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14 May 2013

How to Make Redbud and Lilac Jellies

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How to Make Redbud and Lilac Jellies is sponsored by the amazing blooming garden outside my window and Amazon Affiliates.

Last year about this time, I made a peach pie with redbuds and wrote a piece for Dearest Nature exhorting the amazing goodness of redbuds as little edible garnishes.  About that same time, I really wanted to make a redbud jelly, but alas, I waited too long.  The redbuds had already started falling from the branches and there were not enough left to can.  I determined that redbud jelly would be on the list FOR SURE this spring and today I bring you the result!

Supplies:

Redbuds (and Lilacs -- see below!)
Canning Jars
Fresh Canning Lids
Boiling Water
Sugar
Lemon Juice
Unflavored Pectin (This is what makes jelly JELLY!)

*Highlighted products are linked to Amazon for your perusal

Step #1  

The process is simple really.  Pick the flower buds from the branches when they are in bloom (Zone 5, you have about another week to get them I presume!) and simply place them into a jar.  Rinse once to get rid of dirt, but do this quickly and only once as the color leaches quickly!

Step #2  

Poor boiling water over the buds in the canning jar.  Let the can sit for 24 hours.  (PS - USE a canning jar as they are made for super high heat!)


Notice how the color starts leaching almost immediately out of the buds.  It is kind of amazing!  

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See that purple can hiding back there behind the redbuds?  Those would be lilac buds.  While I was out gathering redbuds, I saw the lilacs were in bloom and thought I would go ahead and make both.  The process is the same -- just different flowers!  


Surprisingly, my variety of lilacs gave me almost the exact same color as the redbuds.  Shocking how it went from bright and deep purple to saturated PINK!  Maybe it knew we were celebrating news of a new baby GIRL!! ;)


Moving on in the process though....

Step #3

Once the buds have sat for 24 hours, simply strain the liquids into a fresh jar, squeezing the buds to get out all the color and flavor you can!  Isn't it a beautiful color??


Step #4

Once you have your flavored floral liquids, you will choose between an instant pectin and a classic pectin.  You are supposed to be able to stir the instant pectin and sugar in, stir for 3 minutes then chill, but it did not work that well for me.  I had much better luck with the CLASSIC pectin.  The process is still very simple.  The classic just needs heating.  

Step #5

For classic pectin, add your liquid to a pot, add sugar, pectin (it looks like the powder in Jello!) and enough water to get up to the ratios listed on the pectin packaging.  Also add in 1 T of lemon juice to add a little bite to the floral flavor.   Heat to a boil, constantly stirring, turn heat down and stir for 3 minutes.  Decant into a jar, chill and voila!  You are done!

Update from comments:
I left the recipe a bit vague because:

#1 Each brand a pectin is slightly different.  Check the back of the packaging for exact measurements.

#2 You will want to add SLIGHTLY more pectin than normal since you are dealing with floral liquid instead of fruit (which has naturally occurring pectin).

#3  I used 3.5 Tablespoons per ball jar to get these to set, using the hot method, not the instant.




It honestly is just as simple as making Jello, so if you have mastered Jello, you can master any floral jellies!  (...and pst....don't tell the canning aficionados  but these are SOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier than fruit jellies where you have to pit, clean, hull and smash the fruit!  Go flowers!)

Want to see how I top these jars of jelly off for gifting?  (Psst -- it costs just a few pennies!) CLICK HERE for my secrets!


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For those of you that love-love-love canning, I've assembled my favorite tools, supplies and book for you below. If you choose to click over to Amazon and purchase these or any other product, I will receive a small bit of compensation. Every little bit helps and I appreciate you supporting A Nest for All Seasons with your everyday Amazon buys! THANK YOU!

5 COMMENTS:

Sherry Clarke Tuesday, May 14, 2013  

I never knew how easy this was. Now I can't wait to try it myself! Thanks for great the tutorial. :)

Betty Brock-Porter Sunday, May 19, 2013  

I would love to make this as my yard is loaded with lilacs - but the ingredient list is too vague for me - please how much sugar, pectin and lilac liquid??? Thanks

AR Sunday, May 19, 2013  

How much powdered Pectin did you add? Thanks in advance. Excited to try this! THANKS! ~ AR

Amy Renea Monday, May 20, 2013  

Thanks for the comments! I left the recipe a bit vague because:

#1 Each brand a pectin is slightly different. Check the back of the packaging for exact measurements.

#2 You will want to add SLIGHTLY more pectin than normal since you are dealing with floral liquid instead of fruit (which has naturally occurring pectin).

#3 I used 3.5 Tablespoons per ball jar to get these to set, using the hot method, not the instant.

Hope that helps!

Kirameku Thursday, May 22, 2014  

This looks amazing! Thank you so much for posting and making it look so easy! :D
And congrats on your baby girl my dear! :D

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