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Recipe Box: Hedgerow Jelly

 

hedgerow jellyWeeds and Wildflowers!

What is a hedgerow? In the cultured, organized sense, it is meant to be a barrier of trees and shrubs planted to mark boundary lines or to keep grazing animals contained.  In the sloppier sense, it is the buffer of wild plants at the corners of a property.  It is that definition that inspired my jelly creation today!

I went outdoors at just before noon when all of the dew was dried and the oils in the plants at their most fragrant.  My intention was to gather only the flowers of Queen Anne’s Lace, who is in her full bloom this week!  But there were so many other lovely flowers…my eyes kept catching on the bobbing, bright purplish red clover heads.  I kept bringing to mind the store of dried wild rose blossoms from earlier this spring, and the stash of last year’s dried elderflowers that needed to be used. And so the recipe grew and changed.

The base of this jelly is 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 base.

Red Clover
Red Clover

Visiting the Hedge:

I started off with gathering 10-15 heads of Queen Anne’s Lace Flowers.  “Make sure it is really Queen Anne’s 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. (from QAL Flower Jelly)”

Assorted Edible Wildflowers:

In my yard, I was able to find red clover and a honeysuckle flower or two, as well as native white yarrow. I also had some dried wild rose petals from earlier this summer, dried elderflowers from last year, and some red rose buds from Mountain Rose Herbs!

Here is a list of other edible wildflowers that you might be able to find in your yard to include in such creations as this one:

Red Clover

Violets

Hyssop

Dandelion

Lilac

Rose Petals

Mullein

Bee Balm

Fennel

Mint

Elderflowers

Chamomile

Citrus Flowers

Hibiscus

Nasturtium

Passionflowers

Lavender

Marigold

Jasmine

Daylily

Put your flowers of choice into a pot on the stove and add four cups of water. Allow it to come to a boil, close the lid, and let it steep for at least an hour.  Strain the liquid and use cheesecloth or coffee filters to ensure that all the hidden buggies and petals are out of the liquid.  Measure and put aside three cups of this flower infusion.


Before you begin, prepare your water bath canner and jars.  I start my large canning pot of water to boil and add my jars and lids to sanitize while it comes up to temperature.

jelly cooling textHedgerow Jelly Recipe

Ingredients:
Directions:
  • Pour the three cups of infusion into a medium sized cooking pot, and turn it up to a medium-high heat.
  • Add the lime juice and the 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.

 

Hedgerow Jelly on Punk Domestics

4 Responses

  1. Bri
    | Reply

    If I don’t have orange blossom water, can I substitute something else? Or just skip it?

    • amberpixi
      | Reply

      Bri, I’m sorry for my delayed response – I’ve been on vacation with no internet. :) You can totally add something else if you prefer. I used the orange blossom water as it melded the herby and lime flavors well, and it really made the floral notes of the infusion stronger. Make it your own, add whatever you like!

  2. Phyllis
    | Reply

    Re: Hedgerow Jelly recipe: 1. Do the flowers need to be dried or can I use fresh petals? 2. How much of the petals do I need to make the flower infusion?
    Thanks!

    • amberpixi
      | Reply

      A mix of dried and fresh is fine, although QAL is much better/stronger flavored when fresh. I gathered about 10-15 Queen Anne’s Lace flower heads, and those were fresh. I added dried rose petals and dried red clover (and two or three fresh clovers I found while foraging) and one small fresh yarrow head, and a tiny handful of dried elderflowers.

      If you have 10-15 Queen Anne’s Lace flowers, you have a good base to add things to. Have fun with it and make it your own! :)

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