Fruits & Vegetables - Holidays on the Homestead - Preserving the Harvest

Apple Jam Canning Recipe with Free Printables

How to Make Apple Jam from Fresh Apples

This apple jam canning recipe is a delicious way to preserve some of your apples for the winter! Do you have a bounty of tart apples? Are you wondering what to give your friends and family for gifts this year? Make a batch of this tasty jam and dress it up with my free printable gift tags and recipe booklets!

I like ordering apples from the Amish in the fall to make home-canned applesauce and other foods for my family. My apple tree doesn’t produce enough apples yet, so I often order several bushels of Ida Red, Galas, or other varieties.

The Galas are great for eating fresh or making sauce and jam. They don’t keep as well as the Ida Reds and they aren’t quite as tart. The flavor is still wonderful in this jam. Use whatever apples you have on hand and add a little bit of lemon juice if they are sweet apples.

There are plenty of other delicious ways to use your fresh apples! If I don’t have time to make applesauce before the apples need to be used, I like to peel, core, chop and freeze them to use later in pies, quick bread, or muffins.

Ginger Gold apples from Azure Standard
If I use a sweet apple, such as these Ginger Gold apples, I add some lemon juice to the jam for better flavor.

Apple Jam – From Scratch Recipe & Complete Canning Instructions

If you have made jam before, you’ll find this recipe is pretty simple. I used a combination of Ida Red and Gala apples, but use whatever kind you have on hand.

You’ll save some time by preparing the apples and other ingredients while the water bath canner is heating up. As the jelly jars are sterilized in the hot water bath canner, get started on cooking your jam.

It’s helpful to have someone to help you with your jam session, although I usually do the whole batch on my own. This year I had help from my parents while they visited!

Here is the recipe with step-by-step canning instructions!

Apple Jam Recipe

Apple Jam Recipe & Canning Instructions

Lisa Lombardo
This apple jam is much easier to make than apple jelly, no straining the juice! Delicious with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg to spice it up! Makes a double batch – about 8 half-pint jars.
Course Condiment


  • 10 cups apples peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 6 tbsps no sugar needed pectin 2 packages of Ball or Sure Jell No-Sugar-Needed Pectin.
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp butter to prevent foaming, optional
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice, optional for jam made with sweet apples


  • Put a hot water bath canner on the burner and fill with enough water to cover jelly jars, with an extra inch of water over the top of jars. Turn the burner on high and cover with the lid.
  • Wash jelly jars and screw bands. Place jelly jars in the canner to sterilize.
  • While you wait for the water bath to come to a boil, prepare your apples. Peel, core, and dice apples.
  • When the water in the canner comes to a full rolling boil, boil jelly jars for 20 minutes to sterilize them.
  • Measure the pectin into a small bowl and add 1/4 cup of the sugar to the pectin. Combine and set aside.
  • Measure the rest of the sugar into a bowl. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
  • Prepare canning jar lids according to the manufacturer's directions. (Most jar lids are no longer designed to be boiled, be sure to check.)
  • Once the water bath with jelly jars comes to a full rolling boil you may begin cooking the apples to make the jam.
  • Place diced apples, butter, molasses, lemon juice (if you are using a sweet apple) and water in a large saucepan on a medium burner.
  • Cook apples until they are soft, then turn the burner to medium-high and stir constantly as you bring apples to a full, rolling boil.
  • Add the pectin and sugar mixture to the apples, stirring constantly to combine the pectin into the apples and prevent the jam from sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan.
  • Bring the apple and pectin mixture to a full rolling boil. Add the remaining sugar with spices all at once and stir in.
  • Stir the apple jam mixture constantly and return to a full rolling boil.
  • Boil jam for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the burner.
  • Use a jar lifter to remove sterile jelly jars from canner and place them on a heavy towel on your countertop.
  • Place a canning funnel in a jelly jar and use a ladle to fill with apple jam. Work quickly but carefully to prevent the jam from cooling.
  • Wipe rim of jar clean, place canning lid on the jar, then screw canning band in place until finger tight.
  • Use the jar lifter to place the filled jar into the boiling water bath.
  • Repeat until all of the jam has been placed in the canner. Place lid on the canner and return to a full rolling boil.
  • Process jam for 10 minutes once the water returns to a full rolling boil. Remove jars from canner with the jar lifter and place them on a heavy towel to protect your countertop. Allow to cool without disturbing the jars or screw bands until jam reaches room temperature.
  • When the jam has cooled completely, remove screw bands and wash the jars to remove any jam that may have leaked during processing. Check each jar to be sure it has sealed properly. A properly sealed lid will not spring up and down when pressed with your fingers.
  • If any of the jars did not seal properly, refrigerate them and use the jam within 3 weeks.


