****DISCLAIMER: The seeds & seed pods of Wisteria are poisonous and HIGHLY toxic, containing glycosides, however the blossoms ARE EDIBLE. The blossoms may be consumed raw or cooked in moderation, and making this jelly should be done at your own discretion.****
As a general rule, Wisteria is a legume, and most if not all legumes require cooking prior to consumption or they can cause illness. Skim your foam from your jelly if you want to be extra cautious; no illnesses have been reported from blossom consumption – seeds & pods are what cause adverse reactions.
Probably one of my favorite jellies to make. It’s a huge hit with everyone who has tried it, and actually fairly simple. I’m going to detail my recipe below…
Step 1…acquire wisteria blossoms. The best blossoms to use are those that have just recently opened and are still quite purple. Harvest as much as you like, with the blossoms we make a ‘tea’ infusion and this is what we will make our jelly with. You need at least 4 cups of loosely packed blossoms.
Step 2…once you’ve harvested your blossoms, you’ll make the tea. I use JUST UNDER a 1:1 ratio of blossoms to hot water. Remove the blossoms from the stems and put into a large bowl. If you use 4 cups of blossoms, you will use 3 and 3/4 (give or take) cups of hot water. I like to use water at 160 degrees (thanks to my fabulous electric tea pot), but boiling water is fine too. Pour your hot water over your blossoms and allow to steep overnight in the fridge.
Step 3…once the blossoms have steeped in the water overnight, strain them out of the tea. The remaining liquid should look grey. UGLY! Now, for some magic. For every cup of water you used, add 1/2 a tablespoon of lemon juice. Used 4 cups of water? Add 2T lemon juice to your tea. Stir once you add the juice and BOOM, now your tea should be a pretty purple-ish pink. **At this point, you can continue with jelly making, or you can freeze your tea to make jelly at a later date.**
Step 4…make the dang jelly (recipe below)
4 cups blossom tea
5 cups sugar
1 packet pectin
– Prepare your water bath canner with at least 8 half-pint jars, with new lids & rings.
– Pour tea into a large sauce pot and stir in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute.
– Add FULL AMOUNT OF SUGAR (don’t reduce or your jelly won’t set) and stir until dissolved. Return to a boil and boil 1 minute.
– Ladle hot jelly mixture into prepared jars, wipe rims, put on lid & ring, and place into water bath canner. Process for 5 minutes.
– Remove jars from canner, allow to cool, leave untouched for 24 hours. If any jars did not seal, refrigerate or freeze. 🙂