Honey Lemon Apple Jam Recipe

honey lemon apple jam

For months now, I’ve been working on finding a way to make a jam from apples that is satisfying and, well, jammy. The problem with apples is if you try and cook them raw with sugar, which is the way you approach the fruit in most jam recipes, the apples don’t break down. They stay hard and firm, releasing little of their sugars and leaving you with a final product that is closer to marmalade than jam.

chopped apples

In some recipes, such as my Cranberry-Apple Jam, this isn’t such a bad thing. The cranberries and sugar do the jammy work, and the apples add nice texture and mouthfeel. But up until down, I’ve found that making a good jam with apples as the primary fruit just hasn’t been all that great (I did get close with my Apple-Ginger Jam, but it still wasn’t quite right). That is, until now.

This time, I cooked the apples down into a sauce with two cups of lemon juice before adding the sugar. And this did the trick. I got close to the texture I wanted from the fruit before I added the sugar (ensuring I’d get what I wanted once the sugar and honey was added), and I was able to infuse the tart flavor of the lemons fully into the jam to boot (this is a great way to get a whole variety flavors into jam, I’m already envisioning lavender, more ginger or chai spices).

honey lemon apple jam

You may be wondering why I’m so excited to find a good apple jam technique. Well, apples are cheap, abundant and store really well. I overbought at the fall farmers’ markets and so had an entire crisper drawer full that needed to be used (and I have plenty of applesauce and butter already stashed away). And, I just like apples. I think they’re endlessly adaptable and knew there was a way to make them do jam nicely.

hand written recipe

Before, I jump to the recipe, I want to talk pectin. I do include one envelope (half of the contents of a box) of liquid pectin in this recipe. However, many apples are naturally high in pectin. If you’re working with green or under-ripe apples, you might not need to add any pectin. But if you’re using old apples that have been in your fridge for a couple of months, adding a little pectin is good insurance that your jam will have a good set.

Honey Lemon Apple Jam


  • 12 cups chopped apples
  • 2 cups lemons juice (I used a combination of freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice and bottled)
  • 2 cups honey
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 envelope of liquid pectin (can be omitted if you use a few firm, green apples)
  • zest of three lemons


  1. Prepare your canning pot, as well as seven pint jars, lids and rings.
  2. Combine the chopped apples and lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed pot (an enameled Dutch oven works well here) and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the apples have broken down. When you’ve got a nice, chunky applesauce, add the honey and sugar and stir to incorporate.
  3. Bring the fruit to a boil and cook for at least five minutes at a roll (watch out though, it will bubble and depending on the size of your pot, can get a little splashy). Add pectin and boil for a few minutes more, to active the pectin. When it seems nice and jammy, turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest.
  4. Fill jars, wipe rims (this jam is sticky, so you may need to add a bit of white vinegar to your towel, to help ensure a clean rim), apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes (if you are above 1,000 feet in altitude, adjust your processing time accordingly).
  5. Eat on toast, spoon on muffins or use to glaze roasted chicken pieces.

Related Posts:

  • Check the recipe index for more tasty preserves!

114 Responses to Honey Lemon Apple Jam Recipe

  1. 51
    Carolyn Hecker says:

    To us who did not know what verbena was…here are the health benefits of verbena, while including it’s uses; Lemon verbena has a strong lemony smell, both as a fresh and dried plant, and has been used as a flavoring in all types of dishes–salads, stuffings, meat dishes, baked goods and grains–for generations, as well as being a popular tea, notes Sara’s Superb Herbs. The dried leaves of lemon verbena are a prized scented filling for sachets and pillows and a popular ingredient in potpourri mixtures. For most medicinal purposes, users will make a tea by pouring boiling water over the fresh or dried leaves and allowing the concoction to steep for at least five minutes, says the herbal website Ageless. At the end of the steeping time, the leaves are strained out, leaving lemon verbena tea.

