More Unusual Canning Recipes

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Kudzu Jelly

Kudzu's purple blooms appear in the fall. They have a grape-like aroma. Beware that there is pollen in the blooms. The jelly is a lavender-pink jewel-tone shade with an aroma of apple or plum jelly.

2 cusp firmly packed kudzu blossoms
4 1/2 cups water
4 or 5 cups granulated sugar
1 box Sure Jell (fruit pectin)

Rinse the freshly gathered kudzu blossoms.

In a saucepan, bring the blossoms and water to a boil. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until blossoms are faded in color and the liquid is a deep lavender color. Strain in a colander and discard the blossoms.

Pour liquid through a jelly bag or cheesecloth. Use 4 cups of the kudzu liquid with sugar and fruit pectin, following instructions on pectin package.

Yields about 6 cups jelly.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Pyracantha Jelly

2 pints pyracantha berries
2 pints water
1 small lemon
1 small grapefruit
1 package Sure-JellŽ
5 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Boil berries in water for 20 minutes. Drain and measure juice. Add juice of lemon and grapefruit. There should be 4 1/2 cups of combined juices. Add 1 package of Sure-JellŽ to juices and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and then add sugar. Boil to jell, about 2 minutes at a rolling boil. Pour into prepared sterilized jars, then seal.

Note: I didn't know these were edible.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Corn Cob Jelly

12 dried red corncobs*
3 pints water
1 package powdered pectin
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

* Red corncobs come from what is termed "field corn" that is raised to feed animals.

Rinse cobs well. Break in half. Boil gently 30 minutes and strain the juice through a wet cloth. Measure to get 3 cups. If necessary, add water. Add the pectin and bring to a full rolling boil. Add sugar and heat to dissolve. Bring to a boil again, boil for at least a full minute or until it starts to jell - another minute or so. Skim; pour into sterile glasses or jars and seal.

It is now recommended that all jelly be processed for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Sassafras Jelly

Sassafras roots
1 package powdered pectin
3 cups honey
2 tablespoons sassafras root bark

Boil sassafras roots for 30 minutes, then strain.

Measure 2 cups of the sassafras tea into a large saucepan. Add pectin and just barely bring to a boil. Add honey and sassafras root bark. that has been grated to a fine powder. Simmer for 6 minutes.

Put into sterilized glasses. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Dandelion Jelly

4 cups dandelion blossoms
1 quart water
1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
1 package powdered pectin
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Yellow food coloring (optional)

Pick dandelion blossoms early in the morning (this helps avoid insects). Remove the stems. Make sure there are no green parts left as they are bitter. Boil blossoms in water for 3 minutes. Drain and save liquid. Using 3 cups dandelion liquid, lemon or orange extract, powdered pectin and sugar, cook jelly according to the directions on powdered pectin box.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Sweet Woodruff Jelly

Source: St. Louis Herb Society Cookbook - 1994

5 to 5 1/2 cups apple wine
3 cups sweet woodruff packed
5 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces liquid fruit pectin

Heat 2 cups of apple wine to just below boiling. Pour over well bruised sweet woodruff. Cover and let steep no longer than 24 hours.

Strain and add more wine to make 5 cups. Place the wine and sugar in a large nonreactive kettle and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add pectin and return to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for one full minute. Remove from heat, skim, and pour into hot sterilized jars. Wipe rims and seal. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Cool and check for airtight seal.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Violet Jam

1 cup violet blossoms, tightly packed
1 1/2 cups water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 package powdered pectin

Place violets in food processor. Add 3/4 cup of water and lemon juice.

Blend to coarse paste, add sugar, blend until dissolved.

In a pan, heat 3/4 cup of water, then stir in pectin. Boil hard for 1 minute. Add to blender; blend for about 1 minute.

Pour jam into small jars and seal. Store in freezer.

I bet this would be pretty!

Louisville, KY

Darius, these recipes sure sound tasty! My "taste" imagination just goes wild thinking of them. LOL

Spokane Valley, WA(Zone 5b)

What fascinating recipes! A former neighbor grew what I would term 'commercial grade' dandelions for years to make wine... and we still have quite the issue each spring to clear them out of *OUR* yard. Might have to try making Dandelion Jelly before we hit 'em with the Roundup next year. *giggle*

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

My mother in law made Corn Cob Jelly from regular corn cobs after she cut the kernels off the cobs and canned the corn. It was a pretty yellow/peach color and tasted just like apple jelly. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen her make it. About a week ago I was telling somebody about that and the comment I got was "No way"!

High Springs, FL(Zone 8b)

Haven't tried this, but I'll bet it's a pretty color.

Beautyberry Jelly

1 ˝ qts. of beautyberries, washed
2 qts. water

Boil 20 minutes and strain to make infusion. Use 3 cups of the infusion, bring to boil, add 1 envelope
Sure-Jell and 4 ˝ cups sugar. Bring to second boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until foam forms. Skim off foam, pour into sterilized jars, seal.

