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Sassafras
(Sassafras variifolium)


A tree native to the eastern United States which thrives in dry, sandy soil. The fruit is a drupe or berry that is blue in color. Both S. albidum and S. variifolium resemble each other. The bark of the roots, stems and twigs as well as the berries contain sassafras oil. Long used as a medicinal, it is also used as a flavoring for various pharmaceuticals and candies.



Sassafras Jelly
6 roots (each 6-inches long and 1/2-inch thick) or young, thin stems
2 quarts of water
1 tbsp lemon juice
4½ cups sugar
3 oz. liquid pectin

Place sassafrass root or stems into boiling water and make a good strong tea. Boil till water is a red-brown color. The deeper the color, the better for jelly. Strain out 4 cups of the tea and place in a saucepan. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add sugar, mix thoroughly and bring to a boil. Add pectin and hold at a boil for 1 full minute. Remove from heat, skim off foam and pour into hot, sterile jelly jars and seal.



Sassafras & Honey Jelly
4 cups strong sassafras tea
(see Sapphireberry Jelly above)
6 cups honey
6 oz liquid pectin

Bring tea to a boil and add pectin. When water returns to a boil, add honey and hold at a boil for 1 full minute. Remove from heat and pour into hot, sterile jelly jars and seal.



Sassafras & Apple Jelly
1 pint of strong sassafras tea
(see Sassafras Jelly recipe above)
10 to 12 partially ripe crab apples
2 cups of sugar per cup of combined juices

Prepare 1 pint of sassafras tea. Core and remove blossom remnants from crab apples, then cut them into eighths. Place apples in a saucepan with a little water for cooking and place on medium heat. Cook till soft and juicy, then mash with a potato masher. Strain apple juice through a jelly bag. Combine apple juice with the tea and bring to a boil for 1 full minute. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. Cook till sauce reaches the jelly 'sheet' test or use a cooking thermometer to determine this stage. Skim foam and pour into hot, sterile jelly jars and seal.




©2000 by Ernestina Parziale

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