Jelly

How to Make Jelly in a Juicer

By Erin Huffstetler | 08/30/2016 | 14 Comments
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Last month, I decided to add my juicer to the pile of stuff headed out in our next yard sale. I hadn’t used it in ages. Then, I started working on my crabapple jelly recipe, and I came across an old forum thread deep in the recesses of the Interwebs where someone mentioned using their juicer to make jelly. Could you do that? Suddenly my juicer seemed interesting again.

So, my husband unearthed my juicer from the yard sale pile, and I got busy experimenting. Turns out you can make jelly in a juicer, and it can be a huge time-saver. Let me show you how I did it, and what I learned.

Juicer

As I mentioned, I was working on a crabapple jelly recipe at the time. That normally involves quartering a billion crabapples (time consuming), and then heating them on the stove with a bit of water to extract their juice. I wanted to see if I could accomplish the same thing by feeding the crabapples into my juicer whole.

Juice - Unstrained

And I was really excited to see that I actually got more juice out of the crabapples this way – with no knife work required. If you look closely at the juice that I extracted, you’ll see a thick layer of foam at the top …

Juice - Strained

I skimmed it off, just like I would when extracting juice on the stove. Then, I proceeded with my crabapple jelly recipe as usual. If you care about having perfectly clear jelly, you’ll probably want to run it through a jelly strainer first, just to remove any remaining fruit bits. It wasn’t important to me, so I skipped that step, and finished up my batch of jelly.

And I have to tell you: I feel like I got away with something. I can’t believe I made crabapple jelly without ever picking up a knife.

Alright, so now that you know how to make jelly with a juicer, let’s go over some of the pros and cons that I encountered along the way.

Pros

  • Minimal prep work – If you’re working with something small, like crabapples, you don’t even have to chop them up first (provided they don’t have big pits/seeds)
  • Straining your juice is optional – The juicer removes the skins and seeds for you, so you don’t have to worry about removing those from your finished juice. If you want perfectly clear jelly, you can quickly run the juice through a jelly strainer
  • Good at extracting juice from hard fruits – You can use a juicer to juice any type of fruit, but it seems to do an especially good job on apples, pears and the like

Cons

  • The juicer won’t extract as much pectin – Pectin is a natural substance found in fruit that helps jelly to gel. When you use heat to extract juice, it draws pectin out of the fruit skins. Since a juicer separates the skins out, you won’t benefit from this source of pectin. That’s not a big deal with most fruits, since they already require you to add pectin for proper gel. But, if you’re making apple or crabapple jelly recipe (that doesn’t call for pectin), you may find you need to add some
  • You won’t be able to make fruit butter with the pulp – When you extract your juice on the stove, you can use the leftover pulp to make fruit butter. Getting two products out of one batch of fruit is a great deal. While you can compost your juicer pulp, you won’t be able to make anything else with it
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Comments

  1. Would love to know if this technique can be used with blackberries or raspberries to remove the seeds for a berry jelly instead of a jam. Love blackberries… hate seeds.

    • Yep, it would work brilliantly for that, and it would be a lot faster than running the berries through a food mill. If you want perfectly clear jelly, I’d still strain it through a jelly bag or doubled up piece of cheesecloth when you’re done. It’ll remove all those teeny hair-like fibers that blackberries have.

  2. If you chucked all the ground up mush you have left after juicing into a pan and add a little water, you can boil it up and then strain it and add to your jelly for pectin if it is needed…

  3. Hi

    I was on a juicing diet (Joe cross, fat sick and nearly dead.)
    You can also peel the main skin off lemons and juice them, surely this would solve any pectin issue.

    : )

  4. So with the original recipe”using the stove to make juice” would you need to use the same amount of sugar? I just juiced 7 cups of apple juice for jelly. With the original way it said 10 cups sugar! This is stronger juice so should I use less?

    • Hi Lonna,

      10 cups sugar for 7 cups juice is definitely a ton of sugar. You can definitely scale back. It won’t affect the safety of the recipe at all. Just to give you an idea, I use one cup of sugar for every cup of juice in my crabapple jelly. That’s because crabapples are fairly tart. When I’m making other types of jelly, I don’t use near as much. I’d look at a few apple jelly recipes to get an idea of how much people normally add; then, start there (or a little under). You can always add more if it doesn’t pass your taste test.

  5. Cranberry Jam…..can you use cranberries that are still hot from being boiled in a juicer? I want to get one, but not sure how they work, or which one to get. Thanks, Jill

    • Good question … and I’m afraid I don’t know the answer. Here are a couple thoughts I have. 1) If you juice something hot, it could cause chemicals from the plastic parts of the juicer to leach into your food. 2) I’m not sure how effective a juicer would be at separating the seeds and skins from something as wet as cooked cranberries.

      You may find that a fine mesh sieve does a better job. I’ve strained several batches of cranberries for jellied cranberry sauce and cranberry butter this year, and it went pretty quickly.

  6. Thanks so much for this post I have been looking and looking to determine if the juice I make with my omega-3 would be good enough to use in canning jelly

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