Winter spice jelly

Winter spice jelly

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(7 ratings)

Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins 20 mins + straining and chilling

More effort

Makes 2 jars
This spiced jam can be stored to eat with meat or cheese or presented as a homemade gift

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal125
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars33g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.01g


  • 1kg cooking apple
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 15 cloves



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • half nutmeg, grated



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 4 allspice berries
  • 1 blade mace, or ¼ tsp ground mace
  • 4 long pieces orange peel
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 450g jam sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 100ml cider vinegar


  1. Wash and cut up the apples into small chunks, leaving the peel and cores in. Tip the apple into a large pan with the spices, orange peel and bay leaves, reserving 2 star anise, 4 cloves and 2 bay leaves for the jars. Cover with 600ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer with a lid on for 1 1⁄2 hrs.

  2. Pour the apple mixture into a jelly bag or a sieve lined with muslin or a J-cloth, suspended over a large bowl. Leave to drip for 2 hrs (until it stops dripping) or overnight. Do not be tempted to push the liquid though the sieve or your jelly will become cloudy.

  3. Measure the juice – you should have about 600ml. Pour the liquid into a large pan along with the jam sugar and vinegar.

  4. Set over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly. Once dissolved, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 15 mins, or until setting point is reached, skimming away any scum that rises to the surface.

  5. Pour jelly into hot sterilised jars and place a star anise, bay leaf and 2 cloves into each jar. Chill for 3-4 hrs or overnight until set.

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Comments, questions and tips

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10th Nov, 2019
I love this recipe...I used ground nutmeg and allspice and had no mace but the warming flavour of this jelly is still amazing. I substituted the jam sugar with granulated sugar but added a whole lemon and orange quartered at stage 1 (before straining) and the jelly set perfectly. Can’t wait for people to try this at Christmas. I made 4 times the recipe quantities and it yielded 13 x 200g jars. Delicious!
13th Nov, 2016
If you add a couple of blackberries to the jelly whilst boiling it gives the jelly a lovely colour. I also added a bit of Port too!
philinbrighton's picture
23rd Dec, 2015
I was worried when making this that the strained juice was very cloudy. I pushed on anyway and made sure that when the jelly was boiling up with the sugar that it was fully and regularly skimmed. This seemed to work well and left me with a beautiful clear jelly. Can't wait to try it.
26th May, 2014
I loved this! it turned out to be easier than i expected and although i did squeeze the muslin bag (naughty) it did not turn it cloudy at all. a star anise in each pot i thought would have been too much (i made little jars for christmas hamper gifts) but in hindsight would have been fine. the one jar i still have is going strong 6 months after i made it and is still delicious.
16th Sep, 2014
How much/how many jars did this recipe make?
7th Oct, 2013
Made this successfully, but although it does taste nice, my jelly was cloudy, so there wasn't any point in putting in the star anise or bay as they wouldn't be seen through the murk! I did not squeeze the jelly bag as I know that this can cause cloudiness. All my other jellies have come out beautifully, so not sure where I went wrong with this.
26th Sep, 2013
Just made this Jelly... the use of a thermometer made it simple and it has set well. Substituted some of the liquid with cider but it could have stood some more spice (cloves and mace I think)
10th Nov, 2012
I tried to make this last night. I couldn't find sugar with added pectin, so I had to use the two separately. It looked a little liquidy before leaving to set and - hoping it would set overnight, I came into the kitchen this morning to find them in the same consistency as last night :( Do you know how much pectin would be required, and if this would mean I would need less sugar? I was really looking forward to this, as it smelt delicious! Ach well....maybe next time. I wont give it any stars as it was probably my fault!
26th Sep, 2012
Just a small update, my second lot of jelly did not set (but I've put this down to a bad cooking day as my fudge didn't set either =s) but it did make a very nice syrup and goes well with ice cream or in tea and adds a festive twist to Apple turnovers.
10th Feb, 2012
This was truly delicious. It is a lovely accompaniment to cold meats and so easy to make and the gorgeous smell whilst cooking spread through the house.


14th Nov, 2019
How long does this store unopened?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Nov, 2019
Thanks for your question. It will last for 3-4 months as long as the jars have been sterilised properly, the jelly wasn’t contaminated after pouring it into the jars and it’s kept in a cool place. We'd suggest checking it every month just to make sure.
10th Nov, 2019
I substituted jam sugar with granulated sugar and added a lemon and Orange quartered at stage 1 before straining. The jelly set perfectly!
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