Moose Jaw, SK(Zone 3a)

Darius, Great recipes! DO you think it would matter if I used pansies instead of violets. Thanks Joelle

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Are pansies edible? If so, it wouldn't matter.

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

Darius, did you ever eat from those recipes? Just curious, and what you think about each of them.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I haven't actually made the first 3 recipes, didn't have the ingredients. I like the rest, though. This year, I have switched to less sugar in recipes, which then called for a switch in pectin from Sure-Jell to Pomona's Pectin. (Sure Jell lower sugar is so loaded with fructoser and sucrose, it's just as sweet tasting and bad for a lower-sugar diet.)

I didn't make any violet jam or sweet woodruff this year (moved, and no violets in the new yard) or even any candied violets, something I love to do. Sweet woodruff is what's used to flavor May Wine, btw.

State College, PA(Zone 5b)

This jelly is a bit of work, but has such a nice delicate taste!

Lilac Jelly

Large bowl of lilac blooms (6 cups or so?) remove
all the green and use just the bloom.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 box powdered pectin
4 cups of sugar

Wash the blooms well, put in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the blooms. Bring to a
boil and boil for 5 minutes. Strain out the blooms and place 4 cups of the liquid into the pot. Add 2 tablespoons lemon (this will change the color to a very pretty rose/peach color. More or less lemon will vary this color) and one box of pectin to the 4 cups of liquid juice. Bring to a boil.Add 4 cups of sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Homosassa, FL(Zone 9a)

hello darius
i was just reading on a lot of the old replys ,i came on one, i have never heard of such but im going to try, its your corn cob jelly, hope my corn comes in so far have 4 little bitty ears.showed my hubby and he said here we go again..

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Let me know how it turns out!

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

Darius, THANK YOU!! The Dandelion, Sweet Woodruff, and Sassafras jellies sound most interesting. I am saving these recipes to use.

As a kid, my hubby's grandmother made all of them pick bag after bag of dandelion blossoms. They were made into a wine that she sold. Does anyone have a recipe for Dandelion Wine? I would love to make a batch, mostly so that we could taste what she used to sell back in the 1960s.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

A Google search should turn up several recipes for dandelion wine.

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)


I have a great recipe for dandelion wine, I'll look it up and post it tomorrow night. I've already posted it here (some time ago) but don't remember which thread or forum.


Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)


Found it!

Lomita, CA(Zone 10a)

I planted wintergreen this year and am looking forward to the berries this winter. I've read you can make a great jelly from these but don't have a recipe. Happen to have one, Darius?


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Ahh, you got my curiosity up! I found some interesting data:

The Ojibwa Indians called it Winisbugons (usually translated "Dirty Leaf" but perhaps better translated "Leaf in the Bog"). The French in Quebec gave it the poetic name la Petit te du bois, "The Little Tea of the Woods." Throughout its extensive range it has won a number of regional names: Box Berry, Canadian Mint, Checkerberry, Deerberry, Leatherleaf, Ground-tea or Groundberry, Hillberry, Mountainberry, Patridgeberry, Spiceberry, Teaberry, Wax Cluster, & other names. The berries provide winter food for squirrels, chipmunks, deermice, grouse, partridges, bobwhites, turkeys, & is even eaten by the red fox in emergency. The leaves as well as the berries are liked by deer & bears.

The berries are edible for people too. Though I do occasionally pluck one to pop in my mouth while gardening, we by & large don't harvest ours because they feel more valuable just decorating the garden; the flavor is bland, tasting only faintly of wintergreen. Native Americans taught the first white immigrants to use the leaves medicinally; it is a far more authentic home-remedy than most herbals, containing the same methyl salicylates that are in asprin.

Wintergreen was once famous as a native tea hence the regional name Teaberry, but it has fallen out of use because people have forgotten how to prepare it. The leaves can be harvested at any time of year, but have to be fermented if they are to have any taste beyond just a pleasant odor. To prepare the leaves, pack a jar with them, fill with sterile water, & set the sealed jar in a warm spot for several days, until the water becomes bubbly with fermentation.

The first soaking of water makes a strong tea when heated & diluted to taste; or the flavored water can be used in cooking or to add a distinctive flavor to lemonaid or pecoe tea. The fermented leaves themselves are strained & placed in a dehydrator or permited to dry out naturally if it is a low-humidity season. The dried leaves can later be prepared in boiling water like any other tea, making a milder brew than the water from the original fermenting.
Taken from

wintergreen: Have you every munched on waxy little red wintergreen berries as you've walked through the woods? They are so good. The plant is pretty, too, a low creeping herb with very green roundish leaves. If you crush a leaf, a wonderful wintergreen odor is released, much stronger than the wintergreen flavor in the berries. I've tried to keep the berries in my pocket for future reference as I've hiked, but they soon wrinkle and lose their flavor.

