As simple as it gets, this chamomile jelly is one Katherine, and I thought of together and worked on for quite a few weeks. While choosing a few restaurants for our Tuscan itinerary, we came across a chamomile lemon syrup served on Ciabatta toast. We thought wouldn't that be fantastic as a jelly. I was already working on the Ciaffagnoni (Italian crepes) when the food Cupid struck us both. Chamomile Lemon Jelly on Ciaffagnoni? Yep, a Tuscan morning in our Atlanta home.
It took us both a bit to get the consistency just right and for the jelly to hold up over hot crepes. But it works, and it's damn good.
The pectin ratio is critical to getting the right 'spoonable' consistency because you're adding concentrated tea to the mix, which will throw off the traditional pectin to fruit balance.
I tend not to prepare overly sweet dishes, and I didn't want to hide the delicate chamomile. If you like sweet jellies and jams, you'll need to add a touch more sugar. Don't go overboard with the lemon either, as the chamomile tea should be the first flavor that hits your palate.
If refrigerated this jelly will last six months, if not longer. But the recipe is simple enough that you can make it fresh more often.
Suggestions and Alternatives
- You can substitute the chamomile for a more robust tea. Earl Grey will bring in a subtle spice tone, and any Indian tea with bergamot will compliment the lemon nicely
- Try the jelly on our Italian crepes
- The jelly works just as well on fresh biscuits, scones, and pancakes
- Try adding a dollop of the jelly into the center of vanilla cupcake batter for an easy lemon cupcake.
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Chamomile Lemon Jelly
- 5 lemons
- 3 cups water, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces liquid pectin
- 2 bags chamomile tea, steeped
- 1/2 teaspoon chamomile flowers
- cut the stem end off each lemon. Keep the blossom end intact, as it contains pectin that will help to thicken the jelly.
- slice each lemon as thinly as possible, preferably on a mandolin.
- place lemon slices in a large non-reactive saucepan add sugar and cold water.
- set over medium heat and reduce by half, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
- add in remaining water and chamomile tea bags and flowers, bring to a boil and shut off heat, allow to steep for at least 1 hour.
- strain tea bags and flowers through fine colander.
- reduce the steeped chamomile by half.
- add liquid pectin to reduced lemon slices on medium heat and reduce by half.
- add chamomile reduction to lemon reduction.
- remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes.
- transfer to glass container and refrigerate for another hour before serving.