    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/242277-what-are-the-benefits-of-lemon-verbena/#ixzz2548rQaAV

  2. 52
    Etai says:

    Hi There, just thought I’d share my experience with this recipe. First off, I have to give many thanks for such an easy-to-follow recipe. This was my first time making jam so it is much appreciated. The idea of adding lavender to the recipe really intrigued me so I decided to add about eight lavender sprigs to the apples and lemon as it was cooking down. I then removed them right before jarring because I didn’t want the fibrousness of the plant to end up in the jam. Well, it didn’t really impart it’s flavour all that much. Any suggestions on how better to infuse the lavender? Also, I’d like to mention a cautionary note regarding the lemon. I used the recommended amounts and my batch is so lemony that it’s almost a lemon spread more than it’s apples or honey. The next time, I’ll try halving the lemon quantity and see where it goes. Thanks again for this recipe and I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • 52.1
      Michelle Dinwiddie says:

      Make a tea with the lavendar. Boil it in water then remove the plant then use the tea in your jam. Works beautiful. The more lavendar you use, the stronger the flavor will be – just steep it like you do when making tea.

  3. 53
    Shanelle says:

    I made this jam for my wedding favors last year and people are putting in orders for this year! Thanks for the great recipe.

  4. 54
    Emma says:

    I made some apple jam, and what did I do wrong?? That the jam is at the bottom, apples went to the top….. the jam is like it should be but why did the apples go to the top??

    Help if you can…..

    • 54.1
      Becki says:

      Emma, some fruits tend to want to float in the jam or syrup. Peaches are especially bad. One thing you can try is to let the jam sit for about 5 – 10 minutes in your jam pot before you put it in the jars. Give it a stir and fill your jars. Another thing I’ve found is if you have your fruit chunks too large, they tend to want to float as well. Hope this helps! Happy jammin’!

    • 54.2
      Anna says:

      After you take them out of the water bath canner, turn them upside down for 5 or so minutes. You may have to do this 2x, depending on the batch.

  5. 55
    Happy Fall says:

    […] loads of Lemon Apple Cinnamon Jam. Siobhan did her own variation of this recipe from Food in Jars [here]. Siobhan doubled the recipe, used 3 tbs of cinnamon, reduced the sugar by 2 cups and swapped out […]

  6. 56

    […] of our abundance of apples.  I love planning food around what looks good at the market.  We used this recipe from the Food in Jars blog and added 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and the seeds from one vanilla […]

  7. 57

    […] the flowery language. Forget waxing poetic. I’m just going to level with you. This Honey Lemon Apple Jam is THE BEST JAM I HAVE EVER […]

  8. 58

    […] Mush ’em into jam. Jam recipes usually call for a lot of sugar, but what sets this homemade jam apart from the store-bought stuff is that it’s made with fresh fruit and contains no […]

  9. 59
  10. 60
    TJ says:

    Help! Making this right now and the recipe has 2 different measurements for the sugar/honey!!! 1 cup honey 5 sugar or 2 honey 3 sugar????

  11. 61
    TLK says:


    I made the recipe last night using Granny Smith apples, Meyer lemons, and sourwood honey. I only got 5 pints. I suppose I need to pre-measure how far up on the pot 5 pints is, so I don’t boil things down too much. Volume might be a better metric than boiling time! It is a little stiff, but tasty. Thanks for the recipe.

    • 61.1
      Marisa says:

      Here’s the thing about making jam. Yield always varies depending on the fruit you’re using the, size of your pan, and the heat of your stove. So volume isn’t a reliable metric because it will always change. That’s why I give a range for boiling time and recommend that you use a variety of methods to determine the set.

  12. 62
    Michele says:

    I made this jam last canning season and everyone loved it so much that I am going to make it again! I have some apples that I have stored all winter that I need to use up, so this is the recipe I am going for!

  13. 63
    S27 says:

    Thanks for this recipe.
    I have heaps of apples that need to be used too.

    Can I use powder pectin? I don’t have the liquid kind, I have the powder.

    • 63.1
      Marisa says:

      Yes. Whisk the powdered pectin into the sugar and cook it with the fruit from the beginning of the cook time. However, you might be able to omit it entirely, because apples have a great deal of pectin.

  14. 64
    S27 says:

    Thanks for the tips Marisa.

