October 16, 2014

Jelly Summer

Violet Jelly
Jam or jelly? Mostly, I seem to make jam. Dan loves strawberry and we have tons of blueberries and figs, so these lend themselves well to pantry shelves loaded with pint jars of jam. I confess my favorite has always been jelly, especially muscadine. That's a fall thing, though, and this past summer I've been experimenting with flower jellies.

It started with that violet jelly I made last April. My daughter was visiting and was intrigued at the idea of making something so beautiful and edible from flowers. She started looking up flower jelly recipes and we ended up making quite a few different kinds.

Honeysuckle Jelly
The basic recipe is the same: to make an infusion of the selected flower and use the "tea" as the "juice" for the jelly. They all have lemon juice for the acidity, and so have a slightly tangy flavor, but each one has a delicate flavor in it's own right. The white clover and honeysuckle jellies taste like honey!

We used half-pint jars and ended up with nearly two dozen total. They make wonderful gifts!

Daylily Jelly
Once the garden harvest is done I will turn to making elderberry and my annual mixed fruit jelly. I've still got green beans, okra, and black turtle beans to harvest and preserve. Tomatoes and green peppers are down to just a few now and then for salads. Also still to harvest our my three beds of sweet potatoes. Then I can pull out the various fruits I've gathered and frozen, and get to work on jelly and jam making once again.

White Clover Jelly
I have about four gallons frozen elderberries, a handful of wild blackberries, two handfuls of sand cherries, and my red raspberry. :) Plenty of frozen blueberries too, which could contribute to the jelly making as well.

The only other thing I have in the freezer is a small amount of dandelion petals. I hoped to collect enough to make dandelion jelly as well, but didn't manage enough for this year. Maybe next year.

Rose Petal Jelly
Flower jellies will be on my list of annual jellies to make from now on. You can see how pretty they are and they certainly do taste good too.


13 comments:

Dani said...

Leigh - I've never made jam from frozen fruit - do you adjust the water you add to allow for melting ice?

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

I'm starting to make apple jellies now that the apple harvest is in.
Blackberry and apple jelly, raspberry and apple jelly and mint jelly (to go with roast lamb)
The berries are frozen, which as you know does destroy the pectin somewhat, but apples are rich in pectin, so no problem !
Your jellies look so pretty.
Gill

Farmer Barb said...

Up here in Northeastern Suburbia if anyone ever heard you say you didn't get enough dandelion petals you would get a prompt invitation to come over! Maybe it is too hot for yours. In my yard, the sheep knock each other down to get to the THOUSANDS of them.

I feel a "how to" is necessary for us on the dandelions. Did you take pictures?

Leigh said...

Dani, I admit I don't follow specific water amounts. Usually the recipe says crush fruit and just cover with water for cooking down. I do let the frozen fruit defrost first. Then add enough water to cover and proceed as for fresh fruit.

Frozen fruit jams are even easier because there is no straining. I find the taste of both fresh and frozen fruit jams and jellies to be the same. :)

Gill, I didn't know that about pectin. But, I always add boughten pectin anyway. I'm hoping my crabapple tree will produce well enough next year so that I can make my own!

Barb, LOL. We do have dandelions, I just couldn't seem to find many when I was wanting to make jelly. Or when I did, I was busy picking for canning and didn't have time to cut off all the petals (time consuming!)

What we have the most of, is false dandelion. Leaves are similar but flower heads are tall. The goats love the flowers and clear the field of them readily.

Renee Nefe said...

I don't think that my husband gets giving canned goods as gifts. We recently had our friends watch our dog while on vacation. My plan was to give them some of my apple butter, some jalapeno jelly and some tea. He wanted me to also give them a gift card. :-/ I gave her just the jellies and tea. She was pleased.

I need to see if I have enough jalapenos to make my own batch. The one I gave a way was given to me by a friend...swap for apple butter.

Mama Pea said...

Flower jellies! What a beautiful idea! I used to make around 100 pints of different jams each year (there were more of us around then than just the two of us!) but now we find we've cut our jelly/jam consumption waaaay down. I really do miss making them though because jams and pickles are favorites of mine to preserve. Your flowers jellies look bee-yew-tiful!

Leah said...

Flower jellies, that is something I have never even seen done! Now I will have to try it! What a great gift for the holidays I agree, my coworkers would love that. Now you have given me something to add to my list for next summer.

Quinn said...

Flower jellies - well, all jellies, really - are so pretty! I think flower jellies sound as pretty as they look :)

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

That sounds like a lot of jams and jellys for two people! We are not big jelly or jam eaters but I prefer jam. This year I froze raspberry jam and I think that has become our favorite! Sounds like you still have a lot of harvesting to do! Nancy

Woolly Bits said...

I don't make as much jelly as I used to - I am pretty much the only one who eats them here:( but one I do like: crapapple with scented geranium leaves in it, delicious! they are underrated anyway, a leaf into each muffin base and the taste changes so much! and I was going to offer dandelion as well - pity that it wouldn't last in the mail:) have you tried dandelion honey?

Sandy said...

Leigh,

Slow on the draw, I've been out of town. Now I'm trying to catch up reading and commenting on my favorite blogs.

I love any kind of jams or jellies made from flowers, berries, or even some vegetables.

Jake said...

We end up making jams more frequently in our neck of the woods also, but did get a batch of dandelion jelly made this summer.

http://homesteadlaboratory.blogspot.com/2014/05/more-fun-with-dandies-how-to-pull-petals.html

It was totally worth it, even though it took forever to pull out all those petals. And now, thanks to this post, we've got a bunch more flowers to try! Already can't wait until spring...

Leigh said...

Sandy, veggie jams and jellies? Intriguing! I've made green tomato jam, which I really like. Can you give me a few other ideas?

Jake, thank you! I have some dandelion petals in the freezer, but next year I'll make an effort to get more. I'd love to try the jelly.