This Apple Hibiscus Tea Jelly is a fun way to preserve your apples and get some of the lovely flavors of the hibiscus blossoms at the same time. I always enjoy making and drinking hibiscus tea so when I found this variation I was intrigued.
The first time I made this I didn’t realize I had to wash off the sand from the petals. Something about the way that they dry them leaves them sandy I suppose. With tea, it was never a problem because the sand sinks to the bottom but with jelly…it was like having a picnic on the beach…grit in every bite. Not my favorite sensation so I played with it to figure out how to have the flavor I love without the grit that I don’t. Leaving the petals in the jelly is an optional step. They are a little chewy so it is up to you what you prefer. I have done it both ways and I still can’t decide which is my favorite.
This recipe makes 7 half-pints of Apple Hibiscus Tea Jelly.
Apple Hibiscus Tea Jelly Ingredients:
4 cups apple juice
4 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 cup dry hibiscus blossoms
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter
Making Apple Hibiscus Tea Jelly:
Rinse off the hibiscus petals using a colander in the sink to remove any residual sand.
Combine petals and boiling water in a small bowl and set aside to steep.
Place all ingredients except sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
Add sugar. Return to a rolling boil.
Boil for 1 minute.
While your jelly is heating on the stove it is time to prepare your canning equipment.
Place a small saucepan on the stove on simmer and insert your lids to soften the seals.
Fill your water bath canner half full with water and place it on the stove on low to begin heating. Do not let it get too hot, just warm it up.
Gather your ladle, jar lifter, lid lifter, chopsticks, clean cloth, and any other needed supplies for canning.
Filling and Processing Jars of Apple Hibiscus Tea Jelly:
Fill the jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
If you spilled on the edge or rim of the jar, use a clean cloth to wipe the rim clean.
Place the lid on top of the jar and add the ring. Tighten the ring to fingertip tight.
Once your jars have completed processing, turn off the heat, remove the lid, and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Then, use the jar lifter to remove them from the boiling water bath canner. Space the jars about an inch apart on the counter for 24 hours to cool and completely seal.
After 24 hours, remove the ring and wash the jars paying particular attention to the threads.
If your jar did not seal, then place it in the refrigerator and use it immediately.
Store the sealed jars in a cool dry place to enjoy for the next 1-3 years. After three years the nutritional value of canned food diminishes. The quality is best during the first year.