Home » Blog Article Archive » Recipe Box » Canning Recipes » Recipe Box: Queen Anne’s Lace Flower Jelly

Recipe Box: Queen Anne’s Lace Flower Jelly

Queen Anne’s Lace by Modern Scribe Photography

As I’ve discussed before, sometimes I think my neighbors must hate me for harboring a yard of unwanted pests and dingy weeds.  We encourage our yard to be an eco-system, rife with native plants and insects…which in our neighbor’s world means “unmowed and disgusting!”

Store your jars safely!

The truth is that we DO mow around the house to ensure that the native insects are at a decent radius from our doors and windows, but that we leave the edges of the yard a lunatic fringe of tall grasses, red clover, chicory, burdock, happy daisies, the tall, bobbing heads of Queen Annes Lace.

I’ve only recently come to know Queen Annes Lace as a plant with uses other than being homes for many tiny crab spiders and aphid-farming ants.  I have read of her seeds’ efficiency as an alternative birth control method, learned that her tubers are edible in early spring, and that infusions of her leaves can be taken for kidney and liver assistance, but none of these have been tried and tested in my home as of yet.

So I was terribly intrigued when I learned that you can make a delightful jelly from the flower heads of Queen Annes Lace, and I decided that I would make it as soon as I could.

I chose a lovely day, and after playing in the yard and tweaking the recipe to suit my mood and limited canning equipment, I made myself some lovely jars of pinkish flower jelly!  I have already thought of many potential adaptations for this simple, citrusy, floral jelly the next time I prepare it. Maybe a couple of pink peppercorns thrown into the mix, or perhaps grapefruit, grated carrot or ginger.

The following guide assumes you have at least some knowledge or experience of canning with a hot water bath method.

Queen Annes Lace Flower Jelly

First, find you a good patch of flowers.  Make sure it is really Queen Annes Lace, and not her cousin, Poisonous Water Hemlock.  Queen Annes Lace has a hairy stem, and the distinct, piney scent associated with aromatics in the carrot family.  Poison Hemlock is smooth, and smells gross when you rub the leaf.

You’ll likely be competing with many insect friends whilst gathering the blossoms, so be prepared!  You’ll need at least 20 flower heads to make 2 packed cups of Queen Anne’s Lace Flower heads.

Rinsing Queen Anne's Lace Flowers
Rinsing Queen Anne’s Lace Flowers

Give the flowers a good rinse (or soak for five minutes, if you need to) to ensure all of the buggies are no longer in residence.

Boil four cups of water in a medium to large pot.  While the water is heating, trim the stems of the rinsed flowers all of the way to the base of the flower head. Breathe in deeply and enjoy…but note that the finished product is not as pungent as the fresh sap smells.

Toss in the flowers when the water is at a boil, stir, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. Allow the flowers to steep for as long as you wish.  I left mine for over an hour while I had lunch and a cold beer.

Strain the infusion.  I used a layer of cheesecloth in a standard colander to make sure the little bits of petal and bug were all out.  Toss out the spent flower heads.

Sterilize your jars! At this point, I placed my six 8 ounce jelly jars and their lids in a boiling water bath to sterilize while I prepared the lovely jelly.

Ingredients
Ingredients
Prepare the following ingredients so that all is at hand:

3 cups of the strained Queen Anne’s Lace Flower infusion

3 1/2 cups of sugar

Juice of 1 lemon, or 1/4 cup of bottled lemon juice

1 packet of pectin (I used standard Sure Jell)

Pour the infusion into a medium sized cooking pot, and turn it up to a medium-high heat.

Add the lemon juice and the packet of pectin to the pot.  Stir the mixture well, and often.

Pull out your jars, lids, and rings to dry while you allow the pot to come to a full, rolling boil.

Add the sugar and stir constantly until it returns to a rolling boil.  Let it boil for one minute, and remove from heat.

Pour or ladle the very hot jelly into the jars carefully.

Wipe the rim with a clean cloth, and top each one with a sterilized lid.

Process your jars as you wish.  I use a hot water bath using the instructions given in the pectin box.  Make sure to follow instructions carefully, including adding extra time due to your altitude!  My jars were in for ten minutes instead of five.

Featured on Punk Domestics!
Featured on Punk Domestics!

