(Originally posted on July 24, 2011 – thought we could all use a refresher since it’s that time of year again and the fireweed is out in all its glory!)
Because I was feeling all “superhomemakerey” this weekend, I decided to try out a recipe for jelly that I found while browsing through one of the blogs I keep in my RSS reader… I’ve never canned, jarred or anything of the sort before, so I was pleased that this recipe looked super easy! Please check out Maija over on Finnskimo – she has all sorts of cool Alaskan recipes and stories. The recipe below is straight from her blog and it turned out beautifully. :)
My superdad graciously offered to gather a large bag full of beautiful fireweed blossoms for me off of the riverbank near his cabin on the Little Su River.
ALASKAN FIREWEED JELLY
8 C Fireweed Blossoms
1/4 C fresh squeezed Lemon or Lime juice
4 1/2 C Water
2 pk Powdered Pectin (Like Sure-Jell)
5 C Sugar
Pick Blossoms off the stem, separate leaves, and wash blossoms. Add to a pot, add citrus juice and water (we find that Lime works best), Boil for 10 full minutes, stirring occasionally. The color will slowly fade from the blossoms, that’s what you want! Strain the “juice” into pot (the juice is what you’ll use to make the jelly) and add pectin. Bring to full boil, and add sugar one cup at a time, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute after all sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat, place into clean jelly jars. Let sit overnight on a cooling rack. You’ll hear the lids “pop” and seal throughout the night. If there are any that don’t seal, simply store in refrigerator. Enjoy!
Here are a few photos from the process – this jelly turned out AWESOME! Such a yummy flavor, and a surreal color – like a fluorescent purple, almost! My sister-in-law, Amanda and I had a great time making this. We ALSO made two loaves of my Grandpa Bill’s Beer Bread so that we’d have something to try the jelly on… we ate a half a loaf and a half a jar of jelly by the time she went home!