  15. 65
    Nicole Novak says:

    This was, without a doubt, the best tasting jam I have ever made. I had jillions of tiny apples from my tree this year that were very flavorful. I couldn’t bear to toss them to the deer. It was a real battle peeling and coring these little apples but the resulting jam was VERY well worth the effort. As I worked on the apples, I placed the chopped apples into a bath of acidic water to keep them from browning. I used 6 Meyer lemons from my tree instead of using part bottled lemon and did add pectin for insurance. My yield was 4 pints and 6 half pints. This recipe will go into my permanent recipe archive. I can’t WAIT to try it as a glaze on chicken and pork. YUMMY. Thanks so much.

    • 65.1
      Lindz Mc says:

      We just made this one tonight. Used Pricilla variety apples. Not sure how they will do, but they are locally grown in MS and one of the best tasting apples I’ve had in a long time.. I had half a case of apples and HAD to do something with them before they ruined. The honey we used was local too. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  16. 66
    LuAnne says:

    Just found this site and I just got my canning kettle last week. Now, I want to can everything. This recipe looks so good. I was wondering if the apples could be grated instead of chunks with the same results? I am a newbe so any advice will be appreciated and followed. Thanks

  17. 67
    courtney says:

    this jam is so, so good. made it last night with about a dozen winesap apples from the scratch & dent pile at the farmers market. i went ahead & used the pectin, since i wasn’t totally confident in the newness of the apples. the flavor is divine! i would describe it as homemade lemon meringue applesauce. i’m not too sad that one jar didn’t seal – i admit to eating (it by) a few spoonfuls already. i was hesitant to make the full batch because 7 pints seemed like an awful lot… SO very glad i did. i will be proudly giving away the ones that DID seal at christmas time. made 3 pints and 6 half-pints of sunny yellow deliciousness.

  18. 68
    Linda Storms says:

    I live in Marquette, Mi and the Meyer Lemon is not available here. Want to make this and wondering what modification to recipe would be necessary if using regular lemons?

    • 68.1
      Marisa says:

      There’s no need to use Meyer lemons in this recipe. I originally made it with a combination of Meyer and regular lemon juice, but since then have made it exclusively with regular old lemon juice and it was just fine.

      • Linda Storms says:

        Oh good! I’m making some this weekend for sure!!!

        • Linda Storms says:

          I made a batch of this today and am not disappointed. The Wolf River apples I used held up, and with the honey and lemon, the flavor is just right with tart and sweet. A stand-out of flavor in this unique blend!

  19. 69
    Margarita says:


    I just made this jam, it turned out wonderful, but I have a couple of Q’/comments.

    Why do you use more sugar in your book?
    I didn’t put pectin in, I just made a little cheescloth package with the apple cores and the lemons seeds. I took it out and squeezed it before putting in the sugar and honey. The end product is perfectly jammy!
    I put in a vanilla bean in one jar and a piece of ginger in another. Do you have any suggestions how long I should let that steep?

    Thank you!!

    • 69.1
      Marisa says:

      I used more sugar in the book because I thought it turned out better that way. As far as the vanilla bean and ginger, I’d taste them after a day or two, and see how you like the flavor.

  20. 70
    Lynn says:

    I really want to make this! I am curious what kind of apples you used for this recipe… some apples tend to break down all the way which is what you want if you’re making applesauce, some hold their shape which is what you want for pies. It sounds as if you cooked the apples with the lemon to force them to break down, but not all the way so that it’s a bit chunky. Thank you.

  21. 71
    pat janoff says:

    have been making apple butter for years and playing with peels and cores to make an apple honey. This sounds wonderful! Have found fig jam freezes well as well as butters (apple, plum, peach). Have you tried freezing your jam? Yes/No?? Plan to try it soon and will probably experiment with freezing.

  22. 72
    Alison says:

    This jam is one of my favorites! So good. Similar to apple sauce, but DEFINITELY different. Very lemony. Great spread on top of chicken breast and baked.

  23. 73
    Gina says:

    Can I use a stock pot to make the jelly?

    • 73.1
      Marisa says:

      Stock pots aren’t the best vessels for making jams and jellies, because they inhibit evaporation and you want to encourage evaporation. If possible, you want to opt for a low, wide pan.

