Recipe: Soft Refrigerator Honeysuckle Jelly

Savor the South Sampler

Pickles and Preserves: a Savor the South® cookbook by Andrea WeiglAs the summer heats up, cool down with fresh recipes from our Savor the South® Sampler series! Every Tuesday this summer we’ll be featuring a new recipe from one of our Savor the South® cookbooks. Rediscover some of your favorite summer dishes and ingredients with a southern twang, like catfish burgers, sweet potato hummus, or a new twist on Eggs Benedict (bourbon, anyone?).

Today’s recipe is from Andrea Weigl’s Pickles and Preserves: a Savor the South® cookbook. Weigl is the food writer for the Raleigh News & Observer and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her recipe transforms a childhood favorite—honeysuckle flowers—into a unique jelly. Spread it on toast or enjoy over fresh fruit for a nostalgic treat.

Connect with Weigl on Twitter @andreaweigl, and “like” the Savor the South® book page on Facebook for more news and recipes. Also, check back here next Tuesday for another Savor the South® Sampler recipe!

Pickles and Preserves: a Savor the South® cookbook by Andrea Weigl
Soft Refrigerator Honeysuckle Jelly
Print Recipe
I can tell when the honeysuckle is in bloom. I catch whiffs of it traveling on the wind through the open car windows when I’m driving or in the evening when I’m sitting on my screened porch. I was inspired to use those fragrant flowers to create a jelly by chef Bill Smith. Each spring, Bill uses honeysuckle blossoms to make a sorbet that he serves at Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. One taste of that sorbet transports people. It takes me back to being a gangly nine-year-old searching out honeysuckle blossoms to suck the sweetness inside. (The children in my neighborhood call them honey suckers.) For Bill’s recipe, check out his cookbook, Seasoned in the South: Recipes from Crook’s Corner and from Home (New York: Workman, 2006). After many experiments, I discovered that I could use a honeysuckle infusion, as Bill does in his sorbet, to make a jelly. This recipe makes more honeysuckle infusion than you’ll need for the jelly. I use the leftover infusion to make lemonade. This jelly is delicious poured over fresh sliced peaches.
Servings
2 half-pint jars
Servings
2 half-pint jars
Pickles and Preserves: a Savor the South® cookbook by Andrea Weigl
Soft Refrigerator Honeysuckle Jelly
Print Recipe
I can tell when the honeysuckle is in bloom. I catch whiffs of it traveling on the wind through the open car windows when I’m driving or in the evening when I’m sitting on my screened porch. I was inspired to use those fragrant flowers to create a jelly by chef Bill Smith. Each spring, Bill uses honeysuckle blossoms to make a sorbet that he serves at Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. One taste of that sorbet transports people. It takes me back to being a gangly nine-year-old searching out honeysuckle blossoms to suck the sweetness inside. (The children in my neighborhood call them honey suckers.) For Bill’s recipe, check out his cookbook, Seasoned in the South: Recipes from Crook’s Corner and from Home (New York: Workman, 2006). After many experiments, I discovered that I could use a honeysuckle infusion, as Bill does in his sorbet, to make a jelly. This recipe makes more honeysuckle infusion than you’ll need for the jelly. I use the leftover infusion to make lemonade. This jelly is delicious poured over fresh sliced peaches.
Servings
2 half-pint jars
Servings
2 half-pint jars
Ingredients
Servings: half-pint jars
Instructions
  1. Place the honeysuckle blossoms in a large nonreactive bowl and add the water. Use a plate to weigh down the flowers so they’re completely submerged. Let sit out overnight.
  2. The next day, strain the juice from the blossoms and reserve. Measure out 1 2/3 cups honeysuckle infusion and place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice.
  3. Combine the sugar and pectin in a large bowl. Stir to prevent lumps of pectin in the jelly.
  4. Pour the honeysuckle mixture into the bowl with the pectin and sugar. Stir briskly with a whisk for 4 minutes until the mixture is thoroughly combined and starts to thicken.
  5. Ladle the jelly into clean plastic freezer jars, seal with lids, and place in the refrigerator. The jelly will be soft set after 24 hours and will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

From Pickles and Preserves: a Savor the South® cookbook by Andrea Weigl. Copyright © 2014 by the University of North Carolina Press.