This is a jelly recipe you’ll crave.
Haven’t heard of it? No prob. Turns out, there are a ton of ways to put apple-sage jelly to good use. This recipe is everything you want in a jelly–it’s sweet, savory, cooks quickly and doesn’t have a fussy ingredient list.
You’ll be grabbing jars of this to use at breakfast, lunch, or dinner because apple and sage jelly is an easy way to serve meats, vegetables, glazes, gravies or sandwiches with some flare!
(That surprised me too because I’m unashamedly a jam, not a jelly gal).
What?! It’s true!
I’m biased ’bout my jams because they use crushed fruit and preserve the fruit’s fibers and seeds to give it a spreadable consistency. I’ve always thought that’s a whooooooole lot betta than jelly, which removes the solid goodness and only uses the juice.
But then, I found apple and sage jelly and everything changed— and it will for you too!
What is Apple and Sage jelly?
Apple and sage jelly is a soft set fruit spread that is sweetened with sugar and the distinct herbal notes of sage. This recipe uses pectin which allows it to gel when cool. If you’re looking for a way to use up an abundance of garden sage at the end of summer that yields splendid flavor, this is a pantry-must!
How to Cook with Apple and Sage Jelly
Apple and Sage jelly is incredible on pork chops, slabs of ham, stirred into stuffing or for basting chicken, turkey, and (especially) lamb! Check out the tutorial and Youtube video to see just how simple apple and sage jelly is to make!
- Caramelized Apple and Sage Pork Chops: Want to know the secret to a sweet and savory meat glaze ? Apple and Sage Jelly. Dump of jar of jelly into a pan with your meat and potatoes for an easy and elegant weeknight meal (via William Sonoma)
- Apple and Sage Turkey Meatballs: Honey, you don’t even have to think twice about this one. Toss three ingredients — meatballs, this jelly and a pinch of chili flakes — into your slow cooker, then let the magic happen while you go on with your life. Perfect for no fuss lunch or as a party appetizer (via lexicleankitchen.com)
- Thumbprint Cookies with Apple Sage Filling: This jelly, combined with my favorite 6 ingredient cookie dough that comes together in minutes, makes me look like a cookie-baking connoisseur (which I am completely, not) via livewellbakeoften.com.
- French Toast Apple and Sage Casserole: This make ahead breakfast or brunch combines sausage, cheese, eggs and leftover bread. Psst- Jelly is the secret to its satisfying flavor (via garlicandzest.com)!
Watch Me Make Apple and Sage Jelly! (Video Tutorial)
Recipe Tips for Making Apple and Sage Jelly:
- Don’t freak-this is a soft set jelly, so it’ll be lil’ loosey-goosey. That makes it perfect as a glaze for meats or stirring into other sauces or spreads.
- Let jelly stand in jars for at least 1 day for flavors to develop.
- Don’t rush this recipe by turning up the heat. Jelly that cooks too high (or not boiled long enough) destroys pectin’s ability to gel and it won’t set right. Speaking of ‘setting’-it can take 2 or 3 days and up to a week for your jelly to reach a full set.
- If you prefer a sweeter jelly, switch out the apple cider vinegar
- You can use fresh or dried herbs for jelly making. IF using fresh herbs, make sure they are very fresh and in good condition. You’ll find a mix of recipes that completely strain out fresh herb bits, while others keep a few in ‘cause suspended particles do look pretty in your jars. If using dry, use twice as much when using fresh.
- You can use real apples too: This recipe uses apple juice to keep things quick, but if you have access to fresh crisp apple varieties like Granny Smith or X, you can use those too (via website recipe).
- If you decide to use fresh apples instead of apple juice, don’t squeeze the cheesecloth or jelly bag. This is tempting to do because it’ll make the pulp come out faster but you’ll end up with cloudy jelly jars.
- If you want to make this recipe for a special dinner, but you’re short on time, skip the canning part. Store it in the fridge for up to 1 month.
- This recipe requires an acid (vinegar) to be safely in a boiling water bath canner, which allows it to sit on your pantry shelf and be safely consumed for up to one year.
