by Texas Homesteader ~
Honeysuckle jelly made with the sweet blossoms of honeysuckle tastes just like the blossoms I enjoyed as a child. The jars from this honeysuckle jelly look like they contain summer sunshine! And honeysuckle jelly makes a great gift too.
Texas Honeysuckle Blossoms
Here in NE Texas the honeysuckle is blooming. Aaaahhh sweet childhood memories of my siblings and me standing around a honeysuckle vine under that blue sky, pulling the fragrant flowers and sucking the sweet honey from the blooms.
I decided to use those honeysuckle blooms to make jelly so I could taste those wonderful memories once more.
Harvesting & Preparing Honeysuckle Blossoms
I have very limited honeysuckle vines here on the homestead. But thankfully my mother has a bumper crop.
This time of year finds me in her yard picking those delicious blooms.
What Do You Do To Honeysuckle Blooms For Jelly?
Most Importantly: Make sure you’re collecting sweet, fragrant, fresh and fully-open blossoms for the best results.
Don’t use blossoms that may not yet be fully mature, nor old or wilted blossoms.
You want to gather only blossoms at the peak of their bloom, filled with that sweet nectar!
If needed you can lightly rinse the blossoms in a colander. I usually do not since I don’t want to rinse away any of that sweet nectar.
Cut the tiny green bulb from the base of each of the blooms.
This leaves only the petals and the nectar.
(This step is somewhat tedious, but leaving the green bulb on the blossoms could add a bitterness to the jelly.)
NOTE: Use care not to pull out the stamen inside the bloom when cutting away the green bulb, as it will remove much of that sweet nectar you’re after!
When your honeysuckle flowers are prepared you’re ready to make an infusion.
Making A Honeysuckle Blossom Infusion
To make the infusion, boil 2 cups of water in a large saucepan. Then remove the pan from the heat.
Add 2 cups of prepared honeysuckle flowers, stir and cover the pan to allow the blooms to steep for 45 minutes.
I stir my infusion every 15 minutes or so since I want all the delightful nectar transferred into my infusion!
Strain the petals from the water and measure out 2 cups of Honeysuckle blossom infusion to make your jelly.
Will Jelly Set If I Cook A Double Batch At The Same Time ?
In my experience, trying to cook double the recipe at one time can result in failure of the mixture to jell properly.
Instead of jelly you could end up with “Honeysuckle Honey”. It’s still delicious just not thick.
Ask me how I know… Eh hem!
So only make one batch at a time, don’t try to cook a double batch at the same time.
If desired and to save time, feel free to do as I do & make double the blossom/water infusion at one time. Make a batch of honeysuckle jelly with one half and store the other half of the infusion in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and make your second batch separately.
Making Honeysuckle Jelly
To make honeysuckle jelly place the following ingredients into a deep saucepan:
2 cups honeysuckle blossom infusion
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups of sugar
Turn stove heat to medium and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
Expert Tip: Bringing a sugary mix to a rolling boil will cause the mixture rise quite a bit inside the pan. To keep mixture from boiling over, be sure to use an oversized pan to allow for plenty of expansion room.
When sugar is dissolved turn the heat on medium high and bring the infusion to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to cook until you reach a hard boil that cannot be stirred down (in my elevation that’s 220 degrees F – your elevation may require a different temp. See table below).
Add liquid pectin and continue at a hard boil for 1 minute. Then remove the pan from the heat.
Honeysuckle Jelly Can Be Water-Bath Canned
You can preserve this honeysuckle jelly with simple water-bath canning.
Ladle hot jelly into hot sanitized half-pint canning jars (leave only 1/4″ headspace).
Place 2-part canning lid/ring onto each jar & place jars into the rack of a water-bath canner.
Lower jars into boiling water, covered by at least 1″ of water.
After water returns to a rolling boil, process jelly for 5 minutes.
Carefully lift rack out of the canner and set jars onto a kitchen towel to cool completely.
You’ll begin to hear the lids ‘ping’ as the seal is completed. But leave the jars undisturbed overnight before removing the rings, wiping down the jars and labeling the contents.
Testing The Canning Seal
After 24 hours you can test the seal to make sure the jars sealed correctly by gently pressing the middle of the flat lid. If it makes a plinky noise when pressed, the jar did not seal.
Put any un-sealed jars in the fridge and consume the contents over the course of the next couple of weeks. All of mine sealed just fine.
This honeysuckle jelly tastes just like the blossoms I remember as a child – absolutely delicious. Give it a try!
