Jelly From A ‘Peel’

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Most traditional jellies are made with whole berry or fruit…but, not this one!

I learned a long time ago, from my Momma, about making everything go a little further. In the Fall, we would gather apples for applebutter making. We would peel the apples and the peel would be for making jelly.

Now when we harvest our fruit, mostly apples, we store away until needed. Sometimes depending on the apple they can last up into late winter. We sort through our fruit and see what needs to be used up before it ruins. The fruit can be peeled; the fruit put aside to make pies, sauce, cakes or whatever and the peel used for jelly! If you don’t have time to process the peel at this time you can simply put it in a freezer bag or container and freeze for later use.

This can also be done with pears, peaches and kiwi…almost any fruit.

NOTE: Make sure you know the source of the fruit. Do NOT use fruit that has been treated with chemicals or have the peel waxed (unless beeswax is used).

Peeling the Fruit

When peeling the fruit, put the peels in water that has about 1/4 cup lemon juice added to it. It keeps it from turning brown and also draws out the color in the peels. Make sure to use the peel only and not too much of the apple flesh…the jelly will be cloudy if too much of the apple is used. When you are finished with the peel; you can drain and freeze for later use or continue on to making the infusion for your jelly.

Processing your Fruit Peel

Transfer the peels to a stainless steel pot. You can keep the lemon liquid that you had your peels soaking in and add more water so that you have at least 5 cups water in your peels.

Simmering and Straining your Fruit Peel

Turn your heat to high and bring to a boil. When the liquid reaches a boil turn down to medium high. You can simmer your peels for about 45 minutes to an hour…watch your liquid. If too much liquid evaporates you may need to add more water…you want to end up with at least 3 cups of the finished infusion.

NOTE: During this process you can ADD spices or other flavors to the infusion (such as dried Spice bush berries, lemon zest, etc.).

I love using Rome Beauty or Stayman Winesap peels for my jellies because the infusion turns pink/red.

When the infusion has simmered for at least an hour you can strain the liquid.

Use cheesecloth, flour sack material or other for straining the liquid. The material can be placed in a colander or sieve and that placed on a large bowl or pot. You should have 3 cups of infusion. This can be used now for making jelly or cooled and refrigerated/frozen for later use.

Fruit Peel Jelly Recipe

  • 3 cups ‘Peel’ Infusion
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 pkg powdered pectin

Note: I do add pectin to this jelly because I like a firm jelly.

  1. Pour 3 cups ‘peel’ infusion into a stainless steel pot and add 1 pkg. powdered pectin and stir. Continue as making regular jelly. Put on High heat and bring to a full boil. Add 3 cups sugar and stir.
  2. Bring to a full rolling boil. Let boil 1 minute and remove from heat.
  3. Continue to ladle jelly into prepared jars and add lids (make sure to wipe rims of jars).

These jellies can be used on bread, as a glaze or ‘frosting’ on simple cakes…either way you choose…Enjoy!

Susan Tipton-Fox continues the farming and preserving practices that have been passed down to her by her family. She presents on-farm workshops in Yancey County, N.C., and growing her on-farm agritourism by promoting “workshop stays” on the farm Connect with Susan at The Mushroom Hut @ Fox Farms and on Facebook. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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