Flowers fall under the herb rubric which suited me just fine. I had been thinking about hibiscus for a while. Certainly not local, but I did get organic hibiscus petals purchased in the health food store. Did you know that hibiscus tastes nice and chewy when it's cooked? Toothsome is the word. And of course, it makes a great tea. While researching hibiscus stuff, I saw this recipe for Hibiscus Flower Margaritas and one for Hibiscus jam (no-sugar, but you can sub). And Kate, from The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, and fellow jammer, made a gorgeous Rhubarb Hibiscus Preserve you should check out. If you have hibiscus plants, well then, hooray for you! There's a lot to do with them. A natural diuretic and high in vitamin C, you can read more about hibiscus flowers here. Now, on with the jelly!
Really, this is a very straight-forward jelly recipe in which apple jelly gets a hibiscus boost. But something about the color just made me thrilled with the result. You know when you make something and you think, meh, it won't work out, and then it does, totally!? And you think: why didn't I make more!! So, that's what happened. I didn't care much about what happened, it was an experiment, blah, blah, and I ended falling in love with it. I put it in a pint jar like a fool (shoulda put it in two half-pints. What was I thinking? I do this sometimes.) But whatever, I'll make it again. I really think it's the color that had me hooked. It's tastes delicious, though, apple-y but with a tarter citric kick. But that color! I took a billion pictures, but you don't need to see them.
2 cups of apple pectin stock
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers
Bring all to a boil, dissolve sugar and bring temperature up to 220 degrees until jell stage is reached. Ladle into hot jars and seal, process for ten minutes. I left the flowers in the jelly, because they taste good. You could strain them if you want. Or you could visit Shae at Hitchhiking to Heaven and see what she says about the Artful Suspension of Flowers in her April canjam post. In a nutshell, it ain't so easy!