Use the beautiful, edible blossoms of spring and summer to make delicious flower jellies.
These flower jelly recipes are delicious to eat and beautiful to give as gifts. It’s a great way to share the garden or local foraging adventures with friends and family.
Jewel-toned jars full of sweet and floral flavors are a great way to expand and embellish your food preservation efforts.
Making flower jellies is a great way to not only take advantage of purposely planted blooms but also wildflowers and weeds, too.
Start with Edible Flowers
Obviously, we need to start with edible flowers in order to make a safe floral jelly.
Always be sure of proper identification before gathering and ingesting.
Some flowers are more tasty than others but here’s a handy list of common flowers that make excellent jellies, to get you started:
- Bee Balm
- Clover (Red & White)
- Queen Anne’s Lce
- Rose (Petals & Hips)
Most of the time, you’ll want to gather flower petals to make your homemade jelly.
You’ll need several cups of just the flower petals for jelly, so be sure to gather plenty of flower heads to pull that many petals from.
Gather flowers from unsprayed areas and away from roadways to keep pesticides and road dirt from your jelly.
Put the flowers in a colander and spray it all off with some cold water.
Let them drain and then give them a spin in the salad spinner to remove excess water.
Then feel free to proceed to the jelly making process.
Dried Versus Fresh Flowers
Make the tea for flower jelly from fresh or dried flowers. To substitute dried flowers for fresh – use 1/3 of the called for amount. For example, make the tea with 1/3 Cup of dried flowers instead of 1 Cup of fresh flowers.
If the harvest season is too busy to make time for flower jelly, dry those flowers and make the tea in the dark evenings of late fall.
This spring and summer make the most of those beautiful blooms and make flower jellies that can be stored and enjoyed in the winter season.
Start with Tea
All flower jellies start with making a kind of herbal tea infusion. Because flowers are not juiced like fruits for jelly, tea is how we get the flavor and the juice to gel.
The basic process is to just put the flower petals into a heat proof container and cover with boiling water. Then let the flowers infuse into the water for a couple of hours or even overnight.
After the infusing is done, simply strain the petals from the water and proceed with the recipe.
Liquid choices – plain water works great. But there are other choices as well, think apple juice or white wine. These would obviously add different but no less wonderful flavors.
Heavy on the Sugar
There is a lot of sugar in flower jelly. This is because the herbal tea is rather low acid and the sugar makes it safe for canning.
Don’t be tempted to make it lower sugar because it might not have the necessary acidity for water bath canning.
The sugar is also, often, necessary for the pectin to actually gel the flower tea. Yes, there are different varieties of pectin but for flower jellies stick to the recipe so that your canned goods are safe for consumption.
There are a number of pectin choices – powdered, liquid, low-sugar, high-sugar, etc. etc.
Jelly making can be slightly fickle, it’s worthwhile but sometimes fickle. For best results, use the type of pectin called for in the recipe to ensure proper gelling. Otherwise you might end up with more of a syrup instead of a jelly.
A floral syrup is still a wonderful thing and can be used for making sweet drinks or putting on top of pancakes but isn’t exactly the goal here. If you end up with syrup, still use it just as a syrup not a jelly.
The only other common ingredient in most jellies is lemon juice. This adds extra acidity to the product but it also affects the pectin’s ability to do its job.
Don’t skip the lemon juice otherwise, again, the jelly might not gel.
Save for Gifts
Homemade jellies make for wonderful gifts, especially these floral varieties.
These are a great way to share your garden and/or foraging adventures with everyone you love – it’s also a great way to make gifts ahead of time and simply pull them off the pantry shelves later.