Monday, August 13, 2012

Queen Anne's Lace Jelly

Flower jellies are a little magical.

I'm convinced that if you eat enough, you'll get magical powers.

Or at least a little box of fairy dust.

I could totally use some fairy dust.

I'd use it to get rid of all the spiders that hang out in the studio.   Not that I mind them, there are just so many.    It's annoying. 

I probably shouldn't talk about spiders.

Sorry.

Where was I   ....   fairy dust.

I'd also use it to magically file the huge pile of papers that accumulates next to my desk and which the cat periodically knocks onto the floor out of sport.   Or spite.  She gets that look in her eye.

And I'd totally use it to do the dishes.   A couple of times a day at least because we don't have a dishwasher, or room to put one.  Maybe I ought to just fairy dust some space for a dishwasher and let Eric take care of the dishwasher itself.   Yeah, that'd work.  

Anyway.

The first thing you need to know about Queen Anne's Lace is its Latin name:  Daucus carota.  Carota as in carrot.  This plant is where we get our modern day carrots from.    Cool, huh.

It's wild around here and will positively take over everything if we let it.   Queen Anne's Lace is 2-3 feet high and has a hairy or rough stem.   The stem is sort of wiry, not hollow.  There is often a tiny dark purple floret in the center of the larger flower.  

This is important!   Make sure you know that what you are picking really is Queen Anne's Lace and not something that will poison you.    Queen Anne's Lace is very very safe, but Water Hemlock is deadly.    They are similar, not identical so make sure you're confident that what you've got is really Queen Anne's Lace.

Once you're sure then pick a quart jar full of flowers.   Pack them in.   Pack them in again.   The more flowers, the more flavor.

I did not wash them first.  The water will be strained and boiled later.  

Fill the jar full of hot water and let it sit overnight.   

Strain the water through a couple of layers of cheesecloth into a pot.    You'll have about 2.5 - 3 cups of water.   It'll probably be a little pinkish.   Pinkish is good.

Add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice.

Stir in 3 Tablespoons Dutch Jell All Natural Lite Pectin.

Bring to a hard boil.  Boil hard for one minute.

Add 1 cup sugar OR 1/2 cup honey.

Bring to a hard boil.  Boil hard for one minute.

Ladle into jars and process for canning.   10 minutes for jellies.

Notes:  I made this with sugar and again with honey instead.  The pinker jelly was made with white sugar.  The jelly with honey is the more orange-y jelly on the right.

The honey gives it a nice, more complex flavor.  The jelly made with sugar has a flavor that reminded us of apples.   Very good!    It will be easy to eat enough of this flower jelly to get my box full of fairy dust. 

Here's the short version.

Queen Anne's Lace Jelly
  • 1 quart Queen Anne's Lace flowers, packed in the jar
  •  water to fill the jar the rest of the way with
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 T Dutch Jell All Natural Lite Pectin
  • 1 cup sugar  OR  1/2 cup honey

Fill a quart jar full of flowers.   Pack them in.  Fill the jar with hot water and let sit overnight.  Strain the water through a couple of layers of cheesecloth into a pot.  Add lemon juice.  Stir in pectin.  Bring to a hard boil.  Boil hard for one minute. Add sugar OR honey.  Bring to a hard boil.  Boil hard for one minute.   Ladle into jars and process for canning.   10 minutes for jellies.

3 comments:

  1. How pretty! i can't wait to try some! :-)

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  2. I've had this once a long time ago, but it's not something you see often. I love the colors.

    You wouldn't happen to have a good recipe for grape jelly, would you? Last year, mine over-jelled and this year, it under-jelled. I'm about ready to give up. :P

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  3. That is completely lovely! I did not know you could do such a thing. Did you just make this up? Like, do you go around picking things and seeing if they make a decent jelly? Or had you heard of it before. Because I totally heart it. But I would be afraid of poisoning myself and don't even think I've seen Queen Anne's in gardens around here. Maybe. I'll check.
    So cool. And pretty.

    ReplyDelete

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