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Make Unique And Delightful Peony Jelly From Blossoms

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Last Modified: May 12, 2024
Published: May 12, 2024

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Peony jelly is beautiful and amazing! It tastes somewhere between peach and strawberry jelly, yet the unmistakable essence of the amazing fragrance from the showy, short-lived blooms is present.

Many flowers are edible, and blossoms have been used in food for flavor and garnishes since the Middle Ages. Nevertheless, I am always astonished at the inventive and adventurous souls who decide one day to make jelly from corn cobs, dandelions, violets, or, in this case, peony blossoms! You have to love their inventiveness and spunk!

peony jelly jars all in a row

In a few days, just in time for Memorial Day, our enormous peony bushes will explode with massive, fragrant blooms. I always wish they'd last longer before they start losing their gorgeous petals for another year! The beautiful blossoms are captured in a new form when I make peony jelly.

Peony Blossoms Last A Week But Peony Bushes Can Live 100 Years

Peonies are among the most stunning spring flowers. Their large, showy blooms emit an incredible fragrance that wafts far through the air. The plants are hardy, able to survive the harshest winters, and live for a hundred years with virtually no care.

Peonies symbolize love, romance, and prosperity. When their first small round buds appear, they're no bigger than a marble. It's impossible to imagine how the blossoms can become so huge and loaded with so many petals! You can often find them blooming profusely in abandoned cemeteries.

Peonies downside? Those gorgeous, pillowy, romantic blooms only last about a week, and then they wilt and drop petal by petal until they are gone. Use the dreamy petals to make beautiful jelly and preserve them in a new and amazingly delicious form. Make some peony flower jelly to enjoy while we wait until another spring.

People ask, "What does peony jelly taste like?" I think it tastes somewhere between strawberry and peach, and it is a little tart. The floral essence comes through, but it isn't strong or overwhelming.

How To Turn 8 Cups Of Petals Into Beautiful Peony Jelly

Pluck the petals from enough flowers to make eight cups of petals, lightly pressed down. I have read recipes that use as little as four cups. However, it makes sense that more petals would create a more concentrated infusion with a more intense flavor, and my hunch turned out great. The peony flower jelly explodes with taste.

Some people have been sad, saying, "Why not just enjoy the flowers?" I do! Our peony bushes are huge and produce dozens of blooms. I don't use all the flowers, and I wait until the petals just begin to fall on their own and before they turn brown before picking them for jelly.

Next, put the petals in a large pot with one sliced lemon and enough water to cover them. Bring the mixture to a boil for ten minutes, remove it from the heat, and let it steep overnight in the fridge.

After steeping, the peony blossoms will lose their loveliness, but never fear—their essence is very much alive! You have created a batch of peony tea!

Strain the petals and lemon slices and use the liquid to make jelly. You can even freeze this peony "tea" and make the jelly later in the year. I made my peony jelly in two batches using four cups in a batch.

I had enough to make two batches by adding a very small amount of water. I prefer to make jelly in small batches, as my experience has shown that I get better results.

Toward the end of last year's blooming season, I made peony tea and froze it to make a later batch when life and spring yard work weren't so hectic!

Please refer to the recipe card for tips on successful jelly and jam-making. Gather all your canning supplies and set up your workstation because this process moves quickly, and you won't have time to run to the store or look for missing items! My number one rule is to have everything ready before you begin!

If you want to preserve the peony jelly so it is shelf-stable, you must process it in a boiling water bath. When you start making jelly, set another large stockpot of water to boil. If you have hard water, as we do, add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to the pot so lime doesn't form on the jars.

Complete Instructions For Making Peony Tea Into Peony Jelly

Measure 4 cups of sugar into a container and set it aside.

Measure out 4 cups of peony tea and put it in a tall stockpot. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice, one 1.75-ounce box of powdered pectin like Sure-Jell, and one teaspoon of butter to keep the jelly from foaming. Bring that mixture to a boil, constantly stirring until all the pectin completely dissolves.

