4.6 Jelly, syrup and other sweets.

From es051447.orion.yorku.ca (Joseph St.Lawrence):
An excellent book with info on edible flowers is *The Harrowsmith Salad Garden* by Turid Forsyth and Merilyn Simonds Mohr. Another good one is *Flowers in the Kitchen* by Susan Belsinger.

4.6.1 Flower / herb jelly

also see 2.9.3 for mint jelly, 2.17.3 for garlic jelly and 2.20.3 for horseradish jelly.

> PS... Anyone like basil jelly? B-)

From: Sallie Montuori foxdale.widomaker.com
Haven't tried that yet, but I really like herb jellies. After trying rosemary jelly, I will never put mint sauce on lamb again!!! And I found that thyme jelly makes a terrific sauce for chicken.
But what does one do with basil jelly? None of my knee-jerk reactions for basil includes "sweet."

From: Judy Martin-Spiker judyms.lsid.hp.com
My fiancee puts it in peanut butter and basil jelly sandwiches! He loves them! Personally, I think its a little revolting, but Basil jelly would go nice with pastas or italian cuisine, maybe even on garlic bread. Maybe an addition to pesto? The recipe is as follows:

Basil jelly

1 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves - the fresher the better!
1 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups water
6 ½ cups sugar
Two 3 oz. pouches Certo liquid pectin
Green food coloring (just enough to give it a nice emerald green color, about 7 drops or up to 1 teaspoon full)

Place the basil leaves, lemon juice and vinegar in an 8 to 10 quart sauce pot. The larger size is necessary since this recipe boils up a LOT. Let the basil, lemon juice and vinegar stand while you are measuring the two cups water. Add the water and food coloring. Heat almost to boil, stirring to blend, then add all the sugar at once. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to hard boil, add two 3-ounce pouches of Certo liquid pectin, 6 ounces total. (Make sure to get as much of the 6 ounces as you can into the kettle, and not all over your hands and stove, like I normally do! The jelly will not set without all the pectin.) Bring back to boil, boil hard for 1 minute or until jelly point is reached. Remove from heat. Remove basil leaves with slotted spoon. Pour immediately into hot, sterilized ½ pint jars, seal and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes 6 to 7 half pints.
This recipe produces a nicely set jelly that is sweet, but with a real kick to it! Personally, I like to use 4 different types of basil leaves in the recipe to add up to one cup, but you may use what you like. This receipe can also be used for other herbs, like oregano, rosemary, mint, parsley, thyme, etc.
Hope you enjoy it. I am proud enough of it to enter it in the county fair this year.

Basic flower jelly recipe - can also be used for other herbs
From: bhaile.leo.vsla.edu (Bess Haile):

2 cups flower infusion: steep 2+ cups moderately packed flowers in 2 cups boiling water at least 30 minutes
¼ cup lemon juice (E. Toley says not to use bottled, but I do)
4 cups sugar
3 oz of liquid pectin (this will be ½ box of liquid Certo)

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil you can't stir down. Add pectin and boil 2 minutes. Ladle into hot sterile jars. Seal in preferred manner.

Note (Bess Haile): I prefer the liquid certo to the powdered. It seems to jell better with flowers. Also, I find the extra minute of boiling helps to create a stiffer jelly, though 1 minute will create a clear jam-like texture. I always use the 4 oz canning jars because I can give away some of the jellies without running out of all my stock. Not everyone likes jelly from flowers. My own family HATES rose jelly which is one of my favorites. Also, note, rose petals have a bitter white bit where the petals join the flower. Cut these off. I do this by holding the flower, step up, and cutting around the flower, leaving all the bitter bits on the flower. I've used Rose, Honeysuckle, Lavender, and many herbs too. Rosemary makes a good jelly for a glaze on roast pork (and probably lamb). Lemon verbena and spearmint are great too!

