For some reason, I’m interested in concocting homemade jelly since moving into southwestern Missouri. I believe this desire stems from finding so many wild grapes on our old ranch, and that’s when it began. If you’ve never had wild grape jelly, well, you haven’t tasted a true grape then. Last year, I wondered if there might be such a thing as Ozarks redbud jelly, and thanks to Google, I found the perfect recipe and whipped up a batch.
This recipe comes from the blog, RedDirt Chronicles. They lay it all out for you, so if you want the recipe, show them some love and head over to their website.
Meanwhile, you’ll need these things from the store to make your jelly: lemon juice, Sure-Jel powder, sugar and butter.
You’ll also need to collect three cups of redbud blooms, when they’re fresh. I stripped them right off the delicate branches into a bucket below.
Don’t wait long. Also, the folks at RedDirt Chronicles remind you that bees love the blooms, too. And, they pointed out the importance of making sure you’re getting the purest buds possible, and don’t strip the buds from a backyard that has been sprayed with pesticides.
So, this redbud jelly recipe is typical, as far as jelly making goes, but the interesting part is the tea that you make with the buds. You’ll make a tea from steeping the buds. In fact, according to Herbs Natural’s website, “A tea made from the inner bark is highly astringent. Used in the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea and dysentery, it is also a folk remedy for leukaemia. A cold infusion of the roots and inner bark have been used to treat various chest complaints including whooping cough and congestion.”
The tea you’ll make, though, from the buds needs an overnight stay in the fridge, and the color pales as the pink gets stripped away. Do not worry, the pink magically appears when you add the sugar, lemon juice, butter and powder. According to the bloggers at RedDirt Chronicles, you may use other flowers, such as jasmine, lilac, carnation – and any edible flower, really.
What I did differently, though, is that I processed the jelly in a water bath. Otherwise, you need to store it in the fridge and it won’t keep as long. Check with reputable sites and recipe books on how long to process.
Next, I’m going to whip up some redbud shortbread cookies, of which I have not found a recipe. Stay tuned.