Serendipity is a wonderful thing. There has been a recent discussion about Crab Apple Jelly as well as one about what plants to use for a Foraging Garden and Fireweed entered that discussion.
So this morning a newsletter arrived in my e-mail and had this recipe for Fireweed Jelly! It uses commercial pectin and lemon juice for the acid but its just not possible to make a flower jelly without pectin and acid. This has a higher amount of sugar than some other jelly recipes but I don't think it can be reduced for this recipe to work.
I have never made Fireweed Jelly but have had it before (purchased at a Farmer's Market in the Yukon where it is the territorial flower) and it is wonderful.
Start by gathering eight cups of Fireweed flowers and blossoms, leaving the stems and leaves behind. Prepare your canning jars according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Next, you’ll need 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 4 1/2 cups of water, two packages of powdered pectin, five cups of sugar.
In a large pot, add the flowers, water and lemon juice, boiling for 10 minutes. Strain out the blossoms using a fine mesh strainer and place them in cheesecloth or a jelly bag. Squeeze any remaining water from the flowers back into the pot. You should end up with about four cups of Fireweed juice.
Add the pectin powder to your Fireweed juice and bring to a boil. Then add your sugar and boil for one minute more. Pour the liquid into your jars and seal, and then process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. This should yield about 15 125-ml (4 oz.) jars of jelly.
Post credit to British Columbia Magazine.