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Spicy Clover Jelly- A Delicious, Floral Jelly from Scratch
Have you tried -this- Clover Jelly Recipe? Find yourself wanting to take it to the next level? Might I suggest giving this Spicy Clover Jelly recipe a try?Jump to Recipe
Spicy Clover Jelly, like the classic Clover Jelly, starts with the blossoms from red or white clover. The bright, fragrant blossoms pass a delicate floral smell and taste to this bright, cheery jelly.
You’ll start by picking as many clover blossoms as you can stand to: you’ll need about 4 cups of blossoms per batch of jelly.
Once the clover blossoms are picked, we’ll make an infusion (basically a very strong tea) in order to extract the flavors, colors, smells, and nutrients that the blossoms contain.
Next we’ll add peppers to the strained infusion- followed by pectin, lemon juice, and sugar.
Once everything has cooked together as instructed, it’ll be time to jar the jelly, and eventually set it aside in the pantry. This winter, you’ll be grateful to have jars of delicate spring-like sunshine, ready to brighten your breakfast table.
Ingredients for Spicy Clover Jelly
To make this Spicy Clover Jelly recipe, you’ll need:
4 cups of Clover Blossoms. These can be from red or white clovers. Make sure that you’re picking just the blossoms, and that the plants haven’t been sprayed with any herbicides or pesticides. (The blossoms for my clover jelly were picked from a row of cover cropping in our homestead garden)
1/4 cup Lemon Juice. This can come from freshly-squeezed lemons or from store bought lemon juice.
Pepper pieces or pepper flakes. For this recipe, I used about 1/ 4 cup of dehydrated pepper pieces from our garden last year. It was a mix of cayenne peppers and some more mild varieties, This can be adjusted to your taste.
4 cups of Sugar. Depending on the type of pectin you use, you can use less sugar, or even substitute the sugar for honey. I ran out of reduced sugar pectin and used the standard powdered pectin- it requires equal parts sugar and juice (or in this case, clover blossom infusion)
Water. To steep the clover blossoms, as well as fill your water bath canner- if you choose to can the jelly.
Pectin. You can use any kind of powdered or liquid pectin that you prefer. I used this basic Sure-Jell pectin because it’s what I had on hand.
Equipment Needed for Spicy Clover Jelly
You’re almost sure to have everything you’ll need for this simple recipe- especially if you’ve canned before.
A liquid measuring cup
A saucepan or pot
A spoon (and/or spatula)
A whisk (or fork)
A canning funnel
Lids and rings
Jars (I prefer the half-pint size for jelly)
Optional- a stock pot or canning pot, a jar rack, jar lifters, and a towel
How to Make Your Own Spicy Clover Jelly, Step by Step
Place your clover blossoms into your saucepan/pot, adding enough water to submerge the blossoms. (They’ll probably float at first, that’s alright)
Bring the water/blossoms to a strong simmer, then turn down the heat to low and add a lid to the pot. Allow the blossoms and water to simmer for about half an hour, then turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.
After the clover blossom infusion has cooled, pour the liquid through the sieve and into your liquid measuring cup. You’ll want 4 cups of this infusion per batch of spicy clover jelly that you plan to make. (If you have extra clover blossom infusion left over, set it aside for a separate batch of jelly)
Pour the infusion into a second saucepan (or clean out the first one), add the lemon juice and the peppers.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, and allow the clover/peppers to simmer together for 10-30 minutes. The length of simmer and variety of pepper will determine how spicy the final jelly is. Longer simmer, hotter variety = more heat. Shorter simmer, milder variety = less heat.
Turn off the stove and strain the peppers out of the lemon juice/clover blossom infusion.
Add 1 box of powdered pectin (or follow the directions for “cooked jelly” on the pectin brand of your choice) then bring the mixture to a boil.
After 1 – 3 minutes at a hard boil (stir continuously), add the 4 cups of sugar.
Bring the mixture back up to a hard boil for 1 minute.
Immediately ladle the hot jelly mixture into your jars, leaving ½ – 1” headspace. Top with a clean lid and ring as you go.
Leave the jars of jelly to cool, set, and seal on the counter overnight. You should begin to hear pinging as the jars seal after a few hours.
The jelly is shelf-stable as is, and won’t spoil due to the high sugar content. However, if you’d like to water bath the jars, you can.
Instead of leaving the jars to cool on the counter after filling, load them into a water bath canner or stock pot of boiling water. Make sure that the water maintains a rolling boil and covers the jars by at least an inch of water. Process the jars in this water bath for 10 minutes, then remove from the water. Arrange the jars on a towel-lined counter to cool overnight.
As always, label your jars, and store somewhere out of direct sunlight.
The jelly will be shelf-stable for at least 12 months- but good luck not eating it all by then!
How to Use this Spicy Clover Jelly
Spicy jelly is a flavor combination that sounds a little strange- but is absolutely delightful.
From spicing up (ha) a roast, marinade, or glaze to topping toast- spicy jelly is actually a kitchen mainstay around here.
Don’t knock a piece of homemade toast, topped with butter, spicy jelly, and a fried egg until you’ve tried it!
