Corn Cob Jelly – Low Sugar

You read that right – Corn Cob Jelly. I was very skeptical when I first read a recipe for corn cob jelly. Very. Skeptical. I was happy to be wrong.Low Sugar Corn Cob Jelly l Homestead Lady (.com)

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Using the Harvest of Corn

When you’re canning corn, you end up with a pile of corn cobs. I usually just feed them to the chickens and don’t think anything about it.

I rarely make jelly because I prefer jam, with all its chunks and stuff inside. However, there I was reading along on some canning post and it mentioned corn cob jelly. I had never heard of it before but after some Googling discovered that there are recipes all over the place.

Pomona’s Pectin

I’m giving you the recipe I created to use with  my Pomona’s Pectin because the biggest problem with the other recipes I found was that they called for equal parts corn cob juice to sugar. Bleh.

I’m always using Pomona’s Pectin for my low or no sugar jam recipes because the reason I don’t like commercial jam is that its way, way too sweet for me. Pomona’s can be a little harder to work with than the other brands of pectin but I like the company and the product for my homemade jams. I’m not a very precise jam maker (I’m not a very precise anything maker) and I haven’t messed up yet with Pomona’s.

Corn Cob Jelly – Low Sugar Recipe

Use up those corn cobs after canning with this simple jelly.

Corn Cob Jelly - Low Sugar Recipe

Use up those corn cobs after canning with this simple jelly. This is a low sugar version using Pamona's Pectin.

  • 9 Cups Non-GMO Corn Cob Juice*
  • 3-4 Cups Organic Sugar or other sweetener Follow the instructions on the Pomona's packet for anything other than sugar
  • 4 Tbsps. Pomona's pectin
  • 1 tsp. Citric acid
* To make corn cob juice:
  1. Place your stripped cobs (they should be bare of corn kernels) in a large stew pot and cover with water.

  2. Bring to a boil and simmer well for about an hour.
  3. Remove cobs and put in your chicken bucket.  You can strain out the bits of corn that remain but I like them in my jelly and leave them on purpose.
To Finish Corn Cob Jelly:
  1. Put your juice and citric acid in a large stock pot on medium/high heat.**
  2. When the juice is hot, add two cups of sugar and taste it.  If you want, add the other cup.
  3. Bring to a boil and add the prepared pectin.***
  4. Return the mixture to a boil while stirring and boil for one minute.  Remove from heat.
  5. Ladle into hot jars, leaving a 1/2" headroom and process for 20 minutes in a water bath canner.  Remove from the water bath and place on a heat resistant surface.
  6. Don't move your jars or tap your lids for 12-24 hours unless you're certain each one has sealed.  You can know they've sealed if you hear a "pop".  Pomona's Pectin sets up once cooled, FYI.
Recipe Notes

**If you want to substitute the citric acid with lemon juice, scroll down to the post for a link from Pamona's to tell you how.

***You MUST read the instructions for preparing your pectin on the Pomona's insert.  This is the part that makes Pomona's different but its not hard.  You simply need to follow the instructions to liquefy the pectin properly.

Tips for Corn Cob Jelly

If you need to substitute lemon juice for the citric acid, just follow this link to Pomon’s site for instructions. When you have any questions about using their pectin, just go to the website because its really helpful! Never never used Pomona’s before? you might want to cut this recipe to about 1/3 to test it out.

I’m not particular about jams and jellies but some people have opinions on spreadability and firmness and all that. That kind of attention to detail is something I aspire to, but its not a skill I currently have.

Corn Cob Jelly - a unique treat l Homestead Lady

More on Jellies

I’m really not a big jam/jelly eater to begin with but as I was making this batch of corn cob jelly, I kept finding myself sniffing the brew. As I was ladling it into jars, I was cleaning up spills with my fingers and popping them into my mouth. The second I put the corn cob jelly into the water bath to process, I made a piece of toast and slathered it in Kerry Gold butter and leftover corn cob jelly. The baby came over and begged  spoonfuls and the both of us sat there eating like ravenous pigs.

To learn about more interesting and unique jams and jellies, please check on my friend Kathie’s book (you’ll know her from her fabulous blog Homespun Seasonal Living).

