Apple jelly is flavorful and sweet. It is among my favorite jellies that I use for toppings and baking. It has a bitter aftertaste that leaves you wanting more.
I often find myself scooping some and eating it. I have to hide, however, because this will set a bad example for the kids.
Apple jelly is widely available, so availability cannot be why you want to substitute it unless you run out of it and have to use what you have at hand.
Other than running out of apple jelly, you might be looking for a substitute in your apple pie, because you do not like it or want something sweeter. Whatever your reason, I got you covered.
There are several apple jelly substitutes that you can quickly get and use. They are pear jam, peach jam, marmalade, honey, apricot jam, fig jam, and grape jelly.
Apple jelly is a fruit spread that people make by combining apple juice with sugar and additives. It is a bit acidic hence the slightly bitter taste. The bitter taste is, however, overshadowed by the sugar.
You can easily get apple jelly in the grocery stores. Or if you are one who enjoys gardening, you can pick some from your apple tree. If you feel motivated, you can find an apple jelly recipe and make the jelly from scratch in your kitchen.
You need apples, water, sugar, and any other ingredient that add to its flavor profile. Mostly, you just need the apples, water, and sugar.
To make the apple jelly from scratch, you need to peel the apples in a pan and add some water. Boil the mixture for half an hour. You can actually use a slow cooker for this. Sieve the mixture and put the apple juice in another pan.
Add sugar and boil the mixture in a large pot for another twenty minutes. Pour the mixture into a jar and let it cool.
You can place apple jelly in a jelly bag and store it in the refrigerator for two days before use. Afterwards you can remove it and place it at room temperature before using it.
Most people use apple jelly as a spread for bread. The Apple flavor is just amazing. You can, however, use it while baking your favorite cakes to give them that distinct taste or in other recipes.
Apple Jelly Alternatives
We have all been there. You want to use an ingredient in a recipe only to discover it is depleted. The same can happen for apple jelly. When you need it, you realize you don’t have it.
Other times, you come across a recipe that requires you to use apple jelly, but you hate it.
In such times, an alternative comes in handy. Below, I will discuss some apple jelly substitutes that you can use. Let us dive in.
1. Peach Jam
Peach has the same color and shape as some apples. It is also acidic, and when people use it to make jam, the jam has a similar taste to apple jelly and has a sweet flavor.
Peaches are seasonal, but their jams are around all year. They are also widely available and are sold in almost all grocery stores. You can make some peach jam at home if you have some fresh peaches. Another great thing is that peaches have a high pectin content.
This jam is one of the best alternatives to apple jelly because they taste the same. The good news is, that you can use peach preserves if you can’t find a peach jam. The difference between the preserve and the jam is how people make them.
To make peach jam, the manufacturers crush the peaches completely, while when making the preserve, they use chunks of the peach. They, however, serve the same purpose in a recipe.
Marmalades are a common alternative you can use in place of apple jelly because they are acidic and have a thickening agent. This agent helps thicken your soups and sauce when you use them in a recipe.
Most of us are familiar with either orange or citrus marmalade. These are common breakfast spreads in most families.
These marmalades are derived from fruits and have a tangy flavor. The taste might be tangier when you use a marmalade than apple jelly.
Depending on what dish you are preparing, you can add a sweetener like honey. For example, if you use marmalade to make a cake and find it a bit tangy, you can add honey to curb the bitterness.
3. Pear Jam
This tropical fruit is available all over. Like apples, they are sweet, crunchy, and a bit acidic. Pears are packed with pectin, which helps to thicken the pear jam.
You can buy jam from the grocery store or make some for yourself. Making pear jam is the same as that making apple jerry. For pear jelly, however, you have to add lime juice.
This jam has an almost exact taste to that of apple jelly. They are both sweet with a tangy flavor. You can use pear jam in recipes such as making chicken BBQ and baking. You can also spread it on bread to give it the desired flavor and sweetness.
