Red clover jelly is so easy to make. It takes very little time. It’s very inexpensive. It’s really very tasty. But perhaps more important than all of that, it’s just fun!
There’s something so darn special about picking a bunch of pretty flower blossoms in the early summer, and turning them into a gorgeous pink-hued jelly to place on your table when you have a friend over for an afternoon visit.
I took a jar of the jelly I made for this post, along with a few handmade biscuits, to a new friend who just moved into the neighborhood. And it was pretty awesome to see the smile it brought to her face.
So … gift a jar or two when you make your batch of red clover jelly, and bask in a few sweet smiles from your friends. It feels really good for both of you.
Picking Flower Blossoms For Jelly
When picking flower blossoms to make red clover jelly, be sure to pick only the healthiest looking blooms.
They should be full of petals, all the way around the blossom. And they should be free of brown spots, indicating that the bloom is dying back and already past it’s prime.
Also, be sure to pick as many darker colored blossoms as you can. These blossoms really contribute a great deal to the pink hue of the jelly you make with them. And, in my humble opinion, the color of this jelly is a significant part of it’s allure.
Leave Some Flowers For The Pollinators
Wildharvesting edible food from Nature comes with guidelines that are really very important to follow.
The plants that you see growing in the wild are part of a complex eco-system. If they are disturbed too much it will cause damage to that system. And that doesn’t serve anyone well.
One of the concerns with harvesting blossoms, like red clover, is that they are a key source of food for pollinators.
There are many different pollinators out there, but perhaps the most talked about as of late is the bee. The population of these incredibly necessary little helpers is declining rapidly. It’s really up to us humans to be sure to protect the environments they need to thrive.
So … be good to the bees. Don’t harvest more than 5% of any patch of red clover blossoms you find.
Additionally, it goes without saying that it is absolutley paramount to be sure that you have properly identified the blossoms you pick. Improper identification can lead to serious illness. It can in some cases be fatal.
Preparing Red Clover Blossoms For Jelly
In order to make a sweet, tasty jelly, you’ll want to remove the leaves and stem completely from the blossom.
Simply pull the leaves all the way back away from the blossom, and clip the stem as close to the blossom as you can.
I found that after I did a few blossoms, I developed a mental gauge for just where the stem was attached to the blossom. This allowed me to clip the greenery off the blossom much quicker.
I was able to simply clip over the greenery, while estimating just where the stem would end, without making the extra effort of pulling it back.
Do whatever works best for you. But be sure to remove as much green from the blossom as possible, as it is my understanding that leaving it on lends a bitter taste to your red clover jelly.
What Does Red Clover Jelly Taste Like?
I’m not gonna lie, I was completely unsure how I was going to feel about actually eating my red clover jelly after I made it.
I’ve eaten more than a handful of floral foods, and I don’t always enjoy them. I’d say there’s about a 50/50 chance that I will find a floral food tasty.
This jelly is really a winner. It tastes fantastic! I wouldn’t hesitate to serve it to anyone who enjoys jelly. It’s that good.
As far as what it tastes like … that’s harder to say. The floral notes in foods made with blossoms have their own flavor. If you’ve never had them it’s difficult for someone to explain them to you.
If you have had them, know that in this recipe they are quite subtle and delicious!
How To Make Red Clover Jelly
The very first step to making a jelly with flower blossoms is to create an infusion with the blossoms.
This is done by pouring very hot, almost boiling, water over the blossoms and then allowing them to sit for about 24 hours. Once they’ve had that time to ‘brew’, you will strain the blossoms from the water and use the infused water as the base for your jelly.
The red clover infused water will be combined with some lemon juice and pectin and brought to a rolling boil. Then you will add some sugar and bring it to a rolling boil again.
This time you will allow it to boil for 1 minute. This is necessary for it to properly set up and take on the texture of jelly.
At this point your red clover jelly is ready to be canned.
Do I Have To Water Bath Can My Flower Jelly
If it is important to you to remain within the guidelines of canning safety experts, it is necessary to water bath can your red clover jelly.
Other than that you have two choices …
Inversion canning is one of those choices. And it is the method I used in the youtube video I made for this post (you can find that above).
It worked well for me, and I know people who use this method often. BUT it isn’t an approved canning method. So, please do your own research on this method and choose for yourself whether or not you feel comfortable using it.
The other choice that you have is to skip the canning all together and just pour your jelly into sterilized jars, allow it to cool, and then place a lid on it.
This is how I wrote up the recipe card below for this post. It is by far the simplest way to make this jelly.
Using this method will not preserve your red clover jelly for long term storage. However, this recipe makes just a few jars of jelly and the ingredients of it make it naturally refrigerator safe for 2-3 months. So, if you think you’re going to eat it in that time you’re good to go.
If you want to make a larger batch and water bath can it, you can check out the video that Living Traditions Homestead put out on how to do that here.
Living Traditions Homestead is a youtube site that I’ve followed for some time now. I love their work. They are very thorough when they explain things, which makes their site really helpful for anyone trying to learn something new.
I intend to reference this very video again when I embark fully on my own water bath canning journey.
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Red clover jelly is so easy to make. It's quick, inexpensive, and tasty. And, perhaps most importantly, it's just plain fun!
- 2 c red clover blossoms, cleaned and trimmed
- 4 c hot water, heated close to a boil
- 1/4 c lemon juice
- 1 pkg sure jell, 1.75 oz
- 4 c sugar
- Place red clover blossoms in a quart jar.
- Fill the jar with the hot water.
- Loosely place a lid on the jar.
- Allow to sit for 24 hours.
- Strain the clover blossoms out of the water.
- Pour 2 c of the clover infused water into a heavy bottom saucepan, along with lemon juice and pectin.
- Bring to a rolling boil.
- Add the sugar.
- Bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil for 1 minute.
- Pour into jelly jars and allow to cool completely.
- Place a lid on the jars and refrigerate.
- Consume in 2-3 months time.
This recipe does not create a shelf stable product.