Lemon Balm Jelly

Jumping into the 2024 alphabet challenge on letter L, and for folks that grow lemon balm, here is a tasty recipe!  My kiddo loves to make herself fresh lemon balm tea, but sometimes our plant still needs a little bit more harvesting to keep it under control.  I am the toast person and the basic PBJ sandwich person in the family, so I did break my own rules and made half batches so I could do two different versions.  Typically, you shouldn't alter batch sizes in preserves as they may not turn out.  Do as I say and not as I do.  But also, hehe, it worked!

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, is considered a calming herb. It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating, as well as colic). Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings. Today, lemon balm is often combined with other calming, soothing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, and hops, to promote relaxation.

Lemon Balm Jelly
Makes about five ½-pint jars

3 cups lemon balm leaves (lightly packed, no stems)
2 tsp dried hibiscus flowers or tea (optional for color and a bit of zing)
4 cups water
½ cup lemon juice (bottled is fine)
1 (1.75 oz.) box dry pectin (like Sure Jel) (I tried out bulk pectin for the first time, 6 tbsp per full batch)
4 cups sugar
½ teaspoon butter (optional to prevent foaming)

Make the tea (tisane):  

Harvest a big bunch of lemon balm.  Pluck the leaves and for a stronger brew, rip or roughly chop them before steeping.

Enough for 1½ cups lightly packed leaves...

Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil.  Stir in the leaves to wilt and submerge.  Cover and steep 20 minutes.

While the tea is steeping, prepare the jars and lids.  Keep the jars ready in a pot of barely simmering hot water, along with the lids.  The rings should be sterilized and then may be set aside until ready to seal.

Measure the sugar into one bowl and set aside.

After the tisane has steeped for 20 minutes, squeeze the leaves letting any liquid fall back into the pot, then discard the leaves.  Strain the liquid if needed, to remove any fine bits of leaves.  Measure out 3½ cups of the steeped mixture.  Add water if necessary, to make the 3½ cups.  If there is extra, save it for iced tea, yum.

To make the jelly:

In a large pot, whisk together the 3½ cups tisane, lemon juice, butter (if using) and pectin.  Make sure there are no lumps of pectin.  Bring to a rolling boil, (one that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred.)

Add the sugar all at once.  Whisk until dissolved and cover pot.  Return to a rolling boil.

Remove the cover.  Let mixture boil while stirring for exactly 1 minute.  (Set a timer.)

Remove from heat.  Skim any foam and discard.  Immediately pour/ladle mixture into jars, leaving ¼-inch of head space.

Wipe the rims of jars with a dampened towel to remove any spills.

Remove the lids one at a time from the pan of water, shake them to remove excess water, and place on the filled and wiped jars.  Carefully screw on ring bands.  (You may need a towel to hold the hot jars.)

Process the jars immediately after filling and capping in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Let them sit overnight at room temperature to gel.  Next day, processed jars may be stored on a pantry shelf (without refrigeration) for up to one year.

Jelly may also be jarred and kept in the refrigerator if not processing via water bath canning.  Place the filled and capped jars on a clean towel set out of the way so the jelly can set overnight.

Avoid touching or moving the jars as it will affect the gel.  They must sit overnight without being disturbed.  You may still hear the “ping” of the lids vacuum sealing as the jelly cools.

Next day, store unprocessed, unopened jars in the refrigerator.

Full batches are recommended.  Partial or double batches may fail.
This jelly is not recommended for freezer storage.

Many thanks to Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm for organizing and creating the challenge.

Check out all the L recipes below: 



  1. Love the color that the addition of hibiscus adds to this awesome sounding jelly.

  2. I have seem lemon balm at the garden centers but never thought much about it. Now I want to get a plant and make this jelly!

    1. We really enjoy our lemon balm, I got some from a neighbor. Just be warned, it is a member of the mint family and spreads and reseeds very easily if it goes to flower. Keep it contained! Hence, more recipes. I know some people use it in balms and salves too.

  3. Like Lisa, I've seen the plant in garden centers but I knew nothing of its uses and history. Your jellies look so pretty!

    1. I can almost guarantee you can get it for free from gardeners in your neighborhood! Once you have it, you HAVE IT. But we love it, even just brushing the leaves is grounding and uplifting. Smells so good.

  4. I love the history you shared about lemon balm! I had no idea. Your jelly is gorgeous.

  5. Awesome lemon balm jelly love the color of hibiscus!

  6. Need to pop by the local green house and see if they've got lemon balm in stock! Love the original but the color with the hibiscus is amazing!

  7. This sounds lovely. Definitely a recipe I would love to try! A nice switch up from traditional jelly!!! Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck - Colleen

  8. Love the colours of both the jellies. A unique and totally different jellies for me... will have to see if I can find some lemon balm.


Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.