Who doesn’t remember licking the sweet nectar from the ends of honeysuckle blossoms as a child? I remember many childhood summers spent sitting in the shade, picking the little flowers one by one, pulling off their tips and sucking the sweetness out. Ah, but what a short while the honeysuckle bloomed.
What would you say if I told you that it’s possible to enjoy that same sweet flavor year round? If you are fortunate enough to have wild honeysuckle growing in your area, take a little time to pick a basket of those delicate white and yellow flowers and step into the kitchen for some homemade honeysuckle jelly. You’ll have a taste of summer even on the coldest winter days.
Yields 7 half-pints
4 cups honeysuckle flowers
4 cups boiling water
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1 package liquid pectin
First you need to make an infusion to draw the flavor out of the flowers. It’s very simple. Prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of the petals.
Next, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, then add the honeysuckle flowers you’ve gathered and allow them to steep for about 45 min., stirring occasionally.
Strain the flowers from the liquid. You need two cups of the infusion for this recipe.
In the same saucepan, stir together 2 cups flower infusion, the lemon juice, and the sugar; bring to a hard boil that won’t stir down. Add the pectin and boil for 2 min; reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling over.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, and screw on lids. Allow to cool for 24 hours, then test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed.
*I never process my jellies in a water bath canner, but you may certainly do so if it makes you feel better.
Spread on some freshly baked bread and enjoy!