For foods that are processed for less than 20 minutes, the jars must be sterilized before filling. To sterilize jars, boil them at a full rolling boil for 20 minutes.
When canning food, do not allow the food to cool down before placing in the jars and then into the boiling water. The difference in temperature can cause the jars to crack, wasting your food, time, and money.
As an added measure of cleanliness, I wash and dip the canning funnel and ladel in the boiling water bath just before using them.
Apple jam is a high acid food and should be processed in a water bath canner.
Keyword jams and jellies

Homemade Apple Jam Makes a Great Gift!

I love giving gifts from my homestead! It saves us money and my friends and family enjoy homemade gifts more than storebought stuff.

If you are looking for ideas for gifts to give from your kitchen this year, maybe you could make up an apple-themed basket of goodies. Use a decorative basket lined with an apple dishtowel, then fill it with apple jam, applesauce, dehydrated apples, and a loaf of apple bread.

Get the printable sheet of gift tags for your apple jam, below…

Printable Gift Tags & Recipe Booklets for Your Apple Jam!

Make your gift even prettier with these printable gift tags and recipe booklets! For your convenience, I’ve created 3 different options for the gift tags, depending on the ingredients you’ve used. Each option allows you to print out a letter-sized sheet of paper with 15 tags.

I hope your friends and family enjoy the delicious jam you make for them!

PS: If you notice a slight difference in the gift tags you print out compared to mine…I am using a printer that doesn’t do color…so I used a bit of craft paint to make my apples red and green. I also trimmed my tags down a bit because they were a bit larger than I wanted.

Printable Gift Tags – Apple Jam with Butter & Lemon Juice

Printable Gift Tags for Apple Jam with Butter

Printable Gift Tags for Apple Jam with Lemon Juice

Apple Jam Booklets (inside) has the recipe for an easy and pretty way to share.

These recipe printouts may be printed on both sides to create a little ‘booklet’ or you may print just the side with the recipe. I did not include lemon juice and butter in this option. I hope to get those added in for anyone wishing to print these out…soon!

Apple Jam Booklet Cover – Print on the other side of the recipe cards for a small ‘booklet’

If you wish to print the recipe as a ‘booklet’…print the recipe on one side, then turn the page over and print the other side with the cover. Cut the paper into quarters, then fold each ‘booklet’ so it looks like a little greeting card. Use a hole punch if you’d like to attach it to your jar of jam with a ribbon!

How to Create Your Mini Recipe Booklet
How to Create Your Mini Recipe Booklet for Gift Giving!

I hope you enjoy this jam and free printables!

Did you try printing out any of these downloadable resources? How do you like them? Leave a comment!

You could also give a box filled with homemade jams and jellies from your homegrown goodies. Check out my recipes for other jams…

Apple Jam Canning Recipe with Printable Gift Tags & Recipe Cards

How to Make Blueberry Jam

How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch

Canning Grape Juice and Jelly

Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry Jam – Low Sugar Recipe

Cranberry Jam with Free Printable Labels

Easy Cranberry Jelly with Free Printable Labels

Apple Cranberry Jam with Free Printable Labels

How to Make Peach Jam from Fresh or Frozen Fruit

How to Make Jam from Frozen Fruit

For more information about canning and preserving, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

What is your favorite jam? Do you make jams and jellies from scratch?

Homemade Apple Jam - From Scratch Recipe with Step by Step Canning Instructions!

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10 Comments on “Apple Jam Canning Recipe with Free Printables

  1. I followed directions exactly but my jam did not set. Any suggestions as to why or what to do about it? The recipe did not specify liquid or dry pectin so I used dry.

    1. Hi Kathy,
      I’m sorry to hear that your apple jam didn’t set properly. I reviewed the recipe and edited it to specify the type of pectin I used. I used a dry pectin that doesn’t need sugar to set, so if you used regular pectin, you might need to add the amount of sugar called for in their recipe and then follow the instructions again.

      However, sometimes the jam doesn’t set right away. It may take a day or so to thicken. Usually, apple jam doesn’t need as much pectin because there is natural pectin in the fruit. I hope that this helps… Lisa

  2. Looks wonderful. Question: I don’t care for the taste of molasses. Can it be left out? Does it need to be replaced with something else?

    Thank You.

    1. Hi Sue… it doesn’t really taste like molasses but you can leave that out if you don’t like it.

    1. Hi Ann,
      One pound of whole apples makes about 3 cups of chopped apples. So, for 10 cups of chopped apples, you will need about 3 1/3 pounds of apples. Although apples vary widely in size, a small apple weighs approximately 4 ounces… so you would need about 4 small apples or 2 1/2 large apples to make one pound. I hope this helps!

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