pectin—the pectin in the scraps, cores, and peels combined with lemon juice will set this jelly nicely.

Apple Juice - Gelée de pommes

Apple Scrap Jelly

Juice - Apple pie

Apple Scrap Jelly

4.41 from 5 votes


  • 20 apple cores and peels, any variety (or more to taste)
  • 7 cups water
  • lemon juice (not fresh)
  • Cheesecloth
  • 4-6 cups Sugar


  • Directions:
    Add peels and cores to a 5-quart stockpot. Add enough water to your pot to just cover the apple scraps. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes to allow the apple scraps to release their flavor. (Don’t worry about the seeds, they will not be harmful as they will not be consumed).
  • Strain juice using cheesecloth or a jelly bag into another pot. Measure the amount of juice you're left with.
  • For every cup of juice you have, add 3/4-1 cup of sugar and 1/4 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Return the sugar/juice milx to the stove and bring to a full boil. Stir continuously. Boil the mixture until it reaches gelling point of 220 degrees. Test by dropping a teaspoon of the mixture in some ice-cold water. If it wrinkles and is firm, it is ready. If it's still syrupy, continue to cook it. It will set as it cools.
  • Skim foam off the top and ladle the jelly into hot, sterile, ½ pint jelly jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Once the jars are filled, use a clean, damp rag and wipe the sides. Inspect the jars for any nicks or cracks (dispose of any that are cracked).
  • Next, put the lids on and tighten down the rings. Carefully transfer jars to a water bath canner and process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool completely on the counter.
  • Next, check for seals. If one didn't seal properly, simply use the jelly right away and store in the fridge.
  • You can now label your jars of jelly—give them as gifts to friends and family!
  • Get detailed instructions on waterbath or pressure canning here.
Keyword Apple scrap jelly recipe
Vegetable - Dish Network
Save those peels and cores!

Keep Learning

More About Apples: Cosmic Crisp & More

Read About The “Apple Girl” Kaitlyn Thornton

21 Varieties Of Apples

Join The Discussion!

What is your favorite kind of jelly?

Have you ever made apple jelly?

How does your recipe differ from ours?

Let us know in the comments below!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Farmers' Almanac 2018 - Landfowl

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Do you have a question or an idea for an article? Contact us!

Notify of
Recipe Rating

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

3 stars
Unfortunately, this was a bust for me. Even with extra cores added. My mixture has boiled and boiled to the point where I may get one pint. I’ve stopped because the mixture is just too sweet now. I will attempt to dilute and make some juice. Better luck next time!

Update – Juice was flavorless sugar water. 🙁

Last edited 8 months ago by HilltopHomestead

We’re sorry to hear that! We hope that you have success if you try again!


5 stars
Can I freeze my cores and peels to make jelly later?


4 stars
Yes. Freezing actually helps break down the cells. Just don’t freeze for too many months in a frost free freezer.

Also, I am using 1/2 c. sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice per cup. Hopefully that’s adequate for flavor and acid. I can’t find the recipe I used before, but I like that this one is fairly straightforward.

I would check for chips in edges of jars before filling, and I assume it was typed after as a reminder.

Last edited 2 months ago by MamaK

Ok I made this yesterday. Feel like I followed the recipe as well as can be, waited for the liquid to “wrinkle” but it isn’t setting up. I made it yesterday afternoon. And no set up yet. All my jars sealed and all. Do I need to wait longer for them to set up? Just add pectin instead and redo them?


You probably will need to add pectin.

Did you use cores or just peels? You have to use cores to get pectin, and you want it to boil at medium heat for quite a while to reduce volume. Straining through a cheesecloth lined sieve also lets you bundle and squeeze gently to get as much juice without pulp as possible.

I have failed a time or two with apple jelly, but it’s worth learning how, especially when you’re using up scraps. 🙂

Sylvia Pagliaro

I was wondering why you can’t use fresh lemon juice? And also no pectin needed?


I’ve heard not to use fresh as it turns faster? Not sure! I just use the bottled.. ? As far as pectin goes, apples naturally have their own pectin.


I think you use bottled lemon juice so that the acid level is consistent. If you use fresh squeezed, you may not have the desired acidity for safety. Although, with all the sugar that’s added, seems like you wouldn’t have to use the lemon juice. Also, apples are naturally high in pectin, so that’s why it’s not needed to be added.


I have been cooking this mixture for an hour and testing it every 15 minutes. The mixture is not Turning “firm” what do you mean by “firm” when you put it in the water to test?! Literally is still liquid there is no firm anything to the consistency in the testing. I see wrinkle of the mixture in the water but again nothing as a “firm” consistency. Little frustrating.

Sandi Duncan

Hi Crystal, we are sorry this recipe didn’t work for you. We have adjusted it so that it might be better to follow. I know that doesn’t help now, but just wanted to let you know we apologize for this and have adjusted the recipe.


Do you know about how many cups of scraps you ended up with? Sometimes my apples are teeny tiny, other times they’re huge!

Sandi Duncan

It really depends on how many apples you start with. Hard to tell.


5 stars
Good recipe. I’m somewhat new to jelly making.
I think I cooked mine down too much. It got pretty thick, but we can always heat it a little to get it out of the jar. Lol! I only got two half-pint jars.


5 stars
In the ingredients there is no mention of sugar, but the instructions state sugar.


Can I use pint or 1.5 pint jars? No jar size is specified. Also do we discard two months after breaking seal??

Susan Higgins

Hi Joanie, you can use any size jar. Use just as you would any jelly. Keep it in the fridge if the seal is broken and use it up!

Linda Orth

Usually when making jams and jellies you put it in a water bath for 10 minutes to seal. If you open one to use just refrigerated. You should be able to keep it for a while in the fridge or use it up whichever one comes first. ? Note: apples contain their own pectin so you do not need to add pectin. ?

Steffanie Golding

In the ingredients list you say from “about” any apples. Are there any apples you should NOT use?


My jelly came out so thick like thick candy molasses rather than jelly. What did I Do wrong ?

Linda Orth

Cook to long…… It’s very important to follow the recipe for making jams and jellies time is of the essence. ?


I love this. Keep bringing the ideas to make use of things that would otherwise get tossed!


I think of all the cores and peels I threw out after making apple pies. Well, when I had chickens they got it and the crows and gulls do now.

Lillie Jefferson

I have always love the tidbits of knowledge the farmers almanac offers and now through it I’ve finally learned about making jelly and a thorough knowledge of the super moon. Thank you.

Plan Your Day. Grow Your Life.

Enter your email address to receive our free Newsletter!