Posts tagged ‘making jelly’

June 10, 2013

spruce tip jelly

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I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen yesterday  running 3 batches of wild herbal jelly. Mint, Dandelion, and Spruce Tip. What excited me the most was processing some freshly collected spruce tips into jelly. A few weeks back I was sharing some of my dandelion jelly with our friends and they spoke of a traditional dutch jelly made with spruce tips, which had me intrigued. Then a few days ago our local master herbalist was teaching some medicine making techniques and she too mentioned spruce tip jelly, luckily my wild-crafting partner in crime here at the homestead was setting off to Alberta on a harvesting adventure and she keenly returned home with a batch of fresh tender spruce tips ready for canning.  Yeah.

So the plan was to thaw out the dandelion juice I made a few weeks back and put off canning because the weather turned grey and cloudy, make a fresh batch of spruce tip jelly, and finally give some mint jelly a go… I love mint jelly on roast lamb or beef, and I thought a mint jelly would be a nice starting point for some mint sauce. I opted however to make mojito jelly by adding some fresh lime juice to the batch, the next roast beast dinner might call for some rum!

Here is the story of and recipe for spruce tip jelly making …

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August 21, 2011

hibiscus flower jelly

My mother in law arrived for her second visit in the past month, and after making strawberry jam last time, she was ready to get back into the kitchen for another adventure in canning! We had planned to finally use up the grapes in the freezer from last years harvest.. but the thought of dripping and straining them left something to be desired at 8 pm, so we opted to make a batch of hibiscus jelly instead… and what a wonderful decision it was.

Start by boiling 14 cups of water and steeping

1 cup of hibiscus flowers in it, for about 20 minutes.

strain the flowers, and add about 1/2 cup lime juice.

We used pomona’s pectin again for this batch (it’s my new favourite) it has and added step of calcium water but makes for a lovely low sugar  pectin.

We used 12 tsp of pectin and calcium water (1 .5  boxes) to 2 cups of organic cane sugar

once boiled and skimmed, we processed the jars or 10 minutes in a steam canner, and yielded 14 jars of the prettiest pink jelly you ever did see!

It has a mild floral flavour and a not to sweet presence. It’s perfect for scones and shortbread, or simply to slather on a PB sandwhich.

In warm climates like Mexico and Jamaica hibiscus is drank often to keep you cool, as it’s flower help your body to cool naturally. In Morocco they call hibiscus the magical elixir of life. And those that drink it are energized and invigorated. The flower it self can be hard to come by, and you certainly want to ensure any your find is organic. often i brew this as a cold iced tea with some citris and cinnamon. And if you add a little tequila to a cold cup your well on your way…