Lemon Jelly


Jazz up a biscuit, English muffin, or toast with a spoonful of Lemon Jelly. You know what they say (or what they should say): When life give you lemons, make Lemon Jelly!

spooning lemon jelly on biscuit

BHG / Crystal Hughes

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Stand Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
4 half-pints

End your search for a basic lemon jelly recipe here. We kept it to only four ingredients—lemons, water, sugar, and liquid fruit pectin—for the traditionalists out there who want only pure lemon flavor with no add-ons. Of course, if you are looking for more jelly flavor adventures, we have those too. if you like your jellies on the sweeter side, you could substitute Meyer lemons for the lemons called for in this recipe. Meyer lemons are smaller than regular lemons, so make sure you squeeze enough of them to get the volume of juice called for in the recipe.

As lemons are highly acidic, to can them as a lemon jelly, you'll use the boiling-water canner versus a pressure canner, which is used for low-acid foods. Though it takes a little while to bring the water in a canner to a full boil, you can get that started on another stove burner while you make the jelly itself. Then when your recipe is made, just process the jars for 5 minutes and let them cool. The bright, sunny color of the jelly will bring a smile to your morning as you spread it on your toast or a biscuit. It could also be used in thumbprint cookies or other sweets.


  • 4 lemons

  • 1 ½ cup water

  • 4 ¼ cup sugar

  • ½ 6 ounce package (1 foil pouch) liquid fruit pectin


  1. finely shredded lemon peel in bowl

    BHG / Crystal Hughes

    Finely shred enough lemon peel to make 1 tablespoon.

  2. squeezing lemon juice into glass measuring cup

    BHG / Crystal Hughes

    Squeeze juice from lemons to make 3/4 cup. Combine peel, juice, and water; let stand 10 minutes. Strain to remove any pulp and peel; measure 2 cups juice mixture.

  3. lemon juice and sugar in Dutch oven for making lemon jelly

    BHG / Crystal Hughes

    In a Dutch oven, combine the 2 cups lemon juice mixture and the sugar. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.

  4. scooping foam off top of lemon jelly

    BHG / Crystal Hughes

    Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.

  5. ladling lemon jelly into jars

    BHG / Crystal Hughes

    Ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids.

  6. jars in canning water bath

    BHG / Crystal Hughes

    Process in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boil). Remove jars; cool on a wire rack. Makes 4 half-pints.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is liquid fruit pectin?

    Pectin is a natural, water-soluble starch found in some fruits and veggies. If foods don't have enough pectin to jell on their own (as with this lemon jelly) pectin can be added. It must be added with the right amount of sugar and acid to work. Pectin can be found in powdered and liquid forms in the baking supplies aisle of your grocery store, online, or at specialty stores. The main difference in using powdered or liquid pectin is when you add it to a recipe and how much you use so you can not make a one-to-one swap between them.

  • What is a boiling-water canner?

    A boiling water canner (aka water bath canner) is basically a big pot with a lid and a rack in the bottom, is used for high-acid foods (like many fruits), which naturally resist bacteria growth. Learn more about the basics of canning.

Dietary exchanges:

1 other carbohydrate.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

57 Calories
15g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Calories 57
% Daily Value *
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Related Articles