Lemon Jelly

photo by Michel Scalvenzi http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

photo by Michel Scalvenzi

Lemon Jelly is a low-sugar or low-honey cooked jelly made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

Yield: 4 to 5 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, 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. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Lemon Jelly Ingredients

2 cups fresh squeezed and strained lemon juice
2 cups water (lemon juice is too acid to jell if you do not cut it with water)
3 teaspoons calcium water
2 cups sugar OR 1 cup honey
4 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder

Lemon Jelly Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Measure lemon juice into sauce pan.

3. Add water and calcium water, and mix well.

4. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.

5. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

6. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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18 thoughts on “Lemon Jelly

  1. So sad! I made a batch of this and it did not set at all…it is like a juice. I followed the directions exactly, and have never had this problem when using Pomona pectin. How would you suggest I reprocess this batch to get it to set? Many thanks in advance!

    • Helo Elizabeth,

      Well shucks! How much sugar/sweetener did you use? How long did you boil the fruit/juice after the pectin was added? How long did you water-bath can your jelly? That way I can give you the most accurate suggestions on where to go from here.

  2. Will this lemon jelly recipe work for lime jelly? I just made a batch using a different recipe (with Pomona pectin), which didn’t jell. I have enough limes on our tree & just want to start again. Would I have to make any changes or just substitute same amount of lime juice for lemon juice?

    • Hello Adrian,
      We have not made this recipe with limes oursleves, but we cannot see any reason why it would not work, in fact it sounds wonderful!

      • Hello Shelby,
        I read that although limes are around the same acidity as lemons, they have only about half the naturally occurring sugar content. Could I add another half a cup of sugar to this recipe & still get a good set/gel?

        • No, unfortunately this jelly recipe is already at it’s maximum level of sweetener. You could make a lemon-lime jelly if you wanted to bring in more natural sweetness.


          • Hi Shelby,
            So this is the third batch of lime jelly I’ve made with Pomona pectin which has turned out like thin soup. I followed the recipe above. Have used your pectin with apricot, fig, strawberry, peach & grapefruit & always got a great firm set, but not with limes. This is sad as we have a lovely key lime tree. Any tips on reprocessing this last batch. I had to recook the first batch with Certo liquid pectin to get a gel, but don’t like what this did to the flavor.

          • Hello Adrian,

            It sounds like that mixture may be too acidic, try adding an additional 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water and an additional 1 tsp. of pectin to your batch.

            Let us know how that goes from there.


          • Hi Shelby,
            Finally got around to reprocessing the lime soup. Added a cup of water & 1tsp. of pectin. Mixed with electric mixer at boil! Result was still very loose, but now it just qualifies as a spread rather than a sauce. Used earlier batch as margarita mix which worked out OK. This weeks strawberry jam batch is just as solid as expected from Pomona’s.Thanks for your help.

    • Hello Elizabeth,
      In general, we don’t have food suggestions for our recipes. Have you seen the recipe on our website for Cold Comfort Jelly? This is a jelly you can make and stir into hot water when you have a cold for an instant “feel better” drink. You could do something similar with the Lemon Jelly — stir a little bit of it into a cup of tea or hot water for a tasty hot drink.

      I suggest you look around on the internet for food ideas. If you come up with anything interesting, we’d love to hear about it!

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin — and happy jamming.

  3. I just tried an experiment using this recipe with 2 cups SunRype Strawberry/Kiwi juice and 2 cups Simply Lemonade brand lemonade. I omitted the 2 cups of water. I followed the recipe for the calcium water, pectin, and sugar and it jelled up perfectly though it was sweet for me. I am now trying the same recipe with half the sugar. I cant wait to see how that one works out. I’m loving your Pomona’s Pectin.

    I have the Pomona’s recipe book (Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin) and am working my way through making all the recipes. Everyone I’ve tried is wonderful.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Vanessa,
      Thanks for writing to us about your experiment. It sounds delicious.

      It makes sense that it might be too sweet if you added 2 cups of sugar or 1 cup of honey since the Simply Lemonade has sugar already added to it — although it isn’t clear how much on their website.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin and happy jamming!

  4. I was told when making Jellies that after cooking the fruit you strain the fruit in a cheese cloth type system then refrigerate overnight so the sediment drops to the bottom. I was told that this eliminates crystalizing

    Any thoughts?

    • Dear Steve,
      In our experience, the only juice that needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator to avoid crystals is Concord grape juice. On our direction sheet that comes with the pectin, we say: “To avoid crystals, Concord grape juice must sit overnight in the refrigerator. Pour off juice; don’t disturb sediment.”

      We have never had a problem with crystals in jelly made from other juices. If you’re worried about it, you could let it sit overnight and see if you have crystals or sediment the next day.

      Have you had problems with this in the past? If so, we would love to hear about it.

      • Actually, this is my first experience so it hasn’t happened yet. I just bought my jars and will be using you product and recipes thanks to Andrea in Clarkdale AZ who loves your Pectins

        Thank you

  5. Have a lot of pineapple juice left from dehydrating chunks for grandchildren….want to make jelly with…ordered Pomona’s pectin…but don’t know ratio of juice to honey and also amount of pectin and calcium water to use…will be canning for long term( yr.) storage please help….Thank you so much!!!

    • Dear Margaret,
      Pineapple is in the same category of fruit as Strawberry and Sour Blackberry so you can use the same recipe as strawberry jelly or sour blackberry jelly on the colored instructions, or sour blackberry on the black & white instructions. Pineapple is acid enough that you don’t need to add lemon juice.

      If you dehydrated fresh pineapple, and the juice has not been cooked at all, you should boil the juice for a few minutes before adding the pectin-sweetener in order to de-activate enzymes in the pineapple juice that interfere with the pectin. In this case, you should start with extra juice (e.g., 4-1/4 cups to end up with 4 cups) as the boiling will likely reduce your volume by a little.

      If you dehydrated canned pineapple, the extra cooking before adding the pectin-sweetener isn’t necessary.

      Since pineapple is usually a pretty sweet fruit, we would suggest starting with 1/2 cup of honey for 4 cups of pineapple juice. You can taste it before jarring to see if it is sweet enough. If not, you can add as much more honey at that point as you would like. Just remember that hot mixture usually tastes a little sweeter than the cooled jam will taste.

      I hope this answers all of your questions. If not, please do get back in touch. Thanks for using Pomona’s and happy jamming!

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