Photo: Rosa glauca 6.Rose petal jelly

From: Baker.325.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Gwen Baker)
1 ½ c rose petals
1 ½ c white grape juice
½ water
3 ½ c sugar
1 pkg liquid fruit pectin

Trim away white part of rose petals, wash petals thoroughly, and drain. Combine rose petals and grape juice in a sauce pan. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly; cook 1 min, stirring frequently. Add fruit pectin; cook stirring constantly, until mixture returns to a rolling boil. Continue boiling 1 min, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and skim off foam with a metal spoon. Quickly pour jelly into hot sterilized jar leaving ¼ in headspace; cover with metal lids and screw tight. Process in boiling water bath for 5 min. Makes 3 pints.

For fun leave the rose petals in and you can tell folks you are eating roses - they end up with the funniest looks on their faces.

Rose petal jelly II

From: Baker.325.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Gwen Baker)
2 quarts fresh rose petals, loosely packed (about 3 dozen roses)
1 quart boiling water
4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Place petals in a large bowl. Add boiling water. Cover and steep for 20 minutes, or until all color is out of the petals. Strain liquid into a shallow pan. Add sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved, and mixture comes to a rolling boil. Maintain boil until mixture gives a jelly test (2 drops form on side of spoon, then flow together). Skim. Pour into hot sterile jars. Cover with melted paraffin (or use your preferred sealing method). Makes 8 x 6-ounce jars.

Note (Gwen Baker): The rose petal jelly I have had used added pectin. This recipe thinks rose petals have enough of their own.

Photo: Viola odorata 4. Violet flower jelly

From: Baker.325.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Gwen Baker)
Violet infusion:
2 cups violet blossoms (don't have to pack tightly, just nicely full cups will do)
2 cups boiling water

Pour boiling water on blossoms and cover 12-24 hours (If you can't get to the cooking within 24 hours, store in the refrigerator).

Jelly recipe:
2 cups infusion
¼ cup lemon juice
1 pkg. powdered pectin
4 cups sugar

Bring first 3 ingredients to a rolling boil (one you can't stir down). Add sugar all at once and bring back to rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let boiling die down. Skim off foam with large spoon. Pour immediately into hot sterilized jars and seal. Makes 4-5 cups of jelly. I use the half cup jars so I can give away samples without giving away everything.

Note (Gwen Baker): I've made two batches of this jelly and it is delicious! The lemon juice turns the blue infusion the most glorious amethyst color. No fruit jelly I've ever made has this color. It is tart and lemony, but does not taste exactly like lemon. My violets are not parma violets, just plain old Virginia weeds.

Apple jelly with herbal variations

From: gcaselton.easynet.co.uk (Graeme Caselton),
taken from "Preserves & Pickles", by Heather Lambert, publisher: Octopus Books Ltd.

Photo: Malus pumila 12. Apple jelly is quite pleasant plain, especially with hot, buttered scones. Add herbs and it becomes a delicious jelly to serve with hot and cold fish, meat and poultry dishes.

1.75 kg (4 lb) cooking apples
1.75 litres (3 pints) cold water
750g (1 ½ lb) sugar (approximately)

Cut up the apples, discarding any bruised parts. Put in a pan with the water and bring to the boil, then simmer until very soft. Mash with a wooden spoon and strain through a jelly bag. Test the juice for pectin; it should form a firm clot. Put in a pan and add the sugar. Heat gently, stirring, until dissolved, then boil rapidly until setting point is reached, stirring occasionally. Remove any scum, pour into small, hot sterilized jars and cover. Makes about 1.5 kg (3 ½ lb)

Some of these jellies, particularly the rosemary and mint ones, can be melted and poured over ice cream or added to fruit salads.

  • Sage jelly: Add 4 tablespoons chopped sage after removing from the heat.
  • Rosemary jelly: Add 8 large rosemary sprigs with the water. Set a further sprig in each pot.
  • Dill jelly: Add 4 tablespoons chopped dill or 2 tablespoons dried dill weed after removing from heat.
  • Thyme jelly: Add 8 large thyme sprigs with the water. Set a further sprig in each jar.
  • Mint jelly: Add a small bunch of mint with the water. Add 6-8 tablespoons chopped mint after removing from heat.
  • Bouquet Garni jelly: Tie 1 parsley sprig, 2 bay leaves and 1 small thyme sprig with a length of sterilized kitchen string. Put one in each jar of jelly.

