In early spring spruce trees put out their light green buds, more or less at the same time when Black Locust flowers appear. Spruce tips can be picked to make a delicious jelly, traditionally made in northern Italy.
I know that you always act responsible, but remember that these are supposed to be the new needles of the tree, so don’t over-harvest it!
Spruce tip jelly is really one of my favourite, with a sweet balsamic taste. When you close your eyes you can smell the scent of the forest. Every year I make only a few tiny jars, that I keep for special occasions.
- 1 liter (volume) of spruce tips (Picea excelsa)
- 1 liter water
- 1 lemon
- 700 gr sugar
- Pectin (I use 1 package -40 gr – cameo fruttapec)
Chop the spruce tips, put them in a big pot and cover them with the boiling water. Boil it all for about 3 minutes. Let them sit for 2-3 days.
Drain the liquid with a fine colander and squeeze them to get as much of the tasty juice. Add the lemon juice, sugar and the pectin. Bring it to a boil and cook it for 3-4 minutes, stirring vigorously.
Try the thickness of the jelly and, if it is fine, fill sterilized jars when still hot. If it is still too runny, bring it again to a boil and go on cooking for some more minutes, until you get the desired thickness.
Check also this cookies recipe, made with spruce tips: spruce tips crunchy tuiles.
Other spruce tip recipes