Intro: How to Make: Lavender Jelly
My first encounter with lavender jelly was at an arts and craft fair in Christchurch, New Zealand. The year was 2005, and there were many different things shown there that day. Pottery, soap carving, you name it.
Anyway, I decided recently to try and look up how to make lavender jelly. This instructable will attempt to give you an idea on how lavender jelly can be made. :D
Step 1: What You Need
2 cups boiling water
4 Tbsp dried lavender bud (preferably organic or spray free)
4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 packet (70 grams) pectin
Stainles steel pot
Stainless steel / wooden spoon
4-6 jam jars, depending on the size; I bought mine from the nearby Mitre 10 hardware store. You can reuse your jam jars, nothing wrong with that.
(edit: the pectin I bought was only 9% pectin, the rest was glucose. My jelly turned out very runny. Next batch I make, I'll add more. Trial and error, eh?) Also, you can also use your own lavender buds. Just harvest the flowers before they open,and dry them in a cool area for a few days. Don't heat them up or anything as it will destroy or evaporate he essential oils that gives them that distinct lavender aroma.
Step 2: Sterilize the Jars
To sterilize the jars, wash them properly (do not wipe dry) and microwave them for 30 seconds or so. Put the lids in a bowl with the under side facing upwards (damp, of course, we don't want sparks flying in there) in the microwave and nuke! Or you can always do the old boiling method.
Step 3: 20 Minutes or More...
Firstly, put the lavender buds in a pyrex jug and pour in 500 ml (2 cups worth) of boiling water. Steep the buds for 20 minutes or so. It should look like tea. And it smells very nice. Make sure you cover the top with plastic wrap to prevent dust from settling in there, and to reduce evaporation.
Step 4: On the Stove!
Strain the lavender 'tea' and pour into the pot. Add the lemon juice, sugar and pectin. Once it reaches the boiling point, make sure it stays that way no longer than 4 minutes; this should provide you with firm jelly, whilst boiling for 2 minutes should give you a softer jelly.
Step 5: Steady Now...
Once done boiling, take off the heat and pour into the jars.
The colour looks like red tea, though the lady at the arts and craft fair that I saw had lavender jelly that was the same colour as fresh lavenders. I suspect she may have used artificial colouring...
Step 6: CAP 'EM!
Cap the bottles while mixture is still hot. BE CAREFUL WHEN HANDLING at this stage as the glass jars can be very hot.
Leave to cool overnight.
You can serve this on toast, on scones, and if you feel like being generous, bottle it up nicely and give it to your friends and neighbours.
I have yet to try mine to see how the texture is as they are still cooling but I can tell you that it tastes delicious.
Step 7: Extra Notes
There are different variations out there on the internet. I've seen violet jelly, rose jelly, dandelion jelly, and even tea jelly. You can substitute the dry lavender buds for tea leaves (earl grey, perhaps?), dried rose petals, or anything you think would make an interesting spread.
If you plan on using flowers, make sure they're pesticide free.
End result of batch 1 Lavender
It turned out like syrup, but it tastes good. Next time I'll be adding more pectin. It tastes great in tea with milk and on pikelets, though.
I am in the process of making earl grey tea jelly. I reduced everything but the pectin by half. It looks promising. I'll let you know when it sets. It tastes like lemon juice as I used bottled lemon juice instead of fresh ones.