Pear Jelly Recipe

Pear Jelly

Pear Jelly was the perfect way to use up the rest of the pears that were slowly ripening in a bag by my back door. We had a lot of pears, and you can only eat so many. After giving a lot of them away, and making Pear Gorgonzola Bites, some muffins and lots of salads, I still had a lot of pears. This jelly used them all up. Which is good, because when they all get ripe at once, there’s just no way we could eat them all.

Pear Jelly

Jelly Making vs Jam Making

I’ve made a lot of jam, but always hesitated to make jelly because it seemed complicated. What with having to extract juice from the fruit first. The first time I decided to tackle jelly making was Grape Jelly from our homegrown grapes. It turns out that there’s nothing complicated about jelly making. There is, however, a little passive time involved while you wait for the juice to extract. And passive time means you can get some other stuff done. (or not).

When making jelly, you use the whole fruit, skin and all, because the skin contains a lot of the fruit’s pectin. So there’s a little less effort required when it comes to peeling, coring, and chopping than if you were making jam.

If you want to make some jelly, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has some great info and tips. How to Make Jelly. This recipe comes from the Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving, which has over 400 recipes.

This Jelly is Not Just For Toast

I love the jewelled colours of little jars of jelly, all lined up neatly in the pantry. And they make great homemade gifts, too. Besides just toast, you can use this pear jelly as a glaze for meat or poultry. It also makes a great Asian style dipping sauce when mixed with some soy sauce and rice vinegar. Toss it, along with some balsamic vinegar, on winter squash before roasting. It’s delicious stirred into plain yogurt or hot oatmeal, too.

Pear Jelly

Pear Jelly Recipe

Pear Jelly is a versatile pantry item, and it's easy to make from scratch.
3.52 from 41 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Jams, Jellies, & Preserves
Cuisine Canning & Preserving
Servings 128 servings
Calories 63 kcal


  • 8 lbs ripe pears
  • 7 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Liquid Pectin 85 ml liquid pectin


  • Wash pears and remove the blossom and stem ends, but do not core or peel them
  • Cut pears into quarters and place in a large, deep stainless steel pot.
  • Add enough cold water to cover fruit, about 1 cup for each pound of pears
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat, cover and boil gently just until pears are softened, about 30 minutes, occasionally mashing with a potato masher
  • Transfer to a dampened jelly bag set over a deep bowl, or into a sieve lined with several layers of dampened cheesecloth.
  • Allow to drip at least 2 hours.
  • Don't press or squeeze the fruit, as this will cloud the jelly.
  • You should end up with 5 cups of pear juice.
  • Combine the collected pear juice and sugar into a large, deep, stainless steel pot.
  • Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat
  • Stir in liquid pectin and continue to boil hard, stirring constantly, for one minute
  • Skim off foam and transfer to hot sterilized jars
  • Wipe jar rims and apply lids and screw bands
  • Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes
  • Remove from canner and allow to cool before ensuring jars are sealed and storing.


Prep time includes two hours of passive time while the juice is extracting.
If you don't end up with the full five cups of juice, pour boiling water over the fruit in the jelly bag or sieve to make up the difference.
You can tell if your jars are sealed by pressing the center of the lid with your finger. If it springs back, the jar is not sealed. Reprocess any unsealed jars, or refrigerate and use them within a month.
Before reprocessing a jar that didn't seal, check the following: Is there a crack or nick in the rim of the jar? If so, you will need to transfer the contents to a new jar. Is the lid new and unwarped? Was the lid properly centered on the jar? Was the rim of the jar clean?


Serving: 2gCalories: 63kcalCarbohydrates: 15gPotassium: 28mgSugar: 14gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 1.2mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!

Pear Jelly Recipe

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46 thoughts on “Pear Jelly Recipe

  1. I have tried this recipe twice. Both times the jelly did not set. I tried cooking longer the 2nd time and it was a little thicker. I did have pretty ripe fruit so am wondering if it doesn’t have as much natural pectin. Any suggestions about adding additional pectin another half pouch or a whole pouch?

    1. Hi Sue. Sorry to hear that your jelly didn’t set. You are correct about the ripe fruit. Jelly is best made with slightly under-ripe fruit because the riper the fruit the less natural pectin. Also, check the expiry date on your pectin. If it’s expired it may not perform. You can salvage it though. Here’s a link with instructions:,the%20batch%20is%20under%20cooked.

    2. Sue, I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I will soon. In my experience, I’ve never gotten Certo (pouch pectin) to jell right. I always use sure Jell which is what I’ll use when I try this recipe. I’ve put up 130 pints of Muscadine jelly (and still making as I find pint jars!), 88 pints of strawberry fig, watermelon rind pickles, and just canned 48 quarts of pears this week! :O Every time I’ve tried Certo, it doesn’t set for me. I know it must for some folks or they wouldn’t sell enough to stay in business! You might try that. Sounds like a great recipe. After peeling and coring a million pears, I’ll be glad to just boil them!! Can’t wait!

