Spruce Tip Jelly Recipe

Posted by SDPB on

Learn how to make spruce tip jelly from Aube Giroux of Kitchen Vignettes.

If you’ve ever been curious to know what a forest tastes like, then this recipe is for you. Each spring around this time, spruce trees put out pale green buds covered in delicate brown paper husks.

Essentially, they are little bundles of baby spruce needles and at this stage they are still soft and tender. Their flavor is reminiscent of Christmas, with a distinct element of citrus and all the vitality of a forest bursting forth in springtime.

Spruce Tip Jelly recipe

Spruce is not the only edible conifer. Fir and pine are edible as well and all are packed with vitamin C. It’s only last spring that I learned about cooking with spruce tips from a friend. At the time, I had my hands rather full. So I made a note to self that this would be the spring to experiment with spruce tips and I’m so glad I remembered. I’ve made spruce tip syrup (for some extra special woodsy cocktails), spruce tip vinegar (simply pack a bunch of spruce tips into a bottle of apple cider vinegar and let it sit, the flavour is amazing), and some spruce tip salt for sprinkling on meat or sandwiches.

Spruce Tip Jelly recipe

But the best of all has been this light spruce tip jelly which is a delight with cheese and crackers. I imagine it’s lovely on meat as well, particularly lamb, pork, or any wild game. You can simply make it and store it in the fridge for up to a month.

Spruce Tip Jelly recipe

Harvest the tips when they are still pale green in color. If they’re still covered with the brown papery husk, you can quickly remove it with your fingertips. Sometimes simply rubbing your hand across a branch will make them all fall off. As in all wild gathering, it’s important to abide by good foraging principles and be thoughtful about not removing all the tips from any one given tree.

Spruce Tip Jelly recipe

I found that in the various recipes I tried, chopping the spruce tips helped to release more of their aroma. I didn’t do it for the batch of jelly I made in the video, but I encourage you to do so. This will make for a more flavour-packed jelly (though the lighter-flavored, more subtle jelly is gorgeous as well!)

I hope you try this recipe, it’s a very magical one and it would make a wonderful homemade gift. Enjoy!!

Spruce Tip Jelly recipe

Spruce Tip Jelly

Spruce Tip Jelly recipe

 

 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups spruce tips
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup bottled lemon juice*
  • 5 tsp Pomona's pectin (+ 5 tsp calcium water provided in the Pomona's package)
  • 1/4 cup good quality honey (optional)

Directions

  1. Roughly chop the spruce tips to release their aromatic oils. (I didn't do this in the video but have since found that it releases more of the flavor). Place the chopped tips in a medium-large non-reactive heavy-bottomed pot with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for about 3 minutes and then remove from heat. Allow the spruce to steep until the mixture reaches room temperature. (If you'd like a stronger flavor, allow the spruce to steep in the water overnight. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor).
  2. Using a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer, strain out all the spruce needles so that only the liquid stays behind. Mix this liquid with the lemon juice and 5 teaspoons of calcium water (provided in the Pomona's Pectin package). Bring to a boil. Whisk the pectin powder into the sugar and mix well. Add the pectin-sugar mixture to the boiling liquid, whisking vigorously to fully dissolve the pectin and avoid clumping. Continue whisking until mixture returns to a full boil. Remove from heat. Fill hot, sterilized half-pint (8 oz) to 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth and screw on the 2-piece lids.
  3. Store your jelly in the fridge, it will keep for up to a month.

Tips/Techniques

Note 1: You can use other brands of pectin if you prefer but I recommend Pomona's to ensure proper gelling since this is a reduced-sugar recipe.

Yield: 5-6 half-pint jelly jars

subscribe to sdpb email updates food blog link image learning blog link image living blog link news and information blog link science and technology blog link sports blog link image

Related content from SDPB Radio - Art

In The Moment ... Remembering The Cold War In South Dakota

In The Moment ... June 19, 2017 Show 117 Hour 2 We look back now at the Cold War, when notions of a nuclear attack...

In The Moment ... Warrior Culture And 200 Years Of Fort Pierre

In The Moment ... June 13, 2017 Show 113 Hour 2 The current issue of “South Dakota Magazine” highlights South Dakota'...

In The Moment ... Meet The Street Poet

In The Moment ... June 5, 2017 Show 107 Hour 2 Vernon Patterson writes poetry about personal growth, his experiences...

In The Moment ... Benjamin Jones And “Eisenhower’s Guerillas”

In The Moment ... June 1, 2017 Show 105 Hour 2 Ben Jones is Dean of Arts and Sciences at Dakota State University. He'...

Books

In The Moment ... Children’s Literature In The Age Of Trump

In The Moment ... May 19, 2017 Show 097 Hour 1 We could all use a laugh right now, especially children. So says...

In The Moment ... Dental Forensics And The Deadwood Pioneer

In The Moment ... May 16, 2017 Show 094 Hour 2 "Deadwood Pioneer: A Face from the Past" is a new documentary from...

"Paul Goble, Storyteller"

Artist Paul Goble passed away on January 5, 2017. Biographer Greg Bryan worked with Goble for more than four years...

Michael Dirda: A Life In Books And The Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer Prize-winning book reviewer Michael Dirda takes a look back at a career as a professional reader. From...

Music

In The Moment ... Moment In Sound With Richard Grewar

In The Moment ... June 23, 2017 Show 121 Hour 1 From England to Australia to Hill City, South Dakota, Richard Grewar...

In The Moment ... Dakota Political Junkies

In the Moment ... June 21, 2017 Show 119 Hour 2 Dakota Political Junkies Denise Ross and Seth Tupper join us to talk...

In The Moment ... Phil Baker

In The Moment ... June 20, 2017 Show 118 Hour 1 Phil Baker is an institution in children's music in South Dakota. He'...

In The Moment ... Thoughts On "Wonder Woman"

In The Moment ... June 19, 2017 Show 117 Hour 1 Wonder Woman has been the subject of scrutiny since her comic book...

Theater

In The Moment ... Alex Meyer's Scenic Design

In The Moment ... May 10, 2017 Show 090 Hour 2 Alex Meyer. He's a junior art and theater major at Augustana College...

In The Moment ... Remembering Vietnam On Horseback

In The Moment ... May 9, 2017 Show 089 Hour 2 Colt Romberger’s father served in Vietnam, and it changed his life...

Dakota Midday: S.F. Washington's "Wizard Of Oz"

South Dakota high schools produce a variety of plays each year. This week the Washington High School drama...

Dakota Midday: Lisa McNulty On Female Artists

The Off-Broadway Women's Project Theater is the oldest and largest theater company that promotes women artists in...