I make several batches of this each summer when the fireweed in Alaska is in bloom. My kids always help pick the blooms and are always eager to eat the finished product. Its important that only the blooms are harvested - not the stems. Also, I have tried this recipe several times with Certo and it will not set so be sure to use Sure-Jell or a powdered pectin. Prep time is estimated (depends on how long it takes you to pick fireweed, I guess!) Extra juice can be stored in fridge or freezer.
- For fireweed juice: Harvest about 8 packed cups of fireweed flowers. Rinse thoroughly and put in 2 quart pot. Add just enough water to make water level just below top of packed flowers. (Juice should be a deep purple color when finished. If too much water is used in boiling process, juice will be a brownish color. More water can always be added after flowers are boiled to increase amount of juice.) Boil flowers in water until color is boiled out and petals are a grayish color. Ladle juice into jar through cheesecloth to strain.
- Warm fireweed juice, lemon juice and butter on stovetop.
- Add Sure-Jell, bring to boil and boil hard for one minute.
- Add sugar and bring to full boil for one minute. Skim top of jelly.
- Pour into pitcher(makes it easier to fill jars)and skim again.
- Fill sterilized jars leaving 1/8 inch space at top. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.