Annette Gagliardi tends her gardens in Mpls, which host vegetables, berries, herbs, and many flowers. She is an author, poet, and teacher.
Enjoy This Delicious Jelly All Year Long
I grow my own flowers so that I know there are no pesticides or herbicides used on them. We enjoy nasturtiums (along with pansies) in salads all summer long. They are a tasty surprise when filled with a dot of cream cheese or hummus.
Turning them into jelly means we can have a taste of summer in mid-winter or any time, really. Late August or September is a great time to make this because that is the time, here in Minnesota at least, when these tasty flowers are at their peak. We love to use this wonderful spread on English muffins or scones. I share some of my other favorite ideas below.
If you follow these steps, you can make your very own nasturtium jelly. But you may need to exercise patience and plan well ahead of time because you'll need to find a seed catalogue that has the seeds for sale. And then you can begin your adventure!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 30 min
7 to 9, one-cup jars of jelly
Ingredients for Nasturtium Jelly
- 2 cups chopped nasturtium flowers
- 5 cups water, over flowers to make tisane
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 box Sure Jell
- 1 tsp. butter
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
How to Make Nasturtium Jelly (Quick Recipe)
- Clean the jars by adding boiling water.
- Gather fresh nasturtium flowers. Wash them, chop them, and add 5 cups of water to flowers. Put them into a pot, and bring to a boil. Steep the flowers for 10 minutes to create a tisane. (A tisane is an infusion of dried herbs that you drink or use for medicinal purposes.)
- Follow Sure-Jell directions for making herb jelly. Add 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp butter to initial tisane along with the Sure-Jell.
- Add 5 cups of sugar to the boiling jelly solution. Cook until it comes to a full rolling boil for one minute.
- Put jelly into jars, clean rims, and add lids. Tip jars upside down for 5 minutes, and then set on counter right side up overnight (24 hours). This allows the jelly to set.
The above instructions are meant to be used "at-a-glance." Below, I've detailed every step and have included supporting step-by-step photos.
Phase 1: The Setup and Making Tisane
- Pick as many flowers as you can. You want ones that are just opening or in full bloom. Discard the ones that are beginning to fade.
- Rinse the flowers well, and spin them dry using a salad spinner. You want clean, relatively dry flowers.
- Cut up or chop the nasturtiums, and place them in a saucepan. I use my kitchen shears to cut them up.
- Add 5 cups water to the flowers, and bring this solution to a boil. As the water boils, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let this steep for 10 minutes.
- Once you have nasturtium tea, it becomes a tisane. Pour this tisane through a cheesecloth, and discard the spent flowers. The tea/tisane part is what will become the jelly.
- The tisane should look clear and be free from any flower or stem pieces. It should look yellow or pink. You may want to add just a touch of yellow or orange food coloring to make the color more intense.
- Next, clean and prepare the jars. You will need 7 to 9 one-cup jelly jars. Bring a pot of regular water to a boil, and fill each jar with boiling water, being careful not to spill. I place the jars on a kitchen towel to soak up any spills, to keep the jars from sliding on the counter, and to provide a bit of cushion for the jars. Place all the jar lids into a bowl, and cover with boiled water. Now, you are ready to make the jelly.
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Phase 2: Making the Jelly
- Put the tisane into a large pot or Dutch oven. Add a box of Sure-Jell to the tisane. Also add, 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp lemon juice (I use Real Lemon, which is sold in many stores). Then turn the fire on under the pot and begin cooking it, stirring continuously.
- Measure out 6 cups of sugar, and have it ready in a bowl.
- Bring your tisane to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Then add the sugar all at once, and continue cooking and stirring this solution.
- Cook the jelly until it comes to a full rolling boil again (one that cannot be stirred down). Boil for one full minute.
Phase 3: Filling the Jelly Jars
- Your jars should be sitting on the counter full of boiled water, and your bowl with the lids in boiled water.
- Place a liquid one-cup measure in a small bowl on the counter. Place a hot potholder on the counter (for where your Dutch oven will sit). Place a clean paper towel, a spatula, and a pair of tongs on the counter.
- When your jelly is done cooking, quickly bring the Dutch oven filled with jelly to the counter. Set it on the hot pad. Use the one-cup measure to take the jelly from the pan and pour it into the jars. Fill the jars to within one-inch of the top.
- Use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to wipe the the rim to be sure it is clean. Then using the tongs, pull a lid from the bowl and carefully place it on the jar. Use a towel to cover your hand, and screw the lid tightly onto the jar. Turn the jar over and place it back on the towel, upside down.
- Fill all the jars in this manner, working quickly and carefully. You will make 7 to 9 jars of jelly. After all the jelly is in the jars, wash the Dutch oven and other utensils in soapy water. This should take you about five minutes, which is precisely the time you need before tipping the jars right-side up.
- And now, brew a cup of tea and sit down to admire your handiwork. All jelly should sit for 24 hours before being moved. This gives it a chance to 'jel,' or come to right consistency, by cooling slowly.
What Can You Do With Nasturtium Jelly?
Like any other jelly, nasturtium is good on toast, but especially on English muffins or pumpernickel bread.
Here are some of the ways that I like to use it.
- On toast, English muffins, or crumpets.
- Inside a muffin. Fill your muffin cup 1/2 full with muffin mix. Add a small teaspoonful of jelly, then add enough more muffin mix to cover the jelly. Bake as directed on the package. This jelly is especially good in apple or lemon muffins and goes well with nut muffins.
- Add the jelly to pork chops or pork roast before baking. Yum.
- It's very tasty on scones with a dollop of clotted cream.
- As a replacement for the "J" in PB and J.
- Bananas! Slice a banana in half lengthwise. Spread chunky nut butter over it. Then spread the jelly over the nut butter. This is really good with peanut butter, but you should try almond butter! Wow.
- When you mix ingredients for sweet and sour chicken, substitute the jelly for any sugar called for in your recipe. This makes the chicken sweet, but it has a thicker, creamier cover and a bit more zing.
Let me know if you find other ways to use your nasturtium jelly.
Have you ever made herb jelly?
Rate Nasturtuim Jelly
© 2013 Annette Gagliardi