Flowers that can be made into jelly include: Black Locust, Honeysuckle, Violets, Lilac, Dandelion, Sunflower, Kudzu, Queen Anne's Lace, Lavender, Elderflower, Hibiscus, Clover (red and white), Rose petals, Nasturtium, and Forsythia.
Here's my method:
- 4 tightly packed cups of flower blooms
- 1 quart of hot (but not boiling) water
- Approximately one cup of pure water
- 1 package of Sure Jel pectin
- 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice
- A pinch of butter (about one teaspoon)
- 8 half pint jelly jars (NB: this may make only 7 half pints and one quarter pint.)
- Pick over the blooms, removing dirt and insects.
- Wash the blooms gently in a colander.
- Put the 4 cups of blooms in a quart mason jar.
- Pour 1 quart of hot water over the blooms.
- Let jar cool, and then put in a refrigerator for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, strain the liquid through a coffee filter or jelly bag. That should leave about 3 cups of liquid.
- Wash the jars, lids and rims, and put the jars into a pot with hot but not boiling water to keep warm while you prepare the jelly.
- Add enough pure water to the flower liquid to make a total of four cups. Place it into a large pot and bring it to a roiling boil.
- Add one package of Sure Jel pectin and one tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture.
- Bring it to a roiling boil that cannot be stirred down.
- Add five cups of sugar and return the mixture to a roiling boil that can’t be stirred down. Once you reach that stage, boil for one minute.
- After one minute, remove from the heat.
- Stir in a pinch of butter at this stage to help remove bubbles.
- Fill the clean hot jars to the ¼” headspace line.
- Wipe the rim of each jar, then apply a lid and a jar rim, tightening to fingertip tightness.
- Follow your canner’s instructions and water bath can the jars for ten minutes.
- Remove from the canner and place on a towel to cool. After 12 hours, remove the rims and check the jars to ensure the lids have sealed. Any which have not, place in your refrigerator and use within a week. Those that have, store in a dark place.
Note that Redbud blossoms make a gorgeous pink jelly, but the color fades over time. So if you’re gifting them to someone else, do so sooner rather than later. They will still taste the same.