Desert Willow & Wine Jelly

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Desert Willow, Chilopsis linearis is a beautiful tree that is native to the Desert Southwest. It thrives in the heat of our long, dry summers, and delights us with its pale pink or wine colored flowers. With its medicinal qualities and fragrant flowers, Desert Willow is the perfect tree for your landscape and kitchen garden. Dare I say it’s a Homesteader’s Dream plant?

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

GARDEN

PRESERVING

WILDCRAFT

CANNING

Unique, Local, Decadent

Your Desert Willow Jelly will vary in color depending on the variety of tree. Some Desert Willows are white or pale pink while others are a vibrant purple. If you are foraging, you will often find the paler colors in the wild and the deeper colors in landscapes.

– Don’t worry about the alcohol content, the jelly is safe to give to children since all the alcohol will evaporate during cooking.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Day 1

  1. Collect enough Desert Willow flowers to fill a quart jar, packing it slightly.
  2. Fill the jar with white wine of your choice.
  3. Cover and place in a sunny location for 18-24 hours.
Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Day 2

This is what mine looked like after about 20 hours. You can see that the petals have released their color into the wine.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Preparation

The first thing you want to do when getting ready to make the jelly is to set up your area. This means having a sink full of hot soapy water, a tea kettle or pan with boiling water, and your canner half full of water at the point of boiling. Place a dish towel on the counter next to the stove. This is where you will be placing the hot jars. I also like to have the sugar measured into a bowl.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

Straining flowers

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

When ready to make jelly, pour the contents of the jar through a strainer into a 6 or 8 quart saucepan. This should be about 3 cups. If it is less, simply add more wine. (Image from Garden Rose Wine Jelly).

Cooking

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

7. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Process 15 minutes at altitudes above 1000 ft.

8. When time is up, place on a towel on the counter to cool. Don’t tighten the lids. (Image from Garden Rose Wine Jelly).

Full Recipe in Details

Make this jelly in celebration of the desert in all its glory. The flavor is floral and sweet, and can change with the variance of wine used. It is a beautiful addition to a cheese board and pairs well with sharp cheese or even brie.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups white wine (any kind you like, I used a cheap Pino Grigio because I love its fresh taste)
  • organic Desert Willow flowers (enough to fill a quart jar)

  • 1 box of powdered pectin
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
GUIDE / INSTRUCTIONS
  • 1

    Fill a quart jar with Desert Willow flowers, packing slightly.

  • 2

    Pour the wine over the flowers and cover.

  • 3
    Place the jar in a sunny location to steep for 24 hours or so (bring it inside if it is cold at night)
  • 4
    When ready to make jelly, pour the contents of the jar through a strainer into a 6 or 8 quart saucepan.
  • 5
    Add the pectin, and turn heat to high. Stir continually until boiling.
  • 6
    Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • 7
    Remove from heat and ladle into hot, clean jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  • 8
    Wipe the rims, place lids and rings on, tightening only slightly.
  • 9
    Place jars into a simmering canner making sure there is 2 inches of water above the jars. (have a pan of boiling water available to pour into the canner if it isn’t high enough.)
  • 10
    Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Process 15 minutes at altitudes above 1000 ft (Phoenix is 1,086 ft above sea level).
  • 11

    When time is up, place on a towel on the counter to cool. Don’t tighten the lids.

desert willow jelly with crackers
NOTES

This recipe also works well with any edible flower. I have made it using an assortment of flowers from my garden and it was delicious.

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