If you’re going to can corn…

Corn cob jelly is, simply put, a taste of fall. Its that taste of the air turning crisp in the mornings and at night, but the days are still warm and full of outdoor work. Its woodsy – almost like there’s a bonfire off in the distance. It tastes like school starting up again and moms calling their kids in for dinner. Needless to say, I’m making more. Corn cob jelly is a great motivation for bothering to can corn!!!

Corn cob jelly with low sugar - the taste of fall - Homestead Lady

For other ideas on what to do with corn cobs, they are, indeed, considered quite a treat by poultry everywhere. Or wild birds, if you don’t have a backyard flock. Charley from Cooke’s Frontier suggests drying the cobs a bit, covering them in peanut butter and bird seed and making a wild bird feeder with them – genius! This would be an excellent thing for the kiddos to do, in my opinion. If they’re busy with that, they wont be in the kitchen to catch you sneaking corn cob jelly.

The Rural Economist says in his best permaculture voice,

“I bury cobs under tomato plants. They soak up water and slowly release it back to the plant as the ground dries.” 

Dinner Tonight

If you have corn leftover, make this dairy free corn chowder from Nitty Gritty Mama and this delectable Cracklin Cornbread from Learning and Yearning. Yes, put corn cob jelly on it!

Free Sample

Dont’ forget to email me for that free sample from our book, The Do It Yourself Homestead! I’m hopeful the book will be helpful to you on a myriad of topics and homestead questions. Here’s what author Jan Berry has to say about the book:

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22 thoughts on “Corn Cob Jelly – Low Sugar

  1. Wow! Now, that’s a blast from the past! I used to find corn cob jelly at the Stuckey’s truck stops, traveling with my dad – to see my grandma, no less. 😀 Is been a very long time, and this is a very welcome recipe. Thank you!

  2. What a unique recipe and interesting recipe. I must say I have never heard of this before but think its great way to frugal. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays.

    1. Thanks, Marla! I don’t like throwing stuff away – sometimes I’m even stingy with the chickens. My next weird jelly is pit jelly made from the stones from stone fruits like plums and peaches. We’ll see…

  3. Just a note to let you know that I have chosen you post as one of my features on Real Food Fridays Blog hop that goes live tonight @ 7pm EST. Thanks for being part of Real Food Friday and sharing with us!

    1. Great question! If you’d like to use calcium water, the recommended 3/4 – 1 tsp is great! I hope it turns out well for you.

      1. I also was curious about the calcium water. Would it make a difference in the jelly if I were to use it? If so, please explain.

        Also, do you think it would be okay to use even less sugar in this recipe?

        I am so excited to try this on some buttered toast like you’d the baby.

        Thank you for sharing!

        1. So glad you’re going to make the jelly – it’s such a tasty way to preserve the corn harvest.

          If you’re using Pomona’s Pectin, you do need the calcium water because the pectin is activated by it, not the sugar. To learn more about that, you can visit this quick explanation from Pomona’s.

          Yes, you can experiment with using less sugar because you’ll have the calcium water to activate the pectin. However, you will want to use ph strips to test the acidity level to be sure it’s still safe to water bath can – always test the acidity when you change a recipe. To be sure you’re safe without testing, pop it into the pressure canner. If you don’t have a pressure canner, you can freeze your jelly instead of canning it.

          1. You bet! Let me know if you have any other questions along the way. Just a quick reminder, though the box is full of helpful information, sometimes Pomona’s Pectin takes awhile to set up. So, don’t be discouraged if your jelly is a bit wet when it comes out of the canner. I had a batch this year that was too soft for my liking, but a few weeks later it was more firm.

            Happy canning!

  4. How long using this recipe for the jelly to set? I’ve made jams for years and instead of going through a water bath, I turned the jars upside down to get a seal. For some reason (not using your Pomonas recipe) the jelly is not setting up. I’ve found through other recipe comments that it can take up to 4 days for Corn Cob Jelly to set. So I’m not sure if it is the lack of the water bath and therefore the jars being moved around that messed up the set process.

    1. Ah, figuring out gel set – one of the great mysteries of canning, right?! 🙂 Pomona’s Pectin can take longer than others for set – here are some insights from the PP website: I highly recommend you water bath can your jelly, though – it doesn’t take long and can ensure a safer product.

      I hope it ends up being to your liking!

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