Fireweed Jelly

Yield: approximately 15 x 125 ml jars

Ingredients:

8 cups fireweed blossoms (no stems or leaves)

¼ cup lemon juice

4 ½ cups water

2 packages powdered pectin

5 cups sugar

Method:

Collect the fireweed blossoms. Avoid the green stems and leaves. I harvest the blooming stalks while my patient wife picks and measures the blossoms. When picking, there could be bugs and perhaps bees, so be careful. We place the precious blossoms in a large freezer bag.

Blossoms can be frozen if you want to schedule your jelly making for a more convenient time.

Prepare your jars. Pre-heat your oven to 225ºF. Wash your jars in soapy water, rinse well and place them in the oven for at least 20 minutes.

Add lemon juice and water to fireweed blossoms, and boil for 10 minutes. Strain the blossoms. We use a fine steel mesh, and then squeeze the blossoms through an old tea towel, if you don’t have a jelly bag. You will see the wonderful magenta colour as the boiling water frees it from the blossoms. You should end up with about 4 cups of juice.

Add your pectin powder to the strained juice and bring to a boil.

Add sugar and bring to a boil for 1 minute.

Pour into your jars and seal. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Check to ensure that all lids have sealed properly.

Savour and enjoy the unique taste of the north, which you have captured and preserved for days to come.