Photograph by Kelly Paul. See more at Stock Photo and Image Portfolio by K. Paul | Shutterstock or K. Paul Stock Photos ~ Twenty20 

I enjoy canning and especially like making jelly. I use the Ball Freshtech Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker to make small batches of jelly or jam in a snap.

The cooker is automated, so it takes all the guesswork out of cooking up jelly or jam. It eliminates most of the hard work of constantly stirring the concoction as it cooks. Plus clean-up is much easier with the jelly/jam marker.

I know I sound like a commercial. I earn NOTHING from recommending this jelly maker. I have used it for years with excellent results. I have given it as a gift to relatives and highly recommend it if you are just starting out making jelly or jam. 

The Apple Pie Jelly recipe below is specifically designed for the Ball Freshtech Jelly/Jam Maker. Those experienced jelly makers can easily alter the recipe so it can be made stovetop. 



  • 3 cups Unsweetened 100% Apple Juice
  •  2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice or ground cloves
  • 4 tbsp classic pectin 
  • 1/2 tsp butter or margarine (to control foam)

Hints:  Use juice at room temperature and avoid juice with added calcium but added vitamin C is fine. 


Combine juice and spices and whisk until incorporated. Gradually add the pectin to the juice mixture and whisk until incorporated. The pectin will not be completely dissolved but there should be no lumps. 

Pour juice mixture into the jelly maker fitted with stirrer. Add the butter/margarine. Press "Jelly" button (which sets it to 25 mins.) and press enter. Wait four minutes and when the appliance beeps four times, add the sugar gradually while the stirrer continues to run. Leave lid to the appliance off. And don't run off!

When the jelly is finished cooking, the appliance will beep again and automatically stop the stirrer. Remove the stirrer with a potholder, and skim off foam from top of jelly if needed. Ladle hot jelly into hot mason jars prepared previously. Preserve your jelly one of three ways: refrigerate, freeze or water bath (canning for long-term storage).

If refrigerating, wait about 30 minutes for the jelly and jars to cool and place lids and band on the jars and label. Your jelly can be enjoyed immediately but refrigerate all filled and open jars. The jelly should last about 3 weeks.

If freezing, ladle hot jelly into prepared jars laving 1/2-inch headspace to accommodate expansion during freezing. Cool jars to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Place lids and bands on jars and label. Freeze jelly for up to 1 year. 

If using a water bath to preserve for long-term storage, ladle hot jelly into prewash, hot, mason jars one at a time leaving 1/4-inch heads space. Wipe any jelly from the mouth of the jar, from the lid threads and sides of jar. Center a prewashed and warmed lid on the jar and twist on band until finger tight. Repeat until jelly supply is exhausted. 

Place all jars in canning rack inside the canner (water already heated to near boiling). Ensure jars are covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Place lid on canner and bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. After 10 minutes turn off head, remove canner lid and let jars stand for five minutes. Then remove the jars from water, wipe off any excess water from atop the lids and allow jars to cool on a countertop or table. Check the lids seal after 12 to 24 hours. 

To check the seal, press on the center of the lid after it has completely cooled. If jar is sealed it will not flex up or down. Another way to check is removed the band and set aside. Pick up the jar by the lid and hold it less than an inch off the countertop or tabletop. If it does not come off or loosen, the seal is good. It is best to store your jelly without the band for easier opening at a later time. Sealed jars can be stored in a dry, cool place for a year or more. If the lid did not seal, refrigerate immediately or re-process the jar and contents.

HINT: If you open a stored jar of jelly (or anything that has been canned) and it does not smell right, is slimy in appearance or has anything growing in it, pitch it. When in doubt, throw it out. But if properly sealed it should be just fine. I personally have canned jelly and had it last up to two years when properly stored. 


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