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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

nasturtium jelly


I'm growing nasturtiums in my garden this season and have loved the pop of color they add to my garden bed.  Nasturtiums are one of the most well known edible flowers, and they're a favorite of gardeners for their taste and their ability to deter pests from tomato plants.  They're also great for brightening up salads.  While reading Cooking with Flowers, I saw a recipe for nasturtium jelly, and thought it would be a great use for my explosion of nasturtium flowers. 



I had never attempted to make jelly before, so if you're a jelly-making-newbie like me, I think "you're ready for this jelly."  For this recipe, you'll need 1 1/2 cups nasturtium flowers, 2 cups water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, dash of hot sauce (optional), 2 cups sugar, and 1 (3 ounce) packet powdered pectin.  The recipe makes enough jelly for about two medium sized mason jar (see top picture). 


Begin by placing blossoms in sealable heatproof jar and pour 2 cups boiling water over top.  Let it stand for at least two hours and up to overnight.  (I let it stand for 5 hours, but I will let it seep overnight next time to get more flavor.  The taste of the flavored water will weaken when adding sugar and lemon juice.)  Strain mixture and reserve your "nasturtium tea."  Press the blossoms to drain as much liquid out as possible.  You can leave the blossoms in at this point, but I played it safe and left them out.  If you're feeling adventurous, consider placing the flowers at the very bottom or very top of the finished jelly jar for a striking finished look.  

Bring nasturtium tea, lemon juice, (hot sauce) and sugar to a boil in a 3-4 quart pot.  Add pectin when sugar is dissolved.  Return to boil for three minutes.  Scrape off any foam that develops - don't want it affecting the taste or look of your jelly!  Ladle jelly into clean, dry jars.  The jelly will be hot and liquidy at this point, but it will start to set once it leaves the pot.  You can can or refrigerate your jelly at this point.  Canned jellies will last for one year, and refrigerated jellies will last for a couple of months.  Because canning still makes me nervous, I just refrigerated my jelly and have been sharing it with friends and coworkers.  And it will have disappeared long before it's couple-month shelf life has expired.

Recipe adapted from Cooking with Flowers. 


The finished jelly has the sweet/spicy taste of nasturtium flowers.  I didn't add the hot sauce, but I think I will next time to really highlight the flavor of the nasturtiums.  The jelly is great served on toast, but my favorite way to eat it is served on crackers with a little goat cheese.  Enjoy! 

3 comments:

  1. Hi there,

    I am interested in making this, but am unsure of the measurement of the nasturtium flowers. 1-1/2 cup is pressed down? Is it by throwing the flowers in until they meet the 1-1/2 c measured line or do you have a weight measurement?

    Thanks for your time :)

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    Replies
    1. I would like to make this but am wondering what weight of flower is required, is it a packed volume measure or lightly thrown into a measure cup measure which reaches 1-1/2 cups of nasturtiums?

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    2. I don't have a weight measurement unfortunately. I packed them in to get the most flavor out of them. That also gives you the option of watering the tea down if it tastes too strong. Just remember you'll also dilute some of the flavor with the sugar and lemon juice. Hope it turns out well for you!

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