Let the jelly rest for 24 hours before you pick them up and wiggle them around!  After that, it’s open game on flower jelly.  It tastes like a light floral lemonade, or grapefruit juice!  It is excellent with a cup of tea and a toasted English muffin.

Recipe adapted from:
Foraging Foodie: http://www.foragingfoodie.net/index.html
The Wild Carrot – Queen Annes Lace: http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/queen.html

15 Responses

  1. Walk in the Woods
    | Reply

    This is so awesome ~ thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to making my batch too … soon!

    Enjoy!

  2. Amber
    | Reply

    Rose, you’ll have so much fun. It’s just a nice, simple recipe…and you can make paper from the flowers, or so I understand. Check the Wild Carrot Resource page that I link to for more info about that. <3

  3. Christina
    | Reply

    What an intriguing recipe! I would love to try this for myself, but I’m more than a wee bit paranoid about choosing the wrong plant!

  4. Amber
    | Reply

    Christina, once you look closely at the stem of Queen Anne’s Lace and see the hairs, you’ll know you have the right plant. Plus, she smells super piney or carrot-y when you crush her leaves between your fingers, you can’t miss that smell.

    Thanks for leaving a comment, and by the way, you make adorable little animals! :)

  5. Lisa N.
    | Reply

    Well, I finally did it! My daughter and I picked some Queen Anne’s Lace this morning and I tried your jelly. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Amber
    | Reply

    Lisa: Congrats! I hope you enjoy it! You know, my housemates have taken to calling it “Lawn Clipping Jelly” as they smear it on their toast. :)

  7. Anonymous
    | Reply

    I’ve made several batches of Queen Anne’s Lace jelly, but it doesn’t seem to be setting up. Does it take awhile? I am not new to making jelly as I have been doing so for about 40 years. This has me stumped. I have followed all the directions.

    • Amber Pixi
      | Reply

      Hmm…I am not sure what is going on with the jelly not setting up – when I’ve used this recipe, it did come out a bit softer than most juice-based jellies, but it definitely set after 24 hours. It was light, but thick enough to have a good texture to it, and it spread well. Could it be an altitude difference? You definitely have much more canning experience than I do!

  8. […] Queen Anne’s Lace Flower Jelly […]

  9. Kelly Bisciotti
    | Reply

    Yum! Do you think I could substitute gelatin for pectin? I have all of the ingredients except pectin…but I do have gelatin!

    • amberpixi
      | Reply

      Honestly, I’ve never used gelatin in that way before! If you’ve made jellies with it, I’d assume it is fine…? Sorry I’m not more helpful here!

  10. […] an infusion of wildflowers.  Specifically, this recipe was based on my previously successful Queen Anne’s Lace Flower Jelly, and so we will continue with having that be the […]

  11. Linda
    | Reply

    I love your blog! I stumbled on it when looking for recipes for Queen Anne’s Lace Jelly. I just finished a batch using your recipe, and I’m pretty excited to try it. However, I’m a little suspicious because all the images I’ve seen of the jelly are generally pink, while mine is yellow. It turned pink right after I added the lemon juice, but changed back to the yellow of the tea infusion shortly after. Did I just overcook it? Not enough or too much lemon juice? Is it just a result of using both strains of QAL in my area (with and without the purple center flower)? I’m 99.9% sure there’s no hemlock in there; at least, I didn’t have any weird hallucinations from inhaling the steam. Anyway, if you have any insight, I’d greatly appreciate it! (And I can’t wait to try a few of your other recipes!)

    • amberpixi
      | Reply

      Sorry for my delayed response – I’ve been on vacation without internet for a week. :)

      My batch turned out yellow/brownish this year, too. I think I may have overcooked the infusion, as I added the flowers pre-boil this time (whoops) and let it sit longer than an hour. But it still has the nice light grapefruity taste and I didn’t die! :)

      If your QAL smelled carroty and sharp, you are fine. If it smelled bad and had purple spots, don’t eat it!!

      • Linda
        | Reply

        Sorry for my own late reply; I forgot to check back! Anyway, I’m glad to hear that you didn’t die! I didn’t die either, so hooray! But thanks for your tip; it’s very likely that I could have overcooked the flowers. I’ll definitely try to address that next year!

Leave a Reply