Queen Anne’s Lace Jelly Recipe
Making Jelly From Queen Anne's Lace
Using edible flowers is a fun way to make unusual jellies that taste delicious on toast and have a beautiful range of soft, clear colors. This jelly is simple to make and does not require a jelly bag or other special jelly-making equipment. Queen Anne’s Lace is an edible flower that creates a gorgeous pink jelly: Once canned, the jelly makes a wonderful homemade gift. This is also a fun recipe because Queen Anne’s Lace is a great acid indicator: The jelly will turn from green to pink once lemon juice is added to the recipe! One thing is sure: Bringing a can of Queen Anne’s Lace jelly to a party will certainly start a lot of conversation!
Disclaimer Before Making This Recipe
Before attempting to make any recipe from Queen Anne’s Lace, please read this article: How to Identify Queen Anne’s Lace. There is a very toxic plant that loosely resembles Queen Anne’s Lace—poison Hemlock is fatal to those who ingest any part of the plant, so do not attempt to make this recipe unless you are able to clearly identify both plants. Queen Anne’s Lace has hairy, green stems, smells like carrots, and usually has a purple “heart” in the middle of the flower. The flowers curl up like a bird’s nests when the flower has been fertilized. Hemlock smells musty, has hairless, splotchy stems, and creates anise-like seeds when the flowers are fertilized.
- 2 cups of flower heads, cut very close to the base (include as few leaves or green parts as possible).
- 1 box of sugar-free pectin*
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
Note: Do not use regular pectin in this recipe, or the jelly will not set correctly. Pectin for “low sugar” or “no sugar” recipes is required for this jelly recipe.
To measure the flowers, press the flowers tightly into a large glass measuring cup. It takes approximately 4 cups of loose flower heads to create 2 cups of tightly-packed flowers. Queen Anne's Lace can frequently be found growing in meadows, or along roadsides in most of the United States.
- Bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Place the trimmed flower heads into a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over the flowers.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the mixture to steep for about 15 minutes. This will create a murky green tea. The tea will not smell very appetizing (in fact, it will smell rather carrot-like), but do not worry, the tea will change character once the lemon juice, sugar, and pectin are added.
- Once the flowers have steeped, strain the tea through a strainer (or use a colander with small holes). Add 4 1/2 cups of tea to a large saucepan.
- Add 1/4 cup granulated, white sugar to the tea, followed immediately by the sugar-free pectin. Stir vigorously to dissolve the pectin. At this point, the mixture will turn to a pleasing pink color.
- Bring the mixture to a full boil and add the rest of the sugar (3 1/4 cups). Stir and bring the solution back to a full, rolling boil. Boil for exactly one minute. Add the lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Skim off any foam and discard.
- Pour the hot jelly into clean jars. Leave 1/4” headspace for each jar and wipe the rim. Place sterilized lids onto each jar.
- Tighten the rings and place the jelly jars into a canner: Process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Place on the counter and allow to cool for 24 hours after canning: Test each lid for an appropriate seal by ensuring the lid does not flex up or down.
Canned jelly can be stored in a cool, dark location for up to 1 year. If it's not canned, refrigerate and eat it within 2 weeks. This recipe makes approximately 6-8 jars.