Troubleshooting: Why Didn’t My Jelly Gel?
It happens to everyone from time to time, your jelly just doesn’t set up. In all the years I’ve made this honeysuckle jelly, only once did it not gel. (I’m still not sure why?)
But here are some common reasons jelly might not set up:
1) For me, liquid pectin is more reliable than powdered pectin when making jelly.
2) Not reaching the gel point which may vary based on your elevation can keep jelly from gelling. For me here in NE Texas the jelling point is 220 degrees.
3) Over-heating can break pectin down, under-heating doesn’t allow it to set.
4) Inaccurate readings on your instant read thermometer can keep you from reaching the proper gel point. I often heat my jelly one more degree than needed ‘just to make sure’.
5) The age of your pectin can affect jelling. The shelf life for a box of pectin is around 18-mo to 2 yrs on the store shelf.
I’ve found that sometimes if the jelly is softer than I expect, it firms up some over the next several days. So if your jelly seems too thin give it a few days.
You can read my post about Reasons Why Jelly Doesn’t Set. I also share how to remake jelly and ways to use thinner jelly if you want to keep it as it is.
* * * * * * * * * *
NOTE: One of our readers said his extension agent told him that some varieties of honeysuckle are considered ‘toxic’. Of course as I always do, I began to research (only .edu and extension sites, not ‘opinion’ sites) and then went to my own extension agent with the specific question. That correspondence in part was:
What I’ve read is that the nectar from the honeysuckle plant can be ingested without harm (same as you mentioned below) but regarding varieties that can be considered ‘toxic’ in large quantities, I’m reading that is only stems and berries, NOT the honeysuckle flower or nectar.
I agree. I am only searching .edu and/or Cooperative Extension sites. When there is a suggestion of toxicity, it is in children and is the berries. Here is an example.
So my understanding is that honeysuckle blooms & nectar can be consumed without harm (aside from any allergies or special circumstances).
But if you have any question at all, seek the advice of your own extension agent or doctor.
Now, on to the Honeysuckle Jelly recipe!
NOTE: Updated in 2023 to clarify double batch issues and instructions.
Honeysuckle Blossom Jelly - Yields 4 Half-Pint Jars
This smooth jelly tastes just like those sweet blossoms you enjoyed as a kid. It's like childhood memories in a jar! It can be easily water-bath canned for 5 minutes and makes a delightful gift option too. #TexasHomesteader
- 2 Cups Prepared Honeysuckle Blossoms
- 2 Cups Boiling Water
- 4 Cups Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1 3-oz Pkg Liquid Pectin
To make an infusion, first prepare the flowers by removing the tiny green tip at the base of each blossom.
Next, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, turn the heat off. Add the honeysuckle blossoms & stir, then cover the pan. Allow them to steep for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
(note: I’ve refrigerated the cooled infusion containing the blossoms overnight, and although the infusion was dark green when I strained it, the jelly ended up golden yellow and even more intensely flavored…)
Strain the flowers from the liquid. Measure two cups of the infusion and return it to the saucepan. (if volume boiled down in making the infusion you can add a little water to make up the 2 cups)
Add lemon juice and sugar and turn heat to medium high, stirring constantly. Bring the infusion to a hard boil that won’t stir down. (220 degrees)
Add liquid pectin and boil for one minute. Then pour into hot 1/2 pint canning jars. (Optional: You can Water-Bath can jars for 5 minutes to make jelly shelf stable or for gifts)
To Water-Bath Can: Ladle jelly into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4" headspace, wipe rim of jar to remove any drips and screw on canning lids. Place jars in boiling water of a water-bath canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars and place on a towel, out of drafts and allow to cool for 24 hours. After 24 hrs test the lids to make sure the jars are properly sealed.
NOTE: Leaving only 1/4" headspace as required with canning will yield you 4 full half-pint jars and 1 remaining jar about 3/4 full for your own enjoyment. Refrigerate that remaining jar and enjoy!
Our Delicious Jelly & Preserves Recipes:
- Clover Blossom Jelly
- Our Favorite Jelly Recipes
- Honeysuckle Jelly – Childhood Memories In A Jar
- Wild Plum Jelly – No Added Pectin!
- RancherMan’s Favorite – Pear Preserves
- Blueberry/Lemon Jam – No Added Pectin
- Concord Grape Jelly – No Added Pectin
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National Center For Home Food Preservation: Jelly Problems