We made wildflower jelly at the wildflower retreat weekend, but of course all of that jelly went home with the attendees. Yesterday I went flower-picking to make some for me! One of the first questions people always ask me about wildflower jelly is, What does it taste like? It tastes nectar-like. Sort of like a different kind of honey. It’s made in the same way corn cob jelly is made (steeping the husks in water to make an infusion). In this case, it’s steeping flowers. You can make any kind of herb jelly the same way. I have a simple recipe here, and this is how it works.
Remove the stems and leaves, and wash your picked wildflowers in cold water. The easiest way to do this is fill a big bowl with cold water then dunk the flowers. Flower petals are delicate–best to not pour water on top of them. Rather, pour the water first then dunk the flowers. Swish the flowers around in the water to release any dirt or bugs, etc.
I was using daisies, red clover, and dandelions.
Measure the washed flowers, and add one cup of water per cup of flowers, combining the flowers and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the infusion steep overnight, drawing out all the nectar-y goodness. Strain the infusion through cheesecloth (and don’t forget to squeeze out the last drops of the infusion from the cheesecloth–that’s where the best stuff is!).
Measure the steeped infusion and put it back in the large pot. Add one package of powdered pectin per two cups of infusion. One package of pectin will set up to two cups strained infusion. For four cups infusion, use two packages, and so on. There is no natural pectin in flower petals and herbs, so a lot of pectin is required.
Per cup of strained infusion, also add 1/8 cup lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Add two cups sugar per cup of infusion. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Ladle hot jelly into hot jars. Process in a boiling water bath 10 minutes.
This makes some pretty jelly, huh? Surprisingly delicious–and you can’t beat it for unusual! (Not to mention….it’s nearly free!)
As a slight variation, you can also combine wildflowers and fruit. Steep quartered or sliced apples or peaches, or throw some berries in the pot, whatever. Steep the fruit with the flowers to make a fruity flower jelly. I’ve made an apple wildflower jelly, and it was delicious, like a honeyed apple jelly between the nectar-like taste of the wildflowers and the apples.
Get the printable of this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes here.