Spruce Tip Jelly Recipe | Dessert Recipes | PBS Food

Yield: 5-6 half-pint jelly jars


  • 6 cups spruce tips
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup bottled lemon juice*
  • 5 tsp Pomona's pectin (+ 5 tsp calcium water provided in the Pomona's package)
  • 1/4 cup good quality honey (optional)


  1. Roughly chop the spruce tips to release their aromatic oils. (I didn't do this in the video but have since found that it releases more of the flavor). Place the chopped tips in a medium-large non-reactive heavy-bottomed pot with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for about 3 minutes and then remove from heat. Allow the spruce to steep until the mixture reaches room temperature. (If you'd like a stronger flavor, allow the spruce to steep in the water overnight. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor).
  2. Using a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer, strain out all the spruce needles so that only the liquid stays behind. Mix this liquid with the lemon juice and 5 teaspoons of calcium water (provided in the Pomona's Pectin package). Bring to a boil. Whisk the pectin powder into the sugar and mix well. Add the pectin-sugar mixture to the boiling liquid, whisking vigorously to fully dissolve the pectin and avoid clumping. Continue whisking until mixture returns to a full boil. Remove from heat. Fill hot, sterilized half-pint (8 oz) to 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth and screw on the 2-piece lids.
  3. Store your jelly in the fridge, it will keep for up to a month.
  4. For longer storage, process the jars in a water bath. If this is your first time canning, please read full, detailed instructions on water bath canning here. Place the filled jars in boiling water, making sure they are fully submerged and covered by a minimum of one inch of water above the lids. Boil for 10 minutes, adding 1 minute more for every 1000ft above sea level. Remove from water and allow the jars to cool. The next day, check the seals to make sure each jar is properly sealed. Eat within 1 year. *If water bath canning, be sure to use bottled lemon juice because it has standardized acidity to ensure food safe canning.


Note 1: You can use other brands of pectin if you prefer but I recommend Pomona's to ensure proper gelling since this is a reduced-sugar recipe.

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