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🌸Cherry Blossom Jam🌸

There are cherry blossom trees in bloom everywhere just now, one of the first to offer a pop of colour in spring! With varying shades of pink and white adorning the trees, these beautiful flowers are magnificent to look at but that is not all they are good for! For us wild food lovers, its important to note that the petals possess edible and medicinal qualities!


There are many ways that the petals can be used but only a small quantity of them should be consumed raw due to toxins. My favourite ways to use them are in teas, jam and syrups!


Cherry blossoms are short lived, usually a week or two long!


Cherry Blossom Jam


The first step of making this jam is getting your shoes on and going outside to find cherry blossoms trees. Fortunately here in the UK, the ornamental varieties are used to brighten many streets and local areas such as parks, and with how distinctive the colourful flowers are, you will see them from a distance! Try to avoid collecting from busy road sides or any trees that are sprayed with chemicals.


Cherry blossom tree in full bloom


When you've found the trees, it's time to harvest your petals. If possible, collect petals that have been blown off or fallen to the ground, minimising your harvest from the tree. When collecting from the tree, select some petals that appear healthy and pluck them carefully, taking one or two blossoms from each bunch and also leaving some stem on the tree.


It is also important to note that if you are on private land, the owners permission must be obtained. Please keep local legislation and knowledge in mind and ensure to forage with compassion for the wonderful species we have!


Before making delicious food with the goods I harvest, I allow any insects sharing a snack to vacate by leaving the bag open outside for a short while. Some people call it extra protein but I'd rather they escaped to find their next tasty treat!


And so, I've shared my jam recipe with you below. It varies at times. I like to add some grated apple and am yet to try it with rhubarb. I will also try a cherry blossom and rose petal version at some point too! Some people also add strawberries for a more typical Japanese Sakura Jam.


(Adding berries is useful for creating that lovely pink colour)





Cherry Blossom Jam Recipe - 20-30 mins


Ingredients


Cherry blossom petals - 20+ blossoms worth

Water - 300ml

Lemon juice - 50ml

Jam sugar - 150-200g ( if using ordinary sugar, add 2sp pectin)

2-3 raspberries for colour



Method


Add sugar and water to a deep pan, add heat to dissolve sugar. You will then add your blossoms ensuring that the petals are separated.


Add lemon juice and bring to boil.


If using a jam thermometer, boil to 105°c. If not, you can anticipate setting point when the jam begins to become thicker and glossy. You can then test that it is ready to set by putting a drop onto a cold plate, if it wrinkles after a moment, it's good to go.


Pour into sterilised jars and seal.


Enjoy on pancakes, toast, in porridge and more!




Happy Wandering & Wondering


Much love,

Sharon.

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