Recipe Ingredients for Apple and Sage Jelly
Unsweetened Apple Juice: Making jelly using store bought juice is what keeps this recipe super quick! Make sure you’re only using 100% juice, preferably, without additives. Store bought apple juice has a consistent acidity level that has been tested as safe for water bath canning
Sage: This versatile herb adds amazing flavor to so many dishes. Sage is known as the savory herb; it’s faintly piney mixed with subtle citrus notes with a hint of bitter.
Apple Cider Vinegar: (also called just “cider vinegar”) is as acceptable to use in home canning as any other vinegar, provided that it has a strength of 5% or higher. I wouldn’t recommend white distilled for this recipe-it’s too abrasive.
Calcium Water: It’s 100% natural and activates the gelling properties of Pamona’s pectin (instead of sugar). Combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
Sugar: adds a lil’ sweetness which pairs well with the full-bodied taste of sage. Don’t you love it when sweet and savory combine?
Pomona’s Pectin: provides the gelling quality to set your jam. It also keeps this a low sugar recipe.
Why does this recipe use Pomona’s Pectin? Do I have to?
Pectin can be a prickly subject, so lend me your ear for 5 minutes. The short answer is that you can use any brand of pectin you want, but there are differences you might want to consider. Pomona’s pectin jells fruit with truly low amounts of sugar, or any other sweetener, giving you more intense fruit flavor without the sugar shock. Darlin’ you only need ¾ cups of sugar for this recipe and if you’ve been in the jam or jelly making world for even a hot second you know that amount is barely anything. I do a lot of canning for my parents, and my dad is pre-diabetic so we’re watching the sugar. Other commercial brands of pectin (like Ball or SureJell) still require 5 to 9 cups of sugar per batch! Now, I also make my own homemade pectin, which requires about ¼ cup of pectin per cup of fruit for jams or ¼ cup pectin per cup of fruit juice for jellies.
Apple and Sage Jelly Canning Recipe
- 4 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
- 2 cups dried sage 1 cup if using fresh sage
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 tsp calcium water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 tsp Pomona's pectin powder
- optional: pat of butter to cut down foaming
- Combine apple juice and dried sage in a heavy enameled pot over moderate heat. Bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat and allow to steep for 20-25 minutes.
- Optional: Remove sage leaves using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Set aside the infused liquid.
- Return 4 cups of infused liquid to the pot, supplementing unsweetened apple juice to meet the required measurement if necessary. Add vinegar and calcium water. Stir to combine.
- Combine sugar and pectin powder in a separate bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine and set aside.
- When infused liquid reaches a full boil. Stir in pectin-sugar mixture, whisking frequently. Mix vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until pectin is fully dissolved. Allow pectin to return to a full boil, then remove from heat.
- Ladle hot jelly into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Use a de-bubbler to remove air bubbles. Clean jar rims by wiping with warm water or distilled vinegar. Center lid on jar and adjust band to finger-tip-tight. Place the rack in a large stock pot and cover with at leas 1 to 2 inches of water. Repeat until all jars are filled.
- Place the lid on the canner and adjust heat to medium high until a full boil is reached.Process for ten minutes (adjusting for altitude if necessary).
- Turn off heat and allow the canner to cool for 5 minutes. Remove jars; do not tighten bands if loose and allow them to rest undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. A safely sealed jar lid will not flex up and down when the center is pressed. Label and store jars.
Is this recipe safe? Approved?
YES! That’s because I only share tested home canning recipes inspired by reputable sources. This recipe is adapted from the book, “>’Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin, Updated Edition: Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High Flavor Method of Crafting Jams, Jellies, Conserves and More‘ by Allison Carroll Duffy. I take safe canning practices very seriously, so this (and any) recipe that appears on my blog or YouTube channel will:
- Use only recipe methods that follow safe and science-based guidelines published by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Center for Home Food Preservation, and Jarden companies like Ball and Bernardin.
- Source all information so that you can follow it back to the canning authorities where the recipe originated. I know this makes nearly every other word in my blog post look like a lit-up Christmas tree, but I want you to be a confident, informed canner too, so I’m very transparent about any modifications I include.
My goal with publicly sharing canning recipes is to inspire you to create your own healthier, better-tasting, and usually cheaper convenience foods. And, to show how canning food in the modern world still makes sense! Above all, I want you to be both safe and successful in your canning efforts. For this reason, I’ll always link to the approved NCHFP canning recipes and encourage you to make a small investment in purchasing the most updated preservation books and equipment I use in my own kitchen.