Makes 4 half-pints
These beautiful blossoms make delicious jelly. Beware! If you share this unique jelly with a friend, they may pester you for their own jar.
This is a special jelly recipe for readers who live on or near the West Coast. Manzanita is an evergreen shrub or small tree that lives along the coast, in the Sierra foothills, and up into the mountains. In the spring it produces large clusters of beautiful white to deep pink blossoms. The cluster that you see to the right is about 3 inches across. The blossoms eventually produce small berries that are a food source for a wide variety of wild animals, including bears and coyotes. But our interest for now is strictly in the blossoms. The blossoms usually appear in late winter to the end of Spring. They are currently in bloom* (early April) here in the Sierra foothills. Wikipedia says that Manzanita can be found in southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the United States, and throughout Mexico.
8 cups Manzanita blossoms
4 cups water
1 (1.75 oz.) package Original Sure-Jell powdered fruit pectin
2⅔ cups sugar
4 half-pint (8 ounce) canning jars with rings and lids
1. Soak freshly picked Manzanita blossoms in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain blossoms in a colander.
2. Place in a 3-quart pot and add 4 cups of water.
3. Bring the water to a boil.
4. Boil gently for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.
5. Place a colander over a 2-quart saucepan. Line the colander with a clean dish towel or pressing cloth.
6. Pour the cooked blossoms into the colander so that the juice is collected in the saucepan below.
7. Bring the four corners of the pressing cloth together over the colander, twist to close, and squeeze out any extra juice. You can use a potato masher if you like, but squeezing by hand will result in the most juice. You may want to let the blossoms cool off a bit before squeezing them since they will still be very hot. Discard the cooked blossoms when done.
8. Measure the Manzanita juice to make sure that you have 2⅔ cups. If there is not enough juice, then add fresh water to make up the difference. If there is too much, continue to simmer gently until it is reduced to 2⅔ cups.
9. Return the juice to the 2-quart saucepan. Stir the powdered pectin into the juice until dissolved.
10. Bring to a full boil while stirring.
11. Add 2⅔ cups of sugar and continue to stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.
12. Return to a rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Be careful and watch to make sure that the jelly does not boil over.
13. Remove from heat, skim foam from the top of the jelly, pour into hot sterilized jars, and seal.
14. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
I hope you enjoy the natural, unique flavor of this colorful jelly.
* The bloom period varies greatly due to location and variety of Manzanita. Since some plants live almost at sea level and others live in the mountains at 6000 to 7000 feet, they can bloom anywhere from the winter time to late spring.
Welcome to my world of vegetarian cooking. My name is Rev. McKinney. The purpose of this blog is to show you that adopting a vegetarian diet does not have to be a traumatic experience.
Some of the links here are affiliate links and we will earn a very small commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend the products listed because they are from companies that I have found to be consistent and reliable.