October 17, 2016

Fruit Scrap Jelly


It gets SO hot here in the summer that even with the air conditioning on, it's too hot to can any produce in August. I usually resort to tossing the treasures that come from the garden in the freezer and then plan to can it all up when it gets cooler.

Fruit scrap jelly

Currently I have a whole lot of tomatoes, both red and yellow. Those yellow pear tomato plants are really prolific. But that's a post for another day.

I also had a lot of fruit scraps. I saved fruit scraps in the freezer all summer and fall: a few peaches and plums, a zip-top bag of apple peels and cores, blackberries. Little bits of this and that that I thought I'd combine into a batch of mixed fruit jelly.

Bags of frozen apple peels and cores for fruit scrap jelly.

I've done this before. Twenty years ago I'd bought some beautiful peaches, but they were rather tasteless. There were too many to just throw them out, so I cut them up and put them in the freezer to await the following strawberry season. The resulting strawberry-peach jam was so good. What a great way to redeem those tasteless peaches.

This time I just winged it - I tossed all the frozen bits and pieces in the stockpot and hoped for the best.

Apple peels, peach and plum scraps and a few blackberries combine to make fruit scrap jelly.

I even had a pint of home-canned plum juice. Last year I made sweet and sour sauce from a bumper crop of our plums. I had so much plum juice leftover that I canned a pint of plain juice, no sugar, for use in "something" later.

After simmering the fruit until it was soft, I strained it through muslin cloth as usual to separate the juice from the fruit.

Then I followed the directions in the package of fruit pectin to make jelly. There was no option for "mixed fruit jelly" so I guessed at the amount of sugar to use. I tasted what was left in the pot after ladling it into the jars, and it was delicious. I'm glad I stopped adding sugar when I did. (I never add as much as the directions say; I'm a rebel that way. Sometimes my jelly is softset and sometimes I end up with syrup instead, but it's better than something that's too sweet to swallow. Fruit syrup on pancakes is pretty awesome anyway.)

Mixed fruit jelly made from fruit scraps

Jelly is canned in a boiling water bath canner. This is the simplest kind of canning, and jelly or jam is an excellent first project for a beginning canner. If you want to start canning, I recommend doing jelly or jam first. When the canning process is finished, leave the jars undisturbed on the counter for 24 hours, then wipe them down, remove the bands and label the jars.

Pantry shelf full of homemade jellies and jams.

This batch yielded eight half-pint jars of excellent jelly.

You've heard the saying "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without," right? Those fruit scraps could have ended up in my compost pile, which wouldn't be a bad thing, but instead they became a marvelous addition to our pantry.

What kinds of jelly or jam have you made?


Related posts:
Jelly Making




This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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24 comments:

  1. What a great idea I love it! I have a bag in the freezer to collect veggie scraps for stock now I can start one for fruit for jelly! Thank you!

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    1. Yes! I have a bag for veggies too. :-) Also one for chicken bones to make broth with.

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  2. I had never thought of freezing the fruit scrap bits and pieces to combine later. Great idea.

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    1. Thank you, Sally. I'm glad this gave you an idea. :-)

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  3. Sounds great! Pinned and shared. Visiting from Homesteader Hop

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Carol!

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  4. Such a great idea! Reminds me of our caboodle juice.... a mix of whatever fruit and veggies are on hand.

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    1. Love the name, Deborah. ;-)

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  5. My kind of frugal, thanks!

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    1. Thank you, Melynda. :-)

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  6. I love to make jelly but haven't in awhile. I love the idea of saving fruit scraps to use as you've described. I have some fruit in the freezer I need to use....

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    1. That sounds perfect, Michelle, you're all set with that frozen fruit.

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  7. This is such a great idea. This post however makes feel so guilty for all the years of fruit scraps I have thrown away ;). Oh well onward to a more frugal and sustainable life. :)

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    1. Never look back, Harold!

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  8. Love this idea!!! I'm going to have to start collecting my scraps to make jelly now. Thanks for the great idea!

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    1. You're welcome, Ricki!

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  9. What a great idea! We usually compost our scraps I would have never thought to make jelly from it. I bet it is delicous. Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop!

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    1. I used to give them to the chickens, but now I'm a bit more picky. Anything that can be used for jelly I keep. After I strain the juice, they get the spent fruit. They just have a wait a bit longer. :-)

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  10. Awesome! I love ways to use things that might otherwise go to waste. I REALLY need to learn how to can too. That's my "husband's" job, but I'm home all the time and he works so I really should learn how. ha ha

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    1. Canning is really easy, especially if you're making jelly since they only have to waterbath for ten minutes or so. Pressure canning is a little more complicated, but maybe you could take over the water bath canning for him. :-)

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  11. Very nice love this idea thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Swathi.

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  12. What a great idea! I'll have to try it next canning season. Thanks for sharing this fantastic idea with us at the homestead blog hop!

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    1. It's definitely worth the space it takes in the freezer!

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