    1. Hi Robert, By adding 7.5 cups of sugar. Check out other jelly recipes or go to a canning site. This recipe is tried and true from experienced jam & jelly makers in my family. Hope you try it!

  2. Hi Rose. I am totally unsure why your jelly didn’t set. There are a lot of factors. After three days, I can promise it won’t set. If you followed the recipe exactly, and if your pectin was not expired, the recipe would absolutely work for sure.

  3. I made some pear jelly last week and it was cloudy not clear. I used Pamonas pectin. Any ideas? Does your recipe produce clear jelly?

    1. Hi Sandi, Patience is required if you want clear jelly, it’s important to not to ever press the fruit when the juice is extracting. If you do, your jelly will be cloudy.

  4. I’ll be trying this recipe out shortly! We have two beautiful pear trees in the yard and we never use them so I decided it’s about dang time! My only question is this: I’ll be boiling my jars to seal them, what kind of lid would you recommend? The two part ones with rings and flat lids, or the one part ones that just screw on? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kitty, you’re so lucky to have those beautiful pear trees, so yes, it’s about time you made some jelly. 😊 For canning and jams / jellies, I always use the two part lids with rings and flat lids. I don’t know if screw on lids would seal, so to be safe, I would go with the two part. Good luck with your jelly! I would love to hear back how it turned out for you.

  5. It seems like lots of sugar for that amount of fruit and juice. Do you find the jelly sweet? Just made my juice tonight and will make the jelly tomorrow. We had lots of pairs this year in our back yard so this will be a true home made product.

    1. Hi Chros, This jelly turned out perfect. Jelly is usually sweet, but you could reduce the amount of sugar, however, I can’t guarantee the result. Isn’t it amazing to have backyard produce for homegrown to homemade? If you reduce the sugar, I would love to hear back on how it turned out. Happy jelly making!

  6. I bought a steamer to make the jelly. It produces lots of pear juice, which I can and store. Then later in the winter I take the canned juice and make pear jelly. Do the same with apples. Perfection and not messy, plus don’t need patience watching that stuff drip, drip, drip.

    1. Hi Kevin. A steamer sounds like a great idea! So awesome that you found a way to make jelly that works for you. Cheers, and happy jelly making. 🙂

  7. Colleen,
    I love your easy recipe Thanks, I made jelly every summer. I put less sugar in this recipe and came out good. GODBLESS!!!

    1. Hi Gemma! I’m really happy to hear that this pear jelly turns out great with less sugar. Thanks for letting me know, because I’m going to try using less next time. Thank you so much for stopping by. ❤️

        1. Hi Cindy, yes you can use 2 tbsp of powdered pectin, and you will need to completely dissolve the pectin in the juice before adding the sugar. Good luck!

  8. Hi I have the reduced sugar crystal pectin. Do you know what the conversion from the liquid pectin to the crystal is? I am thinking of using the same amounts that I use for crabapple jelly….thoughts? And if you have time to answer two questions….why do some jelly’s/jams need to be put in the water bath while others do not? Thank you

    1. Hi Victoria, You would use two tablespoons of the crystals, and be sure to dissolve the crystals into the juice before adding sugar, bringing to a full boil over high heat, then adding the sugar and returning to a full rolling boil for one minute. To be on the safe side, I always use a water bath unless I’m making a very small amount that can go in the fridge and be used up right away.

    1. Hi Kristine, Isn’t it both wonderful and a chore to have so many pears at once? You can sub powdered pectin for the liquid, but you will need to adjust the recipe a bit. Use two tablespoons of powdered pectin. Before adding sugar, whisk the powder into the juice until dissolved. Bring to a boil, stirring, over high heat. Then add sugar all at once, returning to full rolling boil. Boil hard for one minute. Good luck with your jelly!

  9. Just a quick question or 2! So boiling seeds and all is safe? And also no lemon juice needs to be added? First time making pear jelly. And was just wondering about these 2 questions

    1. Hi Jennifer, yes boiling seeds and all is safe. The seeds and peels contain a lot of pectin, and will be strained out. And, no lemon juice needs to be added. Good luck with your jelly!

  10. Dumb question, but this is my first time making jelly… when you say to transfer it to the jelly bag, you mean just the boiled pears, right? Not the water that I boiled them in as well?

    1. Hi Chris, no question is a dumb question! When you cook the pears, mashing them occasionally, you’ll end up with kind of a pear purée. You transfer the whole thing to the jelly bag. Best wishes for your first jelly!

  11. This looks so elegant. I like the color of the jelly and those pretty jars! My favorite winter fruit are pears. However, I have never tried a pear jelly and must try this.

  12. I have never made jelly, and only once have I made freezer jam. My mom was a canning fanatic. The cold room was filled with jars or preserves. Unfortunately this did not rub off on me. Your jelly sounds delicious. I love pears.

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