by Tammy Taylor~
We’re just starting our second year of beekeeping this year. Although we often plant winter rye and clover for early grazing opportunities for our cattle herd, we planted clover heavily in the pen right next to the beehives. It’s beautiful in full bloom! We’ve kept the cattle off of this piece of land to allow the bees to do their thing with the clover blossoms. I suspect there’s not a much sweeter delight than home-grown clover honey #amiright? I can’t wait for our first real honey harvest in July! But as we were walking through that paddock recently I commented to RancherMan how fragrant those blossoms were. Wonder if I can make jelly from them? Hummmm…
I decided to use the same recipe that I use to make my Honeysuckle Jelly. But I mean, it’s just a blossom infusion, right?? So I went to the paddock with my basket and carefully picked about 4 cups of blossoms. I mostly picked white clover blossoms but I also harvested some crimson clover blossoms as well. Maybe they will give an interesting tint of color to my jelly.
As I was harvesting the blossoms I was careful to remove any part of the green stem that might still be attached to the blooms. I’ve heard the greenery can cause your jelly to have an off or bitter taste. Can’t have that now can we??
Then I brought the blossoms inside and dumped them all into a colander. I rinsed them thoroughly and gave ’em all a good shake to remove most of the moisture that might cling to the blooms. Then I started to make my infusion.
Making the infusion was easy. I just measured out 4 cups of water and brought it to a boil. After it boiled I turned off the heat and dumped the blossoms into the hot water. I gave it all a quick stir to immerse the blooms & then covered the pot with the lid. I like to allow the infusion to do it’s thaaaaang for at least 45 minutes. But I allowed this infusion to cool completely, then I stored the whole shebangie in the fridge overnight to infuse a little more.
The next morning I brought it out and strained out the blossoms. I even squeezed the blossoms to make sure all the infusion was being captured. Then into the compost bucket the spent blooms went. Nothing wasted!
My infusion was pretty dark like strong tea. I wonder what that will do to the color of the jelly? Time will tell!
Prepare Canning Supplies First
Before making my jelly I need to prepare my canning supplies. So first I prepared my 1/2-pint canning jars by washing them and placing them on a cookie sheet in my oven set to 225 degrees. I like to heat my jars to 225 degrees and hold them at that temperature while my jelly is cooking. This helps protect against cracked jars when hot jelly is poured into cool jars. It also helps sanitize my jars for food preservation.
I’d also placed my flat canning lids into super-hot water to soften the seals to prepare them for canning. The water-bath canner was filled with water and placed on a back burner to begin heating up so all would be ready when it was time to can my jelly.
Now I turned my attention to making my Clover-Blossom Jelly. I measured out 2 cups of the cold infusion and poured it into my pan. The other 2 cups of infusion was placed in the fridge for a second batch later. I’ve heard doubling blossom-infusion jelly oftentimes keeps the jelly from thickening. So I don’t make more than one batch at a time.
I added 4 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice and turned the heat to medium high. I stirred as the infusion was heating up until all the sugar was dissolved. Then I attached my candy thermometer and waited for that infusion to heat to 220 degrees, stirring constantly.
When 220 degrees was attained I added a packet of liquid pectin and stirred until the mixture came to a boil again. All that’s left to do is allow this jelly to boil for two more minutes. When the timer went off it was time to can. It’s SHOW TIME, y’all!
Water-Bath Canning Clover-Blossom Jelly
I brought out my hot, clean 1/2-pint jars and filled them with hot jelly leaving about an inch head space. The rims were wiped off to remove any residue and I attached my canning lids & rings. Into the now-boiling water-bath canner they went.
I canned them for 5 minutes after the water returned to a boil. Then I brought them out and placed them on a towel on my counter, allowing them to cool overnight. It was delightful to hear all the PINGS as the jars sealed one by one. The jelly turned out a lovely amber color. (swoon…) Isn’t it beautiful??
Now when I’m canning, I always put a small amount of jelly into a separate jar to be stored in the refrigerator. That way I’m able to taste the jelly before storing it away. So after it cooled I gave ‘er a little taste. It was delicious! Sweet, subtly flavored and not too thick. The consistency would be perfect to spread onto toast or biscuits without tearing the bread, even after the jelly was chilled.
The next morning I checked to see that all my lids were all sealed and of course they were. Yea! I took off the rings to keep them from rusting & wiped down the jars with soapy rag to remove any residual stickiness. Finally I labeled the lids and placed them into my pantry for storage.
Since I still had the other half of my infusion in the fridge I went ahead and made another batch of jelly. Homemade jelly makes great, well-received & very personal gifts.
So go on out & grab some of those fragrant clover blossoms & make some jelly! Yes I’ll share my recipe. You’re welcome!
Yields (6) 1/2-Pint Jars. Harvest some of those sweet clover blooms and make a delicious jelly.
- 4 cups Clover Blossoms
- 4 cups Boiling Water
- 4 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- 1 Pkg Liquid Pectin
To make an infusion, prepare the blossoms by thoroughly rinsing blossoms in a colander & shaking off any remaining water.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off, then add the honeysuckle blossoms, covering the pan after blooms are placed in water. Allow them to steep for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strain the flowers from the liquid. Measure two cups of the infusion and return it to the saucepan – the mixture will rise quite a bit when it’s boiling so it’s best to use an over-sized pan.
Add lemon juice and sugar and turn heat to medium high, stirring constantly. Bring the infusion to a hard boil that won’t stir down. (220 degrees)
Add the pectin and boil for two minutes. Reduce heat if necessary to avoid boiling over.
Ladle jelly into hot, sanitized jars, and screw on canning lids. Place jars in boiling water of a water-bath canner for 5 minutes.
Remove jars and place on a towel, out of drafts and allow to cool for 24 hours. Test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed after that time.
I’ve refrigerated the cooled infusion with the blossoms overnight, and although the infusion was dark when I strained it, the jelly ended up amber-yellow and even more intensely flavored.