4. Apricot jam
I have only used apricot jam once. I have never used it again because it has this lingering taste that I did not enjoy. Seeing we are not the same, most people enjoy apricot jam. It is sweet and fruity, and you can apply it in any recipe that requires you to use apple jelly.
Most cooks use this jam in fruit salads, barbeques, and baking. You can also apply it to your bread and enjoy it for breakfast. Consequently, you can use it as a sweetener if you are a fan of its taste.
When using this jam on your bread, I would advise you to pair it with ricotta cheese and your coffee or milk. I prefer milk with bread and jam since it pairs so well with the sweetness of the jam. However, you can opt for a black coffee or a glass of juice.
Honey is common, and everybody knows what it is. I bet you have it in your house because it is a common sweetener. Cooks also use honey in a variety of recipes.
I use honey when making chicken, baking, sweetening drinks, and as a salad topping. It pairs quite well with virgin olive oil if you want to use it as a topping.
Honey lacks some of the characteristics of apple syrup. For example, it lacks the tanginess and acidity of the jelly. Despite that, it is equally sweet, if not sweeter, than apple jelly, and you can use it anywhere you can use apple jelly. It is also a healthier choice of spread.
What makes honey a perfect substitute for apple jelly, other than being sweet, is that it is one of the only things a person can find all over. Even people who don’t love cooking have a very high possibility of having honey in their homes.
So, if you are in a hurry and cannot access apple jelly, you can use honey. You can squeeze some lemon juice into the honey to give it that tangy flavor.
6. Fig Jam
As the name suggests, fig jam is made from figs. You need figs, water, sugar, and lemon juice to make the jam. Figs have enough natural pectin; hence you do not need additional pectin.
Fig jam is not common, and some people find it strange. Not me, though. If you come across it, you should buy it.
The best part is that figs have multiple uses in the kitchen as you can use them to make fruit butters
Besides being a great substitute for apple jelly, it also has tremendous health benefits.
You can substitute apple jelly with fig jam in all your recipes. To use fig jam effectively, I would advise you to beat it with a mixer for a while. It will improve the consistency of the jam.
7. Grape Jelly
Grape jelly is a jelly-like spread which is sweet and has a flavor that goes with various dishes. Due to its complementary flavor, it is a perfect substitute for apple jelly.
They may not have an exact taste, or color due its dark color but they are both sweet and substitute each other in multiple dishes.
I am a huge fan of grape jelly. Despite being sweet, it also has a ton of health benefits. You can use grape jelly to make a perfect sauce for your pork or chicken wings. You can also soften it and use it as a topping in your bread, waffles, pancakes, or salad.
Supposing you realize you do not have apple jelly, you can use grape jelly if you have some. Supposing you do not have any, you can buy them from the store.
Other Best Substitutes to consider
8. Blackcurrant Jelly
9. Pumpkin Butter
10. Raspberry Jam
11. Apple Jam
12. Pineapple Jam
13. Plum Jelly
14. Blackberry Jam
15. Strawberry Jelly
16. Strawberries Lemon
17. Juice Mango
18. Pineapple Grape Jelly
19. Apple Sauce
20. Marinara Sauce
21. Cooked Prunes
22. Tomato Paste
24. Peanut Butter
25. Cranberry Sauce
26. Quince Jam
27. Hot Pepper Jelly
28. Guava Jelly
29. Rhubarb Jam
31. Orange Jam
32. Peach Jelly
We all have our reasons why we want to substitute apple jelly. Some do not like it, while others run out of it and require an alternative.
Depending on what you are looking for, you may find some with similar flavor, while others taste completely different. Some might go for alternatives that taste like citrus fruits, while others may choose a fruit juice, and others may have less sugar.
No matter what your reason is, I have you sorted. I have discussed above the best apple jelly substitutes that I know of.
Most of these substitutes taste like apple jelly, while others do not and might work for your savory dishes recipes. I have recommended ways to improve the taste for those who do not.
After going through all the apple jelly substitutes, I have recommended, I know you will find a great way to spice up your recipes by using one of these options. You will come out with a substitute that will work best for you. Happy Cooking