Purple Hull Jelly

Purple Hull Pea season

    It’s that time of year again… Purple Hull Pea season.  Whether you just eat them fresh now, freeze them, dry them, or can them for later use, they are a southern staple.  Not being from the south, even though I always considered Kentucky southern, it wasn’t far enough south to know about these little peas that get rave reviews.  That being the case, this full grown adult had to look online to find out how to cook the little delicacy.  

    Among my searches, I came across a recipe for purple hull jelly. Really, I thought? That can’t be for real.  I was intrigued and remembered it. So after a couple of years of shelling peas and having all these purple hulls that get thrown away, I figured, why not? Let’s try it.  

     Well, it worked! I ended up with a jelly that, from the description, tasted like grape jelly. Not exactly, but just use your imagination.  Since I’m convinced I was born in the wrong era and just love to learn how to make something from what most people dispose of, it’s become a summer tradition around our house.  Purple hull jelly is one of those things that’s great to give away as gifts, and see the faces of those who think you made jelly from peas. Then you have to explain…or not.  

    I will say this recipe has a ridiculous amount of sugar, but it’s a novelty. And since you’re not sitting eating a whole jar at a time, it’s ok, right?  Hope you try this little oddity of the south!

Purple Hull Pea Jelly

Purple Hull Pea Hulls -1 gallon hulls makes 8-12 cups juice

4 cups juice (made from hulls)

5 cups sugar

1 pkg. Sure Jell

2 T. lemon juice

To make juice:

Wash hulls at least twice.

Put hulls in large pan with enough water to cover hulls. (Use filtered water, or spring water.)

Bring to boil, boil over low heat 8-10 minutes. Turn off heat, let sit covered for a few hours, or overnight.

Pour off juice, use paper towel or cheesecloth to strain.


To make jelly:

Measure sugar in bowl.

Put 4 cups juice in pan, add 1 box sure jell, and 2 T. lemon juice.

Bring to a full boil.

Add sugar, return to full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat, skim off any foam if needed.

Ladle into jars, with 1/8” headspace.

Wipe rims and threads, cover with 2 piece lids.

Water bath for 5 minutes.


Makes 5-6 cups


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