The most used product of wintergreen is the essential oil of wintergreen, which is obtained by steam distillation of macerated leaves. Not something you would do at home, probably. The oil is then used to flavor gums, candies, and toothpaste.

The leaves and fruit contain methyl salicylate, related to aspirin, which is easily absorbed through the skin. So wintergreen rubs are common for aches, pains, and arthritis. Next time you're in the supermarket, read the ingredient labels of pain killer rubs. If they say methyl salicylate, you can bet it's wintergreen oil. Sniff a tube of Ben-Gay. Recognize that piercing sweet odor? It's the wintergreen oil.

Wintergreen tea, which you can make from steeping the leaves, is used in traditional medicine for headaches, sore throats, and aching muscles. The berries can be eaten raw, as above, or added to jams and stewed fruit dishes. They do not have enough flavor to be used by themselves as a cooked fruit.


So, both articles seem to say wintergreen berries by themselves are insipid and wn't make good jelly/jam. Let me know if you do try it!

Lomita, CA(Zone 10a)

Now, I'm curious! I have to find where I read about it and try to find a recipe. My daughter loves to pick and crush a leaf. It smells wonderful!


Graham, NC(Zone 8a)

Hi ya'll :)

Does anyone have a recipe for Redbud Blossom Jelly? I used to have it, but now I can't find it. Thanks.


Savannah, MO(Zone 5b)

I planted several High Bush Cranberry shrubs several years ago and have looked up jelly recipes made from them. A recipe I saw said that when you are cooking the cranberries it smells like wet dirty socks!!!!
Tell me out there have any of you made or tried High Bush Cranberry Jelly? Is it good or bad? Would like to find a good recipe for these cranberries.


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Cuckoo, I don't know about highbush cranberries, but I've made jam using half blueberries and half (regular Ocean Spray type) cranberries... I used the no sugar needed pectin and followed the blueberry jam recipe, adding sugar to taste (less than half the amount called for in traditional blueberry jam)... it was fabulous!

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

I don't know the difference between highbush cranberries and the type you buy in the store (ie Ocean Spray), but have made a fabulous cran-grape marmalade with mixed Concord grapes and cranberries, with some orange peel. It has been a real hit with everyone we've given it to.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Goodness, one could make jelly out of anything LOL

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Yep, jelly can be made from anything

Habanero Zucchini Jam

10 habaneros, stems removed (some folks leave the seeds, but for a smoother look, cut open peppers and de-seed them. WEAR GLOVES!
5 cups seeded cubed zucchini
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
7 cups sugar
6 fluid ounces certo liquid pectin or ball fruit jell


1.Place habaneros, zucchini, and vinegar in a food processor and process till smooth.
2.Combine pepper, zucchini mixture in a heavy bottom pot with sugar.
3.Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir to keep it from sticking
4.Add pectin and bring to a full rolling boil for 1 minute. (Keep stirring, and be careful)
5.Remove from heat and ladle into sterile jars leaving 1/4" of headspace. wipe rims with clean cloth, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Melody, what on earth do you DO with habanero jelly? I can't imagine spreading THAT on my breakfast toast! Might help me break the coffee habit, I suppose. . .

Just trying to imagine that heat with sugar. . .


Cochise, AZ(Zone 8b)

Nice cracker, cream cheese, fresh farm cheese or goat cheese, big dab of habanero jelly!! What a munchie for guests!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)


Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

i've had hot pepper jelly with cream cheese and crackers, and you'd be surprised how good it tastes.

Camilla, GA(Zone 8a)

Also really good on meats, especially pork loin...Even great on a hot dog or burger.

Drop a dollop on fresh peas or butterbeans..

A covered block of cream cheese is still the best..along with crackers.


Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Mmmm, guess I've had sweet red pepper jelly that way, but never hot pepper jelly. I'd forgotten about the sweet pepper jelly till you mentioned the cream cheese & crackers.

Wonder if DH, my habanero boy, would like it?

Bainbridge, GA

Has anyone made jelly from a plant/shrub called a Jelly Bean Plant? (Not the Burro's tail/Jelly Bean sedum plant). A friend from church brought me some blossoms?, pods?
from this plant to make jelly. They are a little smaller than a golf ball and are burgundy
colored. She said to use an apple or grape jelly recipe to make it and that it was very good.
I have tried to search for such a plant but can't find it. I live in southern Georgia. Don't
know if this plant grows in other places. Anybody out there know about this plant? Thanks, Gloria

Camilla, GA(Zone 8a)

Gloria, could you post a picture? It could be Quince.. We are almost neighbors.. I am in Camilla and have family in Bainbridge.


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I've never seen a burgundy-colored quince.

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