Fireweed Jelly: The Brightly Colored Jam Made From the Fireweed Plant

The fireweed plant is a gorgeous wildflower native to Alaska and parts of the Pacific Northwest. Fireweed's vibrant pink and purple flowers make a stunning bouquet or centerpiece on your table. An even cooler use for these beauties is to make Fireweed jelly. Fireweed is classified as an herb, with completely edible flowers. It's perfect for turning into jelly that is fresher more unique than anything store-bought. With a few cups sugar, a few cups fireweed juice, a canner, a large pot, a teaspoon lemon juice, and a hot water bath, and a little bit of cook time, you can make this gorgeous jam at home.

Supplies You'll Need To Make Fireweed Jelly

The most obvious ingredient for fireweed jelly is the fireweed plant. While you will need to pick the whole plant, you'll only need the fireweed blossoms for the jelly. The other ingredients are standard for all jellies. You'll need sugar, water, pectin, and lemon juice.

If you've ever attempted homemade jelly before, you know that storing it requires some extra work. Jelly needs to be canned in sterilized jars in order to be stored safely. Half-pint jars are standard for canning and are easy to sterilize. Just put the jars in boiling water or in the dishwasher. Once the cans are sanitized, you can fill them with jelly and store them.

DIY Fireweed Jelly At Home

If you're going to spend the time picking the fireweed, you'll want to have several cups of fireweed flowers. More flowers equals more delicious Fireweed jelly, and who doesn't want that?

Once you have the flowers, you'll need to add them to a large saucepan with boiling water. Once they've boiled for about 10 minutes, you need to let them cool. At this point, the vibrant colored flowers will have turned a murky brown or grayish color. Don't fear— once the lemon juice is added, the beautiful colors will return.

In order to get enough fireweed juice, you'll need to strain the blossoms through a cheesecloth. You really want to be thorough with this, so make sure to squeeze out every last drop of liquid. Once you have the juice, add enough cups of water to get about 4 cups of liquid total.

Add lemon juice to the liquid and watch magic happen before your eyes. The dull color will transform back into the bright, beautiful magenta.

To the liquid, you'll add pectin, which is the setting agent to make jelly. Some recipes call for Sure-jell brand, while others don't specify. If you've worked with pectin before, just use whatever brand you're comfortable with. Liquid pectin or powdered pectin will yield the same results. Next, add the sugar, mix well, and bring the pot to a rolling boil for one minute.

The last step is to put your Fireweed jelly into the jars and seal for protection. If you want extra protection against potential spoilage, you'll need to heat the filled jars in a water bath for 10 minutes. After that, let them cool and store in the fridge or pantry.

Find the full Fireweed jelly recipe from Kitchen Frau.