How to Make Fruit Scrap Jelly


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.

Currently in my freezer there are a lot of fruit scraps. I save them all summer and fall: a few peaches and plums, a zip-top bag of apple peels and cores, a handful of blackberries. Little bits of this and that.

My plan was to combine them all into a batch of mixed fruit jelly.


How to make mixed fruit jelly from fruit scraps. From Oak Hill Homestead


I've done this before. Twenty years ago I'd bought some beautiful peaches, but they were rather tasteless. I couldn't 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.


How to make mixed fruit jelly from fruit scraps. From Oak Hill Homestead


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 couple of pint jars of plain juice, no sugar, for use in "something" later.

Without a real plan or recipe, I tossed it all in a stock pot and heated it all up. After simmering the fruit until it was soft, I strained it through a piece of muslin to separate the juice from the fruit. (You'll find more detailed directions in this post on making fruit syrup for jelly-making.)

Then I followed the directions inside a package of fruit pectin to make jelly from this fruit syrup. There was no option for "mixed fruit jelly" so I guessed at the amount of sugar to use. I never add as much as the directions say; I'm a rebel that way. Sometimes my jelly is soft-set and sometimes I end up with syrup instead, but it's better than something that's too sweet to eat. Fruit syrup on pancakes is pretty awesome anyway.

The juice and pectin are stirred together, while the sugar is measured into another bowl. Heat the juice to boiling and add the sugar all at once, stirring well. Once the mixture returns to a boil, keep it at a rolling boil for one minute, then remove from the heat and immediately ladle it into sterilized hot half-pint jars.

Top with warmed canning lids and rings, tighten them finger-tight (ie, not too tight), and place in a water bath canner filled with hot water to a depth of at least one inch above the jar tops.


How to make mixed fruit jelly from fruit scraps. From Oak Hill Homestead


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 - but use a recipe instead of winging it like I did this time!

If you don't have a water bath canner, you can use a large stock pot with a cake rack in the bottom to hold the jars off the bottom. I measured the inside of my stock pot and then looked on Amazon for a cake rack to fit.

You'll find step-by-step directions on how to can jelly in this post on making Harvest Apple Jelly.

When the canning process is finished, leave the jars undisturbed on the counter for 24 hours, then wipe them down, remove the bands if desired and label the jars.

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 have been a bad thing. Instead they became a marvelous, delicious addition to our pantry.


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How to make mixed fruit jelly from bits of fruit that you've saved all season long. Each batch of jelly will taste different.


Related posts:
Blackberry Jam
Harvest Apple Jelly
Triple Berry Jam




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

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28 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Like you, I usually give my fruit scraps to the chickens. This year I put up so many peaches the chickens just get tired of them. Then I remembered that I saw someone post about 'compost heap jelly' and started searching to find that post again, but came across yours instead. Same concept. I do have a question, though. How many cups of fruit scraps do you think you actually used for your jelly?

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  13. BobbieLee7:37 AM

    Like you, I used to give the trimmings to the chickens. This year, however, I had so many peach trimmings that they got bored and won't eat any more of them. I saw a vid a while ago about 'compost heap jelly' and started looking for that again but came across yours first. It's a fantastic option for all these trimmings. I have question, though. About how many cups or pounds of trimmings did you use for a batch? Thanks in advance.

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    1. Hmm, that's a good question. For this batch I used whatever I had on hand, as much as I had on hand, then added an equal amount of water or a bit less. For other batches, where I had more fruit trimmings on hand, I used as much as fit in my pot plus the water, then when it was finished I measured the juice as directed on the package of pectic. Any leftover juice I froze for future jelly-making, and made more to go with it if needed.

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  14. BobbieLeie11:00 AM

    OK. That makes sense.

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