Of course, you can use this Spicy Clover Jelly in all of the places you’d use a “normal” jelly. Thumbprint cookies, toast, english muffins, biscuits, marinades, even doughnut or jelly roll filling (I can’t vouch for that personally -yet- but it’s on my to do list) are all greatly enhanced with some spicy jelly.
Spicy Clover Jelly; FAQs
What is water bath canning?
Water bath canning is processing jars of jelly, jams, etc. in boiling water for a certain amount of time. The jars are submerged in the boiling water and are not subject to extra pressure or higher temperatures like in pressure canning.
Do I have to can the spicy clover jelly?
No, canning is an optional step. The heat of the jelly itself will seal the jars as it cools and sets, but some people prefer the extra insurance against false seals that water bathing jars can provide.
Why didn’t my jelly set?
The most common reasons for setting failures in jelly are overcooking ingredients, undercooking ingredients, and adding ingredients out of order.
The order needs to be liquid + pectin, then add sugar.
The pectin mixture needs to be at a hard boil for no less than 1 minute and no more than 5.
The sugar/pectin/liquid mixture needs to be at a hard boil for at least 1 minute and less than 5.
Can you use the runny jelly?
Yes! I like to have some jars of “runny” (AKA thin or un-set) jelly around because it is a delicious pancake topper. I like the taste of thin homemade jelly on pancakes far more than the taste of your typical pancake syrup. It can also serve as an ice cream syrup, smoothie flavoring, or a bit of the liquid in a marinade or brine.
How to make runny jelly set?
To make jelly set after a previous failure, you’ll need to empty the jars into a saucepan, and add another box of pectin, cook it again, and then add more sugar.
Most boxes of pectin will have clear instructions for fixing set failure.
Alternatively, you can pour all of the thin jelly in your saucepan and let it cook until it has reduced to the point of having a jelly consistency- this process will take a long time and will change the color and flavor profile, but it’s pretty straight forward.
You can also add fruits that contain naturally high levels of pectin, such as apples and blackberries, and cook it together for a unique jam.
Can you use other flowers to make jelly?
Yes! Other types of floral jelly include lavender, fireweed, rose, and dandelion.
The process for all floral jellies is pretty similar- make an infusion from the petals or blossoms, then follow the basic cooked jelly instructions. (Liquid + pectin, then + sugar, then can)
What kind of clovers can you make into jelly?
Red and white clover blossoms can both be used to make this Spicy Clover Jelly. I used a mixture of both, but primarily red clover.
How long will this clover jelly last on the shelf?
All home-canned goods have a shelf-life of up to/around 18 months. However, many people report having jars of home-canned goods (including jelly) last several years when stored in a cooler environment, out of direct sunlight.
How long will this jelly last in the fridge?
Before opening, this jelly will have a shelf life of 18 months or more if refrigerated. After opening the jar, expect the jelly to last up to a few months. (But realistically, you’ll use it up by then!)
If you haven’t tried a classic Clover Jelly yet, I’d strongly suggest you start with that recipe (you can find it here). If you’re looking to get into canning, I have instructions for all sorts of homegrown and homemade goods- from pumpkin butter (recipe) to carrots (recipe here) to chicken (that recipe here) and even dried beans! (instructions here)
Looking for something tasty to pair with your homemade jelly?
Breakfast just got delicious!
Thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoy making (and tasting!) your own homemade Spicy Clover Jelly. If you give the recipe a try, I’d love to hear about it! If you have a unique jelly or jam recipe that you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’m always looking for something new to try too. You can comment below, or tag me on Instagram & Threads- I’m @EmigrantFarms.
Spicy Clover Jelly
- Sieve or strainer
- Liquid measuring cup
- Whisk, spoon, spatula
- Jars; with rings & lids
- Canning funnel
- Stockpot, jar rack, jar lifter, towel Optional
- 4 Cups Clover Blossoms
- 4 Cups Sugar
- 1/ 4 Cup Lemon Juice
- Peppers Fresh or dehydrated pieces
- 1 Box Pectin, powdered
- Place the clover blossoms in your saucepan, add enough water to submerge the blossoms. Bring to a simmer, and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the stove and allow the blossoms to cool to room temperature.
- Strain the blossoms out of the liquid- keep 4 cups of this clover blossom infusion for this jelly recipe.
- Combine the clover blossom infusion with the lemon juice and peppers. Bring up to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 30 minutes. Strain out the peppers.
- Bring the clover infusion back up to a boil. Add the pectin. Stir continuously while the liquid cooks at a hard boil for at least 1 minute.
- Add the sugar to the infusion-pectin mixture, bring back to a hard boil. Stir continuously as the jelly cooks for at least 1 minute.
- Turn off the heat, then immediately ladle the hot jelly mixture into your jars (use the canning funnel to keep the rims clean) leaving 1/ 2" - 1" of headspace. Add the lids and rings as you go.
- Allow the jars to cool on the counter overnight. They will seal as they cool and set.
- (If water bath canning your jelly, an optional step, do not let the jars cool overnight. Instead, load the hot jars into a stockpot of boiling water. Make sure the jars are totally submerged, then keep the stove for a rolling boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the jars and arrange them on a towel-lined counter to cool overnight)
- The next morning, check the seals and label your jars.Store in a cool area out of direct sunlight.