Not all day lilies are edible, but if you know what to hunt for, day lilies are quite diverse in the kitchen! Day lily jam is a fun and easy recipe—its sweet yet perfumed flavour is perfect for breakfast and pastries. This recipe requires two steps: One to make the flower tea and the other to make the jam. The tea can be prepared the day before. Although the jam can be made solely with flowers, sugar and pectin, we prefer this method of combining the flowers with cranberries, which have natural pectin. There are many, many ways to make wildflower jams, and this recipe can be used with many edible flowers.
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups cleaned, whole day lily petals
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
- 3 cups cleaned, finely chopped day lily petals
- 2 drops red food colouring (optional)
In a large pot, combine the 4 cups of water and 2 cups of whole petals. Bring to a light boil, remove from the stovetop and steep until the water takes on some flavour and colour, about 15 minutes. Strain the tea into another pot and discard the petals. Refrigerate if making ahead.
To make the jam, add the sugar, cranberries and 3 cups of chopped petals to the tea and bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat to medium and continue boiling until the jam thickens, about 20 minutes. Often, wildflower jams don’t remain as brightly coloured as the petals are in nature, so you might wish to add a couple of drops of red food colouring to brighten up the mixture.
The jam can be canned, or merely jarred and stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. You can also pulse the jam in the food processor for 10 seconds to create a more puréed jam with a unique texture. This jam is so different, it won’t sit around for long!
Makes about 2 cups
Joanna Notkin is a designer at heart, and food is her passion. With an eye for detail and a love of all things seasonal and local, Joanna approaches food in a way that is delicate and thoughtful. Our food editor’s style brings together the flavours of each ingredient while honouring the fact that we truly eat with our eyes. Joanna began as a textile designer before opening Zoe Ford Catering. She now also freelances as a recipe tester, restaurant consultant and menu planner and is an all-around food lover.