If you’re looking for a unique and delicious way to enjoy the delicate and floral flavor of redbud flowers, then look no further than this homemade redbud blossom jelly recipe! In this post, we’re going to dive right into one of the most simple beginner jelly recipes you will find. And I know, because it was my virgin canning voyage!
My very first time trying a canning recipe and it turned out perfect. The taste is delicious but unique.
I can’t wait to share this Redbud blossom jelly with you because it has given me the confidence to really dive into water bath canning. And it only took me 16 years to think about it!
Made from the beautiful pink blooms of the eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis), Redbud Blossom jelly is delicious and easy to make. But it also has a beautiful color and a delicate, floral flavor that is sure to delight your taste buds.
The Beauty and Flavor of Redbud Blossoms
The Eastern Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) a small deciduous tree, has the most beautiful pink blossoms. Redbud flowers were popular in cooking by Native Americans as well as early settlers for centuries.
This sweet and simple jelly captures the essence of these beautiful flowers. It has a delicate floral flavor as well as a stunning bright pink color.
It’s easy to make with just a few ingredients and simple equipment. It’s also a fun project that you can use to usher in early spring.
Between March and April when the new redbud blooms are in full swing, it’s a must-try. So, let’s dive right into making this delicious jelly!
Gathering Redbud Flowers: Foraging for the Best Results
To make redbud jelly, you will need to harvest the unopened buds of the redbud tree in early spring when they are still tightly closed.
Be sure to pick the blossoms that are at the top of each branch, as they tend to be the freshest. Therefore, avoid picking flowers that are wilted or have brown spots.
I have even more great tips and tricks on Foraging for Redbud Blossoms as well as how to use and preserve the blooms for more delicious recipes.
Making Redbud Blossom Jelly: Step-by-Step Guide
It is a testament to how simple this recipe is that I am new to the concept of canning. Yet am tasting delicious success. But before we can make jelly, we actually have to brew a bit of Redbud Tea.
Brewing Redbud Tea: The First Step in Making Redbud Jelly
After harvesting the redbud flowers, you can choose to rinse them thoroughly with cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
I actually skipped this first step because I read it can potentially wash off some of that amazing floral taste. And a little dirt never hurt anyone, right?
- Then, place them in a large pot or large jar.
- At this point, you will want to bring at least 4 cups of water to a rolling boil over high heat.
- Pour 4 cups of boiling water and fully submerge the flowers. Cover them with a lid and let them sit until they come to room temperature.
- Then refrigerate them for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours pull it out, then strain the redbud tea through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth into a large jar or bowl. Make sure to remove all the flower petals and green parts.
- When you’re done you should be left with 4 cups of liquid, a pretty light pink redbud tea.
- At this point, you can optionally add in your lemon juice to really brighten up the taste as well as the coloring of the tea. The tea will go from light pink to a bright Fuschia.
I have a more detailed brewing guide and a recipe for exactly how to make the best Redbud tea. In case you need a little bit more information on the entire process.
Yes, it’s supposed to be a dirty green or yellow color while steeping. Don’t freak out. Trust the process.
Preparing Jars, Lids, and Rims for Redbud Blossom Jelly Canning
It’s important to properly clean and sterilize your jars, lids, and rims before canning to prevent contamination from harmful bacteria and ensure the safety and longevity of your canned goods.
Unclean jars can harbor harmful microorganisms that can spoil your food and potentially cause illness. Sterilizing your jars, lids, and rims also helps to create a vacuum seal that is necessary for safe long-term storage.
Clean & Sterilize Canning Jars, Lids, and Rims: Step-by-Step Guide
This is a very simple, but also very important part of the entire process. So, don’t skip it.
To properly clean your jars, lids, and rims:
- Simply fill a sink with hot soapy water.
- Wash them all individually very well. Then rinse thoroughly as well.
- Then place them into your water bath canner.
- Fill appropriately with water, according to the directions that come with your canner pot.
- Bring it to a boil and allow the jars and lids to sterilize for 10 minutes.
- Allow it to continue to simmer while you create your jelly mixture.
For jelly fill the water bath canner with water 1 inch above your jelly jars on your rack. Cover and maintain a simmer (180°F) until jars are filled and placed in the canner.
Transforming Redbud Tea into Delicious Redbud Blossom Jelly
In this step, you will actually want to simultaneously be doing the step above, which is sterilizing your jars and lids. Both pots can be next to each other on the stove.
For specific measurements, see the recipe card below.
Creating the Redbud Jelly Mixture
In a separate large pot, combine your redbud tea and pectin.
Bring the mixture to a hard boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add 4 cups of sugar to the pot and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
Bring the mixture to a hard boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pot from the heat
At this point, you can add a small slip of butter to eliminate the foam. Or simply skim off any foam that may have formed on the surface of the mixture.
6 Tablespoons of Pectin equals 1 box of pectin. So, you would add 2 boxes of Sure Jell Low Sugar Pectin, or 12 tablespoons if you have a jar of it.
Canning Your Redbud Jelly: Canning Instructions
Using tongs take one jar out at a time. Leave the rest in the simmering water.
Ladle the hot redbud jelly into sterilized jars, leaving about ¼ inch of headspace at the top of each jar.
Wipe the rims of the jars clean with a damp cloth, then place the lids and rings on each jar. Don’t overtighten the rims.
Process the jars in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes, making sure the jars are fully submerged in water.
