Canning and Freezing

Make One Beautiful Peony Flower Jelly From Blossoms

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Recipe For Jelly From Peony Blossoms

Peony Flower Jelly Is stunning! It tastes somewhere between peach and strawberry jelly, and yet there is the unmistakable essence of the amazing fragrance from the showy, short-lived blooms.

Many flowers are edible, and blossoms have been used in food for flavor and garnishes since the Middle Ages. Nevertheless, I am always astonished at the inventive and adventurous souls who decide one day to make jelly from corn cobs, dandelions, violets, or this case, peony blossoms! You have to love their spunk!

Peony Blossoms Last For 7 Days, But Peony Bushes Can Live 100 Years

Peonies are one of the most stunning of all the flowers of spring. The blooms are large and showy, and the incredible fragrance wafts far through the air. The plants are hardy, able to survive the harshest winters and live for a hundred years with virtually no care.

Peonies symbolize love, romance, and prosperity. When their first small round buds appear, they’re no bigger than a marble. It’s impossible to imagine how the blossoms can become so huge and loaded with so many petals! You can often find them blooming profusely in abandoned cemeteries.

Peonies downside? Those gorgeous, pillowy, romantic blooms only last about a week, and then they wilt and drop petal by petal until they are gone. Use the dreamy petals to make beautiful jelly and preserve them in a new and amazingly delicious form. Make some peony flower jelly to enjoy while we wait until another spring.

People ask, “what does it taste like?” In my opinion, it tastes somewhere between strawberry and peach, and it is a little bit tart. The floral essence comes through, but it isn’t strong or overwhelming.

How To Turn 8 Cups Of Flower Petals Into Beautiful Peony Flower Jelly

Pluck the petals from enough flowers to make eight cups of petals, lightly pressed down. I have read recipes that use as little as four cups. However, it makes sense that more petals would create a more concentrated infusion with a more intense flavor, and my hunch turned out great. The peony flower jelly explodes with taste.

pot full of petals

Next, put the petals in a large pot with one sliced lemon and enough water to cover the petals. Bring the mixture to a boil for ten minutes, then remove from heat and allow it to steep overnight in the fridge.

After steeping, the peony blossoms have lost their loveliness but never fear, and their essence is very much alive! You have created a batch of peony tea!

Strain out the petals and lemon slices and use the liquid to make jelly. You can even freeze this peony “tea” and make the jelly later in the year. I made my jelly in two batches using four cups in a batch. I had enough to make two batches by adding a very small amount of water. I prefer to make jelly in small batches. My experience has shown I have better results.

Please refer to the recipe card for tips on successful jelly and jam making. The number one rule for me is to have everything you need ready before you begin!

If you want to preserve the peony flower jelly, so it is shelf-stable, you will need to process it in a boiling water bath. When you start making jelly, set another large stockpot of water so it can come to a boil. If you have hard water, as we do, add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to the pot so lime doesn’t form on the jars.

Measure 4 cups of sugar into a container and set it aside.

Measure out 4 cups of peony tea and put it in a tall stockpot. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice, one 1.75-ounce box of powdered pectin like SureJell, and one teaspoon of butter to keep the jelly from foaming. Bring that mixture to a boil, constantly stirring until all the pectin completely dissolves.

While the mixture boils, add the sugar all at once. Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture begins to boil again and comes to such a boiling point it cannot be “stirred down.” Set a timer and cook for exactly one minute. You do not need a thermometer.

Remove the jelly from the stove. It will be super hot, above boiling, so be careful! Ladle the molten jelly into the jars using a canning funnel. Leave about an inch of headspace, don’t fill to the brim.

Use a clean damp cloth to wipe the rim of the jar and place a canning flat and ring on the jar. I love the little magnetic lid lifter gadget my sister gave me to grab the canning flats out of the hot water! It saves scalding my fingers! Hand tighten the lid and put the jar in the boiling water bath using a canning jar lifter. Be sure the boiling water covers the jars by an inch or more.

Set a timer for ten minutes and when the time is up, use the canning jar lifter to remove the jars and put them on a rack or thick towel to cool. Allow the jars to sit without moving them until they are completely cool. You’ll hear the distinctive “ping” sound as the jars seal.

If one does not seal, freeze it or refrigerate it and use the peony flower jelly within about a month. Trust me; this will not be hard to do!

This recipe was such an adventure, and the jelly turned out beautiful and so delicious I will definitely make it again. I did not use a drop of food coloring! I may widen the lens next time, and make another flower jelly, for instance, using rose petals.

What a lovely thing to put in a gift basket. I cannot wait to make powdered sugar-dusted thumbprint cookies with a spoonful of this gorgeous pink jelly in the center! 💖

But for now, I am happy to enjoy it very simply, on bread, while sitting on the bench overlooking my flower bed. I’d love for you to come and sit by me.

peonies in wooden tote
Yield: 7 half pints

Peony Jelly

peony jelly

Here is a recipe for beautiful jelly you can make using peony blossoms.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of petals from peony blossoms
  • One lemon, sliced
  • Water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • One 1.75-ounce box of powdered pectin
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp butter

Instructions

  1. Get ready for your jelly-making session. Assemble everything you need before you begin!
  2. Put eight cups of peony petals in a large pot with one sliced lemon and enough water to barely cover the petals.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for ten minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and let it steep overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Choose a tall stockpot to make the jelly in.
  6. Measure out four cups of peony tea and return the rest to the refrigerator for another batch.
  7. You'll need a second tall pot of water deep enough to cover the jars by one inch for the boiling water bath after filling them. Start it now. Put flats (lids) in a bowl of very hot water, ready to use. Add a tablespoon or so of vinegar to the water so lime doesn't form on jars.
  8. Jelly jars are ready to use if you've run them through a dishwasher on a hot cycle. Lay a thick bath towel on the area where you'll fill your jars. Assemble a canning funnel, sterilized jars, jar lifter, flats, rings, a cooling rack, and a clean damp dishcloth for wiping rims.
  9. Measure four cups of sugar into a container and set it aside.
  10. Put four cups of peony tea into a tall stockpot with two tablespoons of lemon juice, the pectin, and a teaspoon of butter to keep any foam from forming on the top of the jelly.
  11. Bring the mixture to a boil and constantly stir to ensure all the pectin is dissolved.
  12. Dump in the sugar all at once and bring the mixture back to a boil. Continue boiling until it comes to a vigorous boil that can't be stirred down. Set a timer! Continue cooking for one minute.
  13. Remove from the stove. Ladle into jars, leaving about an inch of headspace.
  14. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean damp cloth.
  15. Put a canning flat on top and secure it in place with a canning ring. Tighten the ring by hand.
  16. Put the jelly jar into the boiling water bath and use a jar lifter.
  17. Process for ten minutes, then remove and set the jars on a cooling rack or thickly folded towel to cool.
  18. Do not touch or move the jars until they are completely cool.

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4 Comments

  1. If it tastes half as good as it looks, it’s bound to be awesome!

     
  2. Selinda Ramsey

    I have many peony bushes, white pink and red! I can not wait to try this next year. I have made many batches of jam and jellies but none from flowers. Thanks for sharing.

     
    • Selinda, it was a first for me for sure! I saw a local person post about it on Facebook and I researched it a bit and knew I had to try it! I made two more batches of peony “tea” to make into jelly for gifts later on.

       

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