Introduction: Peony Petal Jelly
Making homemade jelly and canning aren’t just for the older generations anymore. It’s actually pretty easy and making Peony Petal Jelly is just the project for beginners. This guide includes materials and ingredients needed and step by step instructions from picking the blossoms to long term storage.
Materials needed to complete this project includes:
7 half pint jars with bands and lids
a pot with lid large enough to cover all 7 jars with water
a canning rack
another pot to make the actual jelly
a large glass bowl
an assortment of measuring spoons and cups
tongs or jar lifter
a canning funnel
Ingredients needed to make the peony petal jelly are:
4 cups of peony petals with no leaves or stems
¼ cup of lemon juice
½ teaspoon of butter
3 cups of sugar
1 box of powdered pectin
Step 1: Preparing Your Peonies
So, first things first, the peony petals need to be picked, stems and leaves removed, and then rinsed. Next, place the peony petals into a large glass bowl and pour 5 cups of boiling water over them. The peony petals will need to steep overnight on the counter or for at least 8 hours. After they have been steeped for the appropriate amount of time, strain the petals out of the water into another bowl or the pot being used to make the jelly, making sure to get every last bit of liquid out.
Step 2: Sterilizing Your Jars
Now before making the jelly, all 7 of the half pint jars need to be sterilized, just the jars. The boiling of the jars is important for not only sterilizing the jars but to prepare them, so they don’t break when the hot jelly is added. First insert the canning rack into the large pot, then place the jars onto the rack. Next fill the pot with water. The water should completely cover and fill the jars. Ideally the water level will be 1-2 inches above the jars. Next place the filled pot onto the appropriate burner on the stove and cover. Turn the burner onto high so that the water can reach a rapid boil. The water needs to reach a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit and once it does the jars are safe to remove. Remove the jars with the jar lifter or tongs and make sure they are placed onto a clean surface otherwise the jars will need to be sterilized again. It is best to perform both the sterilization of the jars and the making of the jelly at the same time so that once the jars are removed from the boiling water the jelly can be inserted into the jars while they are still hot. Be sure to leave the water simmering so it is ready when the jars are filled and need to be sealed.
Step 3: Making the Jelly
Next, it’s time to make the jelly. Start by placing the peony petal infusion, lemon juice, butter, and pectin into a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add all 3 cups of sugar at once. Return to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then ladle jelly into the sterilized jars using the canning funnel and leaving ¼ inch head space. Wipe any spilled jelly off the jars then place the lids on and screw on the bands. Then, using the jar lifter or tongs place the filled jars back into the simmering water. Make sure the water is 1-2 inches over the jars. Replace the pot lid and bring the water to a rolling boil. Once boiling begin the timer for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes is up turn off the burner and remove the pot lid. Let the jars sit in the cooling water for 5 minutes, then remove jars from the pot, placing them on a towel on the counter. Leave the jars undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. After time is up, inspect the lids to make sure they have sealed. Remove the bands and try to lift the lids off with your fingers. Properly sealed bands will remain attached. If the lid fails to seal within 24 hours immediately refrigerate the jelly. Jars of jelly that have properly sealed can be stored in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 18 months. Have fun with this guide to jelly making and canning for beginners.