While the mixture boils, add the sugar all at once. Keep cooking and stirring until it begins to boil again and reaches such a vigorous boil that it cannot be "stirred down." Set a timer and cook for exactly one minute. You do not need a thermometer.

Remove the jelly from the stove. It will be super hot, above boiling, so be careful! Ladle the molten jelly into the jars using a canning funnel. Leave about an inch of headspace; don't fill to the brim.

Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the rim of the jar and place a canning flat and ring on the jar. I love the little magnetic lid lifter gadget my sister gave me to grab the canning flats out of the hot water! It saves scalding my fingers!

Hand-tighten the lid and use a canning jar lifter to put the jar in the boiling water bath. Make sure the boiling water covers the jars by an inch or more.

Set a timer for ten minutes, and when the time is up, use the canning jar lifter to remove the jars and put them on a rack or thick towel to cool. Allow the jars to sit without moving them until they are completely cool. You'll hear the distinctive "ping" sound as the jars seal.

If a jar does not seal, freeze or refrigerate it and use the peony jelly within about a month. Trust me; this will not be hard to do!

This recipe was such an adventure, and the jelly turned out beautiful and delicious. I will definitely make it again. I did not use a drop of food coloring! Next time, I may widen the lens and make a different flower jelly, for instance, using rose petals. I need to find a friend with abundant rose bushes!

What a lovely thing to put in a gift basket. I cannot wait to make powdered sugar-dusted thumbprint cookies with a spoonful of this gorgeous pink peony jelly in the center! 

But for now, I am happy to enjoy it very simply, on bread, while sitting on the bench overlooking my flower bed. I'd love for you to come and sit by me.

PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD

Yield: 7 half-pints

Peony Jelly

peony jelly

Here is a recipe for beautiful jelly you can make using peony blossoms.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of petals from peony blossoms
  • One lemon, sliced
  • Water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • One 1.75-ounce box of powdered pectin
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp butter

Instructions

  1. Get ready for your jelly-making session. Assemble everything you need before you begin!
  2. Put eight cups of peony petals in a large pot with one sliced lemon and enough water to barely cover the petals.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for ten minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and let it steep overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Choose a tall stockpot to make the jelly in.
  6. Measure out four cups of peony tea and return the rest to the refrigerator for another batch.
  7. You'll need a second tall pot of water deep enough to cover the jars by one inch for the boiling water bath after filling them. Start it now. Put flats (lids) in a bowl of very hot water, ready to use. If you have hard water, add a tablespoon or so of vinegar to the water so lime doesn't form on jars.
  8. Jelly jars are ready to use if you've run them through a dishwasher on a hot cycle. Lay a thick bath towel on the area where you'll fill your jars. Assemble a canning funnel, sterilized jars, jar lifter, flats, rings, a cooling rack, and a clean, damp dishcloth for wiping rims.
  9. Measure four cups of sugar into a container and set it aside.
  10. Put four cups of peony tea into a tall stockpot with two tablespoons of lemon juice, the pectin, and a teaspoon of butter to keep any foam from forming on the top of the jelly.
  11. Bring the mixture to a boil and constantly stir to dissolve all the pectin.
  12. Dump in all the sugar immediately and bring the mixture back to a boil. Continue boiling until it comes to a vigorous boil that can't be stirred down. Set a timer! Continue cooking for one minute.
  13. Remove from the stove. Ladle the jelly into the jars, leaving about an inch of headspace.
  14. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth.
  15. Put a canning flat on top and secure it with a canning ring. Tighten the ring by hand.
  16. Put the jelly jar into the boiling water bath and use a jar lifter.
  17. Process for ten minutes, then remove and set the jars on a cooling rack or thickly folded towel to cool.
  18. Do not touch or move the jars until they are completely cool.

I love making jelly and jam! It's a satisfying process, and I love seeing the fruits of my labor (pun intended) all lined up so I can count them as I put them on the shelf to admire!

Some of the favorites I have made this year are orange marmalade, apricot jam, and pineapple jam!!

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