Tag: how to preserve chives

How to Make Chive Blossom Jelly

It seems like every food gardener has an arsenal of jam and jelly recipes. After all, it’s a sweet, tasty, and easy way to preserve fruit and, in some cases vegetables and herbs, for the year ahead.

The problem is that my husband and I rarely eat jam or jelly, so most of these recipes don’t appeal to us since they’d just sit on the shelf. I still have some dandelion jelly from two years ago that I’m unlikely to ever eat.

Every once in a while, though, I come across a jelly recipe that does appeal to us. We tend to like savoury jellies, partly because they have wider uses than “spread it on toast”. Later this year I’ll do up a batch of hot pepper and wine jelly, which goes phenomenal on a baked brie.

My discovery this year is chive blossom jelly.

The first harvest of spring

Dandelions and edible weeds aside, chives are often the first produce to come up in the garden and the first to be harvested.

So in the spring our garden looks like this…

…with the ground mostly barren and the only plants showing life being the perennials, trees, and bushes.

But the chives are quickly growing and very soon look like this…

They’re the first burst of colour in the spring. And they bring with them a tantalizing aroma that you can sometimes smell just being in the vicinity of them.

There are two common types of chives — onion chives and garlic chives. These are onion chives. (We bought some leek seedlings and planted them and our neighbour says he thinks the plant was mislabeled and we bought garlic chives instead. So now we might have both?)

Onion chives have a green onion taste to them — oniony and fairly strong, but without the harsh bite that green onions can sometimes have in the bulb area. Both the green stalks and the purple blossoms are edible.

The only problem with chives is that they are difficult to preserve. You can freeze them, but they lose their flavour pretty quickly. You can dehydrate them, but they lose their flavour even faster.

I’ve got a batch of chive blossom vinegar on the go as a way to preserve the flavour and I’m attempting a fermented chives recipe I found (and I’ll report back when they’re done). Chive blossom jelly is a new preservation method added to my arsenal.

Frankensteining a recipe

I sort of Frankensteined this recipe together.

There are chive blossom jelly recipes out there, but they all call for low-sugar pectin which, to the best of my knowledge, is not easily found in Canada. The grocery stores don’t have it, Amazon has it for super expensive, the nearby department stores with canning supplies (Canadian Tire, Walmart), don’t have it. I couldn’t find an easy way to adapt a low-sugar pectin recipe to a full-sugar pectin recipe, so I half-invented this and half-adapted this to work with regular pectin.

You start by boiling and then simmering chive blossoms in a mix of water, white wine (optional, you can use additional water instead), and cider vinegar to leech out the flavour and some of the colour from the blossoms. I had some chive blossom vinegar from last year on hand, so instead of using cider vinegar I used the chive blossom vinegar for some extra chive-y taste. After it simmers for a while, you strain out the solids and let the liquid cool to room temperature.

From there it’s a pretty standard jelly recipe involving pectin, boiling, adding sugar, hard boiling, and canning. All instructions are in the recipe card below.

For an extra splash of fun, I picked apart some chive blossoms and added them to the jar before pouring in the hot jelly.

After canning, this is the final result…

Uses for chive blossom jelly

Chive blossom jelly has a very vibrant chive taste and even though it’s a full sugar recipe, it doesn’t seem too sweet to me, which opens it up to several different uses.

There’s, of course, the obvious use of spreading it on toast, but here are some ways I’m looking forward to using it:

  • As a topping on sandwiches. I make an excellent bagel breakfast sandwich with mayo, cheese, egg, and bacon, and I find a thin layer of savoury jelly often caps it off perfectly.
  • As a topping on a baked brie. During BBQ season I love to bake brie cheese on the grill and putting a thick layer of savoury jelly on top just adds a little something special to an already delicious appetizier.
  • As a side for a charcuterie or a cheese board. A little slathering of jelly on a cracker served alongside sharp cheese or cured meats would be heavenly.

Chive Blossom Jelly

Savoury, chive-y, and slightly sweet, chive blossom jelly looks gorgeous, tastes delicious, and can be used for savoury breakfasts, charcuterie boards, and baked bries.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast


  • 1 Strainer
  • 1 Water Bath Canner
  • 4-5 1-Cup Canning Jars with Lids (Or 8-10 Half-Cup Canning Jars with Lids)


  • 2 cups Chive Blossoms, plus a few extra for garnish
  • cups Water
  • 2 cups Dry White Wine (cooking wine is fine)
  • ¼ cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1 box Powdered Pectin (57g)
  • 4 cups Sugar


  • Clean blossoms. Be sure they're free of insects, dirt, and debris; wash/rinse if necessary.
  • Place blossoms (except the few saved for garnish), water, wine, and vinegar in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for twenty minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Strain to separate blossoms from liquid. Leave to drip for 1-2 hours. Discard solids. Let liquid cool to room temperature.
  • Measure sugar and put aside so it can be added quickly when needed. Prepare canning jars by ensuring they are clean and warm. Pick petals off the saved chive blossoms and drop into the jars. When jelly is added later, the petals will float to the top and be part of the jelly.
  • Put three cups of liquid in a large pot. A larger pot is necessary as the jelly will foam up in the next few steps. Whisk in powdered pectin until it dissolves.
  • Bring to a boil. Whisk in sugar and return to a boil. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.
  • Working quickly, remove pot from heat and skim off any foam. Immediately ladle into the jars, leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims. Put on lid and screw to fingertip tightness. Place jars in canner and cover with an inch of water.
  • Process in canner for ten minutes. The ten minute timer starts when the water is brought to a full boil.
  • Remove canner from heat and let sit for five minutes. Carefully remove jars using a jar lifter. Let sit undisturbed on the counter overnight.
  • In the morning, test if lids have "popped" — they bend downward, indicating a seal was made. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool dry place. Unsealed jars (ones that did not "pop") should be refrigerated and consumed first.


If you’re located at more than 1,000 feet above sea level, you’ll need to adjust the processing time. This chart will help you figure it out.
If you’re avoiding wine, you can use water instead.
Cider vinegar can be replaced with any vinegar that has a mild or complementary taste, such as white wine vinegar. When I made the batch pictured here, I had chive blossom vinegar on hand, so I used that for an extra burst of chive-flavour.
Keyword chives blossom, jelly