Alaska Fireweed Jelly
Prep Time: @ 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes in water bath
Yield: 8 (4 ounce jars)
8 cups fireweed blossoms
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 1/2 cups water
5 cups sugar
2 packages SureJell pectin
Gather the few ingredients you’ll need and measure so they will be ready. Also, start your hot water bath and prepare your jars and lids.
Rinse fireweed blossoms thoroughly, pick out any leaves (they taste bitter) and any other debris.
Add cleaned blossoms, water, and lemon juice to a large pot. Cover with water and boil for 10 minutes. It will turn rather gray in color at this point, but not to worry…the bright fuchsia color will be there after straining.
Line a colander with cheese cloth and strain the juice from the pot. The cheesecloth is essential as is catches the teeny, tiny debris, and you want a pristine, beautiful fireweed juice for the base of the jelly. You should end up with about 3 – 3 1/2 cups juice.
Add strained juice to a clean pot, along with the pectin. Bring to a boil. Add sugar, bring to a rolling boil and cook for 1 full minute. Stir or whisk the pectin and sugar after adding so everything incorporates smoothly.
Ladle jelly into the prepared jars, wiping around edges with a damp paper towel to remove any stickiness (you want a really good seal on these babies). Put lids on jars.
**Place jars in canning pot ( I used a 21-qt.) and bring to a boil; continue to boil for 10 minutes. When done, place carefully on a tea towel (a cold countertop can shock, hence the towel) and listen for the ‘pop’ of the seals forming. There is no sweeter sound int he canning world 🙂
Cool completely. Open one jar for immediate use (trust me, you’ll want to sample it) and store the rest in a cool, dry place. These makes such nice gifts, especially for friends in the lower 48.
This is what Alaskan summers taste like.
**If you are a pro at canning jams and jelly’s, that’s great. If not, this is an invaluable source for those new to canning…