Hello my gardening friends.
Recently, I had the honor of sampling a delicious jelly made from Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) flowers. It was absolutely wonderful: sweet with a mild, flowery taste.
Of course, I simply had to ask for the recipe so I can make a big batch of this fantastic jelly to share with family and friends (I am sharing the recipe at the end of this post). This jelly will be perfect on dry or buttered toast or scones.
Here is a little information about this lovely and underrated plant:
Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as wild carrot or bishops lace, can usually be found in ditches, meadows, roadside and dry fields. It is considered an invasive weed in many places, but it has culinary and medicinal properties. As a naturalized plant, it attracts many beneficial insects, such as butterflies, bees, wasps and lacewings.
The flower head or umbel of this beautiful plant is flat and has delicate looking tiny, white flowers with a small purple dot in the center. The plant itself usually grows between 3 to 4 ft feet and the flower head 3-8 inches. They flower between May-October and are biennials. The stalk is tall, woody and hairy; the leaves flat and hairy. The leaves and stalk are not edible and may cause skin irritation. The taproot is long with hairy stems. It has the faint scent of carrots and is edible if eaten young.
There are other plants that are similar in appearance to Queen Anne’s Lace. The first is called poison or water hemlock (Conium maculatum). The entire plant is extremely toxic and can be fatal if ingested. The other, fool’s parsley (Aethusa cynapium), is poisonous and can cause rawness and burning. Both plants produce strong, putrid odors and have smooth stems, leaves and taproots.
Do not attempt to eat Queen Anne’s Lace unless you have a positive identification from an expert!
Now, here’s the recipe:
Queen Anne’s Lace Jelly
(Using a standard hot water bath canner)
Makes about 6 jars
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups of fresh Queen Anne’s lace heads
4 cups boiling water
1 package of SURE-JELL “Less/No Sugar pectin (save and use the instructions on the box for safe canning)
3 1/2 cups of sugar
Slowly add the boiling water in a large bowl with the flower heads (make sure the heads are full submerged). Cover the bowl and steep the flower heads for thirty minutes. Strain the mixture and add 3 cups of the infusion in a medium cooking pot. Bring the liquid to a slow boil.
Gradually add the lemon juice and pectin. Stir the mixture frequently. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil and stir in the sugar slowly until the mixture returns to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute then remove the pot from the heat. Skim the foam from the top and slowly pour or ladle the liquid into sterilized jars. Allow a little head space and make sure you wipe the rim of any excess liquid with a clean cloth. Then seal the jars with sterilized lids and tops. Place in hot water bath for 5 mins. Allow the jelly to set overnight before relocating the jars.