Fireweed Jelly

Torey Posts: 5,395 admin
edited November 2020 in Herbal Medicine-Making

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.


  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey You can make your own pectin, if you so choose using lemon seeds and/or apples (crab apples, Granny Smith, other tart apples), or even quinces. I typically add freshly squeezed lemon juice (from organic lemons) when making a jelly or jam that needs pectin.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,395 admin

    @Obiora E Yes, this discussion has been taking place under Crabapple Jelly. Someone was looking to reduce sugar in a jelly recipe. I see you posted a comment about using cane sugar but maybe as you have your own jelly business and are much more experienced, perhaps you could comment on the juice/sugar ratio for jellies. I have never used commercial pectin. I always make my own from my apples or from lemon pith and pips. But that doesn't reduce the sugar. I rarely eat jelly so when I do indulge I let that be my sugar treat for the day. I like using jellies in cooking, for glazes or adding to a sauce.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey does the fireweed add flavor, or is it more of a color/possible health benefits. I used to make violet jelly, and it came out beautiful, but I never could taste anything but the sugar and lemon juice. I believe if my violets were fragrant it would have had a more distinct taste.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,395 admin

    @blevinandwomba Yes, it has a distinct floral taste. Beautiful colour.

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey The sugar ratio in my jellies, presumably is about the same as yours since you also make your own pectin. For jellies, it's the following:

    1 cup pectin

    2 cups fruit juice

    1 1/4 cups sugar

    1 TB freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,395 admin

    @Obiora E

    Thanks for sharing! This is very similar to the recipes I use when needing the added pectin.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 1,937 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting discussion. Fireweed jelly is very common here (Southcentral Alaska). I have never tried making my own pectin. Could either (or both) of you elaborate on how that is done?

  • bcabrobin
    bcabrobin Posts: 251 ✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba I made violet dandilion jelly last year. I think the violet made beautiful color jelly but it needs something else for flavor. But you do get health benifits from just the violet.

    I haven't found any fireweed in central PA would love to try it. Guess I'll keep looking.

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba What color was the violet dandelion jelly? Did dandelion improve the flavor?

  • tawitt63
    tawitt63 Posts: 7 ✭✭✭

    I've made this exact recipe several times. It's beautiful and very popular with friends and family!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,395 admin

    @vickeym To make apple pectin, I use under-ripe (preferably), tart apples (or crabapples), cut -up with the cores and peels. You can add extra peels and cores if you have them stock piled in the freezer (some varieties will ripen earlier than others). Add water to just barely cover. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer until it is all very mushy (up to an hour). Strain for several hours or overnight through a jelly bag or muslin cloth. The resulting liquid will be quite thick. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup (depending on the natural pectin content of your fruit) per cup of fruit juice.