  24. 74
    Debbie says:

    What is the best apples to use????

  25. 75
    Angela says:

    Would it be possible to halve this recipe? Or even some of your other full recipes? I love your small batch recipes, and I know you aren’t really supposed to decrease the size of full recipes, do you have any tips or guides on how to make a small batch recipe similar to this and your other apple jams? Thanks! I love your work!

    • 75.1
      Marisa says:

      Yep, go ahead and cut this recipe in half. Nearly all of my larger batch recipes can easily and safely be divided in half. Just do the math. The warnings about changing recipes have more to do with increasing recipe size and altering proportions, than simply cutting recipes in half. You might also want to check a copy of my book, Preserving by the Pint, out of the library. It contains 100 really small batch recipes.

  26. 76
    Annie says:

    This recipe looks perfect now that apples are appearing at the farmers markets again. If I wanted to use half-pint jars or jelly jars instead of pints, how should I adjust the time (if at all)? Thanks so much!

  27. 77
    Alissa says:

    This is delicious!
    My taste is less sweet, so I reduced the sugar by 1/3. I also added some raw ginger (peeled and finely chopped (65 gms) with the lemon peel (which I added with the sugar and honey).
    p.s. I used natural sugar as I don’t like bleached food, but will use white sugar in the future as this sugar turned the jam to a light brown color.

  28. 78
    Elaine says:

    We have lots of cooking apples ready to pick, can i use them?

  29. 79
    Angela Kerr says:

    This was absolutely delicious and it helped me make good use of the applies from my tree, which I think are called “goodchild”. However, I found that although the mixture looked like it was going to set just fine, the processing after jarring made it more runny. Is that processing necessary, given the mixture starts out so hot and the jars are sterilized? I don’t recall processing other jams I’ve made, but I admit it has been a while!

    • 79.1
      Marisa says:

      Current wisdom is that all things need to be processed in a boiling water bath canner, including jams. Additionally, this one should firm back up after a day or two of cooling and sitting. Mine always have.

  30. 80
    Amanda says:

    Thank you for this recipe! we made it with great success today (using fresh squeezed lemons and honey crisp apples we picked about 1 month ago). The end product taste very lemony, of honey and apples. quite unconventional. We did add some pectin as insurance. Not sure if it was necessary. Based on the test tasters in our home, we would call this more attuned to an adult palate.

    We are thinking of trying to make a more “typical” apple pie flavor profile for our next batch, and still trying to get the broken down apple texture of this jam. With the idea that the apples break down better in acid (lemon juice), have you tried making the apple sauce in apple cider vinegar and then adding sugar, and spices?

    We may try it in a few weeks, so we will report back how it works out!

  31. 81
    Ron says:

    How would one adjust steps 2 (maybe?) and 3 for a pressure cooker?


  1. Happy Fall - September 24, 2012

    […] loads of Lemon Apple Cinnamon Jam. Siobhan did her own variation of this recipe from Food in Jars [here]. Siobhan doubled the recipe, used 3 tbs of cinnamon, reduced the sugar by 2 cups and swapped out […]

  2. DIY Lemon Honey Apple Jam « Domesticspace - October 9, 2012

    […] of our abundance of apples.  I love planning food around what looks good at the market.  We used this recipe from the Food in Jars blog and added 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and the seeds from one vanilla […]

  3. Honey Lemon Apple Jam Crumble Bars « Our Lady of Second Helpings - October 22, 2012

    […] the flowery language. Forget waxing poetic. I’m just going to level with you. This Honey Lemon Apple Jam is THE BEST JAM I HAVE EVER […]

  4. 55 Surprising Ways to Use Leftover Apples | Greatist - November 8, 2012

    […] Mush ’em into jam. Jam recipes usually call for a lot of sugar, but what sets this homemade jam apart from the store-bought stuff is that it’s made with fresh fruit and contains no […]

  5. Home Canning in the Winter Months: A Round-Up | Simple Bites - December 12, 2012

    […] Honey Lemon Apple Jam :: Food in Jars […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.