Recipe: Fireweed Jelly

This recipe was originally published in the Raven’s Circle and online in September 2018. It remains one of CIRI’s most visited webpages, with more than 330 clicks! In late summer in Alaska, fireweed is abundant, and the jelly is simple to make. Thank you to CIRI Shareholder and employee Charlene Juliussen for sharing her recipe with us!

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active)

SERVINGS: Makes four 8-ounce jars


2½ cups fireweed juice (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon butter
1 package (1¾ ounces) dry pectin, such as SURE-JELL
3 cups sugar


For the fireweed juice:

  1. Rinse 8 packed cups fireweed flowers and place rinsed flowers in a 2-quart pot. Add water so that it doesn’t quite cover the flowers.
  2. Boil flowers until color is boiled out and petals are a grayish color. Juice should be a deep purple color when finished. (If too much water is used, the juice will be a brownish color. More water can always be added after flowers are boiled to increase amount of juice.)
  3. Strain juice through cheesecloth to remove petals.

For the jelly:

  1. Warm fireweed juice, lemon juice and butter on stovetop.
  2. Add pectin; bring to a hard boil for 1 minute.
  3. Add sugar and bring to full boil for one minute. Skim top of jelly.
  4. Pour into pitcher and skim again.
  5. Fill sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch space at top. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  6. Chill jelly in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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