I thought I would take this opportunity to share something I made while we lived in Alaska – Fireweed Jelly. Fireweed is a beautiful wild flower that grows all over Alaska, as well as many states in the Pacific Northwest. If you are lucky enough to have these flowers growing in your area, might I suggest you try making this simple jelly? I have actually brought fireweed seeds with me to Alabama. I don’t know that I’ll get them to grow, but I’m going to try!
This jelly uses only a few simple ingredients. Fireweed blossoms for one. I started with 8 cups of clean blossoms and 8 cups of water in a saucepan.
The poor flowers! I simmered them until they had created a strong fireweed “tea.” It takes about 5 minutes for the brown liquid to develop.
Strain the tea and combine the liquid with 4 packages powder pectin, 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a large pot. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for 1 minute. Add in 8 cups of sugar and boil it for another minute. When you add the lemon juice to the liquid, the color magically becomes pretty again!
Ladle it into sterilized jars, leaving a half inch of head space and process them in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. I usually can these in half pint (8 oz) jars.
Let the jars cool on a counter where there are not drafts, and they can be left undisturbed. Jennifer watching the lids go “Pop!”
12 beautiful half-pints of fireweed jelly!
I’ll forever be grateful to my Alaska friend, Melissa for sharing this wonderful recipe with me. And we will be very sad when the last jar is gone!
- 8-10 cups fireweed flowers
- 8 cups water
- 4 packages powder pectin
- ¼ c lemon juice
- 8 cups sugar
- To begin, boil the blossoms and water together in a large sauce pan for 5 minutes, creating a brown "tea," Strain the liquid through some cheese cloth, and add the liquid to a large stock pot. Add the pectin and lemon juice, and bring it to a boil, boiling for 1 minute. Add the sugar, stirring continually, and boil for another minute. Ladle the jelly into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Carefully remove to a hard surface, away from drafts, where the jars can cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Listen for the "pop" of success!