Gently wash herb sprigs and/or flower petals in water. Drain; place herbs or petals on paper towels and gently blot. Chop herbs with stems attached. Place 1 to 1 1/2 cups firmly packed chopped leaves and stems or flower petals in an 8- to 10-quart heavy pot. Add apple juice.Advertisement
Bring juice mixture to boiling, stirring occasionally. Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 10 minutes.
Line a strainer or colander with a double layer of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth; set over a large bowl. Strain herb and/or flower mixture through cheesecloth, pressing to extract all of the juice. Measure 3 cups juice mixture, adding additional apple juice, if necessary. Discard stems, leaves, and petals.
In the same pot, combine juice mixture, lemon juice, and, if desired, food coloring. Stir pectin into mixture in pot. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle hot jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids.
Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.
*TEST KITCHEN TIP:
The best edible flowers are blossoms from your own garden. You also can find edible flowers in the produce section of some supermarkets, at local herb gardens, at mail-order outlets, and at some restaurant or produce suppliers. Use flowers grown without the use of pesticides or other chemicals. Do not use flowers from florist's shops because they're usually treated with chemicals.