One of our Farmer's Market customers recently shared a story about a family tradition of making Queen Anne's Lace Jelly. It inspired me to try it myself. I'm really glad I did!
My first task was to delegate the gathering of flowers to my 13-year old son and his friend. I made sure they knew what to get, handed them their bucket and went back to my research. About an hour later they returned with a nice bucket full of lacey flowers, large black ants and little white spiders. Ewww! Oh well, that's all part of the game.
I had enough flowers for several batches of jelly so I will just give you the recipe for one batch here. (You can double this recipe if you like, just make sure you double ALL the ingredients).
At this point you probably want to get your jars sterilized and ready to go.
Prepare the following to have at hand:
4 cups of the strained Queen Anne's Lace Flower infusion
4 cups of sugar
Juice of 1 lemon, or 1/4 cup of bottled lemon juice
(pink lemonade would be great too!)
6 Tbsp. of Classic Pectin (or 1 packet of Sure Jell)
(I would not recommend Certo for this recipe)
Pour the infusion into a medium sized pot and turn it to medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice and the pectin to the pot. Stir the mixture well, and often. Allow the pot to come to a full boil.
Add the sugar and stir constantly until it returns to a boil. Remove from heat.
Pour or ladle the jelly into the jars. Using a metal knife or plastic air remover, remove as many air bubbles as you can. This is a very important step in this jelly. The final product will have lots of tiny bubbles - similar to champagne bubbles. It should not, however, have large air bubbles. Wipe your rims and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
The final product tastes a little like lemonade with a slight floral aftertaste/aroma. Some people say grapefruit but I don't get that. What a perfect and unique gift!
Rinse the flowers well. Mine were pretty buggy so I soaked them for a little while in the sink. When I picked them out of the water, I trimmed the stems off. You need at least 20 large or 30-40 small to medium flower heads to make 2 packed cups.
Bring to a boil 4 cups of water in a medium to large pot. Add 2 slices of fresh ginger. Add the flowers when the water is at a boil, cover with a lid and remove from heat. Allow the flowers to steep for at least an hour. A longer steeping time will intensify the flavor.
Strain the infusion. Use a couple layers of cheesecloth in a colander to make sure all little pieces of ginger, petal and bugs are strained out. Throw out the strained flower heads. We put ours in the compost pile or give to the chickens.
Beth Wing is a mother to five wonderful children, caretaker to many goats, chickens, dogs, rabbits and one mini horse. An entrepreneur, she appreciates the wonders of homestead living and loves to share these experiences with others.
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