4.6.2 Flower / herb syrup

From: Baker.325.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Gwen Baker):

Rose petal syrup

1 c rose petals
1 c water
1 ½ c sugar
3 whole cloves

Trim away white part of rose petals was and drain thoroughly. Combine rose petals and water in a sauce pan bring to boil. Then simmer for 5 min. Add sugar and cloves. Simmer until sugar dissolved (do not reboil) strain petals, refrigerate. Makes 1 ⅔ cup.

Use this for

Rose cooler

½ c rose syrup
2 c club soda
fresh rose petals.

Combine soda and syrup garnish with rose petals. Makes 2 ½ cups.

Violet Syrup
From: TOIVO.aol.com

You need to collect as many violet flowers as you can find. This is the hardest part--I can almost never find enough. (recipe based on a quart of violets, increase or decrease according to what you could find. You could increase the proportion of violets to syrup, making a stronger syrup, but I wouldn't recommend making it much weaker than this) You may wish to wash the flowers, depending on where you found them.

The only important piece of information: go through and remove all the green parts from each flower. Cooked, the green parts taste strong and spinachy. Just a little green stuff can ruin your whole batch. We learned this the hard way...

In a double boiler dissolve and heat 2 cups sugar and 3 cups water. If you like thick syrup, add more sugar, or less if you like thin. Make sure it's all the way dissolved and very hot. Fold in the flowers. Put on the lid. Turn down heat so that bottom pan is just boiling - you don't want any steam to escape from the top pan at this point (if you can help it). Let it cook for another ten minutes. Take off heat. Let cool. Put it in a jar.

Ta-dah. You're done. You could strain out the flowers if you wanted. I recommend keeping the syrup in the fridge. I bet you could use any edible flower instead of/in addition to violets, but I haven't tried it.

Gulkhan - rose petal syrup
From: raghu.hocpb.ho.att.com (-K.RAGHUNANDAN)

A delicious, medicinally effective recipe using rose petals, is simple to prepare. Called "Gulkhan" in India, this is used as a flavoring in sweet dishes and is also eaten as such or with butter. Among its virtues are a nice flavor, mild sweet taste, good for reducing boils, keep skin and blood circulation clean.

Procedure: Peel fresh petals of 1 Rose flower, spread them in a container. Sprinkle a spoon of sugar. Repeat this process each day until, the quantity is about 250 grams (or to fill a 10 oz jar). Choose only pink/red variety of rose which has a fine flavor. Over a period of 10-20 days the petals dry out and the sugar layer melts to form a syrup. At this stage, take out the entire contents and make a paste (use mortar pestle). Put this mixture in a jar with a lid. The GULKHAN is now ready to use.

Mint syrup

From Trey Jackson, <trey.cs.berkeley.edu>:

Here's an Iranian mint syrup; it doesn't use a huge amount of mint --so dry some to make tea with too. I don't know about canning it, but it lasts well in the fridge for up to a year. Actually we use those German ale bottles with the ceramic "corks".

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
½ cup white vinegar
½ lemon juiced
6 large sprigs of mint (4-5" in length)

Stir sugar and water over medium heat to boil until sugar dissolves. Add vinegar and lemon juice and return to steady boil. Boil over medium heat 15-18 minutes (skimming as required). Wash and drain the sprigs of mint and add to the boiling syrup. boil one minutes. Take off heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in closed container in refrigerator. One traditional way to use this is to dip leaves of lettuce in it and eat. It is also good to drink: use a little bit in a glass of cold soda water.

4.6.3 Miscellaneous sweets

From bobas.freenet.vancouver.bc.ca (Waldek Trafidlo)
When I was a kid in Poland years ago my neighbor would prepare a rose petal spread by simply grinding rose petals with sugar, adjusting the proportions to taste as she went. I believe it required some days for the taste to settle but even during preparation it had a wonderful, "elegant" taste. She would often use in baking, also to sweeten and flavour tea.

4.6.4 Edible flowers

Best of the herbal forums: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/archives/best/1996/pansies.html