Redbuds are beautiful this time of year. You should eat them.

Did you know the redbud is in the pea family? I didn’t until recently, but if you go eat the blossoms, you will believe it. They taste just like peas. Think what an interesting addition to a salad that could be! And after the flowers are gone and they prduce those little pea-like pods, those are edible, too! Just fry them in a little butter. For now, however, I’m content working amongst the bees in order to make some redbud jelly.

redbud jelly recipe

Because, as anyone who has followed this blog since last year knows, I love floral jellies.

I wasn’t so sure about this one. After all, the buds tasted like peas. The infusion smelled like peas. And whoever heard of pea jelly? But I’ll try anything twice. So now for the recipe:

Redbud Jelly

4 cups redbud buds (Make sure you know what you’re harvesting! I don’t know of anything you could confuse with a redbud, but just be sure, OK?)
4 cups boiling water, plus some extra water
8 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 packages dry pectin
8 cups sugar


Place your flower buds in a heat safe dish. Cover with boiling water. Cover and leave for 24 hours.
Strain out the flowers and squeeze out the excess moisture. Add enough water to the infusion to make four cups.
Stir in pectin and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
Add sugar all at once, return to a boil and boil for one minute. Skim the foam and pour into jelly jars. (I got eight from this recipe.) Process as you would any other jelly in a hot water bath.

I think this is the most beautiful jelly I have made yet. It was perfect. I love the color. The jelly is clear and there are few bubbles. It set nicely, with that perfect jiggle-on-the-end-of-your-spoon consistency. And did I mention what a lovely color it is?

redbud jelly recipe

I left the foam on a plate to cool for our first sample and it was delicious. It wasn’t quite lilac jelly, but it has a nice tangy flavor. A lot of that is from the lemon juice you have to add which gives most of your floral jellies a citrusy taste, but it is definitely a pleasant, light flavor. And it doesn’t taste anything like peas.

Makes me wonder what pea jelly actually would taste like.

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24 Responses

  1. Dana, your jelly is beautiful! I have spring envy now. There is not one tree with leaves, nothing has budded. We are expecting snow this weekend. I really need to move a little bit further south!

    When we made Dandelion jelly, it smelled like spinach as it was cooking. Really, it smelled like that until we added the sugar. Then, all of a sudden, it magically smelled like honey.
    Julie recently posted…Writing Out LoudMy Profile

  2. That looks gorgeous! I made lilac jelly a couple of years ago. It was a ton of work and smelled and looked gross until after I added sugar then it was beautiful (light light lavender colored) and taste good, very light and delicate.

  3. Beautiful!! I loved the Redbuds in IN. I sure do miss them. Kudos to you, for all of your jelly-making. Dandelion Jelly sounds very interesting.
    Jocelyn made some jelly from the Moraberries here, which are like blackberries at home that was really good, but we haven’t tried any flowers. We have Hibiscus bushes lining the property. Those are edible, and a pretty bright red… wondering about jelly from those!
    One thing I really, really love the smell of is sunflowers. The sunflowers here in Costa Rica smell so good. I wonder if you can make a good jelly out of those, too.

    Thanks, Dana. Shalom!
    Jacque recently posted…Settling into the CommunityMy Profile

  4. I have just started making jellies, and started with florals (and weeds…). I found the dandelion and the violet jellies taste remarkably similar, which I imagine is the added lemon. But they look very different! I don’t have a redbud tree, and feel funny about “stealing” other peoples, but it sounds like something to try in the future.
    My jellying adventures:
    Jill recently posted…Jelly making- take 2 Violet JellyMy Profile

  5. I would love to try violet jelly, but we just don’t have any on our property. I’m going out to harvest the dandelions for take two. I wasn’t that impressed with the jelly last year, but did like the syrup on pancakes. But I also harvested late in the season. These dandelions only blossomed yesterday. I guess we’ll see if that makes much difference.

    I wish there were a way to get away from the lemon juice to acidify the jelly, but either way they are all very pretty and make a nice addition to the table for afternoon tea. 🙂
    Dana recently posted…Redbuds are beautiful this time of year You should eat themMy Profile

  6. WOW! I have no idea what redbuds even are, but that jelly is gorgeous! Our spring is full swing (and I’m a poet, dontchya know it) so we have tulips and grape hyacinth and daffoldils in vases all over. 🙂

  7. i did not know this, but this town is loaded with redbud trees… might be too late to try this year, but I’ll keep it in mind! Beautiful jelly as well… Mmmmm!

  8. Thats it, although I didn’t really need another reason to want redbud trees. They are on the top of my list for when we have a place I can plant some…I fell in love at work. They are such perfect trees when flowering. Like soemthing out of a cartoon. But if I can make pretty jelly from them I’m definitely going to have to buy a few.
    Angela Watts recently posted…Blueberries Don’t Always Come From MaineMy Profile

  9. I’m wondering.. could the lemon be substituted with say, grapefruit, or orange? Just to switch it up? I think the Orange would go lovely with the lilac even the grapefruit

  10. I’m going to try redbud jelly today!! I had a few questions though.
    Have you tried redbud tea?
    What about lilac tea?
    I’m on a tea kick and now I’m all excited to try new teas made out of things in my back yard.

    1. I hope you enjoy it! I haven’t had lilac or redbud tea, but I have made lilac lemonade and lilac sugar. They were good and the lilac sugar was really good in tea. It gets clumpy from the moisture, but the scent is heavenly.
      Dana recently posted…Road trips with boysMy Profile

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