After processing, remove the jars from the canner and place them on a wire rack or dry towel to cool. Allow them to sit for 12-24 hours. After 12 hours check the jar seals to ensure they’ve sealed properly. If they haven’t you can reprocess.
Once the jars are cool, check the seals and store them in a cool, dark place.
To check if the canning jars have been sealed properly, press down on the center of the lid with your finger. If the lid is firmly concave and does not pop up and down when pressed, then the jar has sealed properly.
Variations to Try
Switch Granulated Sugar to Honey. In jelly recipes without added pectin, honey can replace up to one-half of the granulated sugar. With added pectin, two cups of honey can replace two cups of sugar in most recipes. In recipes that yield small batches of five to six glasses, one cup of sugar can be replaced by one cup of honey.
Reduce the Sugar. I first made my batch with 8 cups of sugar as recommended, but in the end, I decided I will definitely be reducing it to 1/4 or 1/2.
Add Other Florals or Fruit. You can try it with redbud blossom jelly including adding other floral or fruit flavors such as lavender or strawberry.
Try Herbs. Some great options would be herbs like mint or rosemary for a savory twist.
Add it to recipes. Try incorporating the jelly into baked goods like thumbprint cookies or cakes.
Other Floral Jellies to Try
If you enjoy making floral jellies, you may also want to try making wild violet or dandelion jelly. Both of these jellies have a unique floral flavor and a beautiful color. Plus, they are also easy to make at home.
More Redbud Blossom Content to Binge!
Redbud tea is just the beginning of the amazing recipes you can create using the lovely Redbud blossoms. Let’s discuss this.
- Redbud Syrup. Creating a simple syrup allows you to add the delicious flavor of Redbud flowers as a sweetener to all kinds of desserts and drinks!
- Redbud Flower Jelly. Not only is this Redbud jelly recipe delicious, but you can also get your feet wet with water bath canning! This homemade Redbud jelly is a super simple beginner’s recipe.
- Homemade Redbud Lemonade. Enjoy a twist on a true classic drink! The tartness of lemons paired with the sweet floral taste of Redbud Blossoms is a treat you cannot beat.
- How to Forage Redbud Flowers. There are just a few tips and tricks when foraging for these beautiful edible flowers that make the whole experience better!
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed for best taste)
- 4 Cups Redbud Blossoms
- 4 Cups Boiling Water
- 4-8 Cups of Organic Sugar
- 2 Boxes of Low Sugar Pectin
- 1 Teaspoon Butter *Optional
- First, create Redbud Tea by adding 4 cups of blossoms to a 64 oz Ball Jar.
- Add 4 cups of boiling water on top of the flowers, put a lid on it, and allow it to steep until it reaches room temperature.
- At this point, put it in the refrigerator and allow it to brew for 24 hours (do not go over 24 hours for best results).
- Take your Redbud tea out and strain it through a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, sieve, or coffee filter. Strain it again for good measure.
- Add 2 Tbsp of Lemon Juice.
- At this point, you will want to clean your jars, lids, and bands with hot soapy water.
- Then add your jars and lids to your water bath canner and sterilize them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Allow the jars to sit in the hot simmering water while you prepare your jelly mixture. Take the lids out and separate them for quick processing.
- Add your Redbud tea to a stock pot and add your two packets of low-sugar pectin to a stock pot and stir until it dissolves.
- Bring it to a boil.
- When it reaches a rolling boil add your sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved.
- Stirring the whole time bring it to a boil again.
- Then take it off the heat.
- You can either add a small slip of butter to eliminate foam, or simply skim the foam off the top with a spoon.
- Using tongs, get your jars out of the water bath canner one at a time.
- One jar out, use your canning funnel, and fill your jar to 1/4" headspace (the space between the jelly and the top of the jar.)
- Use a damp rag or cloth (vinegar is great to use as well) to wipe the rim of your jar.
- Add a sterilized lid and rim, and tighten the lid just to fingertip tight. (Don't over-tighten).
- Add it back to your hot water bath canner jar rack.
- Then grab another jar and do the same thing. Try to work quickly as your jelly will start to set as it cools.
- Once all your jars are properly filled and added to the rack put on the lid and heat it up to boil.
- Once it reaches a rolling boil put your timer on for 10 minutes.
- When the timer dings, take it off the heat and use your jar lifter to take each jar out one at a time onto a dry towel.
- Allow your jars to sit for 24 hours before touching them. You should hear a pop as the jars start to seal one by one.
- If after 12 hours you have jars that are not properly sealed, they can be reprocessed.
- 6 Tablespoons of Pectin equals 1 box of pectin. So, you would add 2 boxes of Sure Jell Low Sugar Pectin, or 12 tablespoons if you have a jar of it.
- In jelly recipes without added pectin, honey can replace up to one-half of the granulated sugar. With added pectin, two cups of honey can replace two cups of sugar in most recipes or a 1:1 ratio of honey to sugar. In the same way, in recipes that yield small batches of five to six glasses, one cup of sugar can be replaced by one cup of honey.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 192 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 0gSugar: 33gProtein: 0g
Final Thoughts on Homemade Redbud Blossom Jelly
Enjoy Your Homemade Redbud Jelly! Homemade redbud jelly is a delicious jelly that can be enjoyed on toast, with cream cheese, or used as a glaze for fresh foods.
It’s a unique and delightful way to use redbud flowers in your cooking!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Meet the Author
Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→