Thursday, April 16, 2015

Parsley Honey

I readily admit, with the exception of summer when I can pick my herbs all summer long at my leisure and use them a bit at at time as I need for cooking and baking, when it comes to buying herbs, more often than not I use the little bit I need for a recipe and then the next thing I know I have some slime in the fridge that used to be something resembling an herb.

So, when I came across an old British WWII rationing recipe for Parsley Honey, I got really intrigued.  All the recipe really consists of is parsley, sugar and lemon juice.  And it is supposed to taste like clover honey.  Well, I immediately looked at the recipe and thought, "Huh, herb infused water, sugar and acid.  Add pectin and you'd have jelly.  Add less pectin and...hey that's it!"  So, I came up with a slightly different variation of the original recipe to accommodate canning.

Just a word to the wise.  If in doubt, err on the side of liquidity.  It's better to can a liquid syrup and then just have to throw your jar into a pan and boil it for a few minutes to make honey than over boil your mixture and either end up with jelly.  Which, really, jelly is great and all, but not what we are shooting for here.

This recipe calls for pectin because I wanted to take out a bit of an insurance policy and stick as close to a traditional jelly recipe as possible, but I just wanted to make sure that it was a really really soft setting recipe (thus honey texture and one box of pectin instead of two).  If you don't want to can this recipe, just boil the mixture sans pectin until it is a thick syrup consistency (I'd go for 2 cups parsley water, 2 cups sugar and juice of 1 lemon.  That will give you a pint sized jar of honey about).  It will thicken as it sits in the fridge, so just be aware of that when you make it.

I was pleasantly surprised by parsley honey.  It really DOES taste like honey.  Kind of neat, actually and a great use for parsley.

So, here you are folks.  Yet another way to use up extra parsley from your garden.  Enjoy!

Parsley Honey (adapted from Original WWII recipe for Parsley Honey)

  • 6 cups Parsley Water (recipe below)
  • 8 cups sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 box low sugar or no sugar pectin (this gives you a nice soft set)
Prepare canner, jar and lids by safe canning practices as stated in your canner instructions.

Place parsley water, lemon juice and pectin in a pan and whisk to combine.  Bring to a boil.  Add sugar all at once and whisk to combine (this will take a few minutes to incorporate).

Bring mixture back to a rolling boil (a boil that can not be stirred down) for one full minute.

Pour mixture into hot, sterilized jars and process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove lid of canner and let sit another five minutes.  Remove jars to a tea towel or other insulated surface to cool.

Let cool completely and check seals.  Any jar that does not seal should be placed in the fridge and used immediately.

Store in a cool dark place for up to 1 year for optimum quality.  Makes approximately 8, 4 oz. jars.  Use as you would honey.

Parsley Water:
  • 4 large bunches (approx. 8 oz) fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • water to cover
Place parsley in pan and add enough water to cover.  Boil for 1/2 hour.  Let cool.  Strain.  Add enough water to reach 6 cups liquid or pour out enough to reach 6 cups.


  1. ooh.. lovely.. am going to have to make some of this when I get the chance... i think this will be in the Christmas baskets this year if it will work for me.. :) (always like to include something homemade and unusual...)

  2. Now that is genius! lol I love it!

  3. Sounds intriguing. Question, you wrote "air on the side of liquidity" did you mean "err on the side of liquidity" or did I miss something in the recipe about oxygen?

    1. Yes, I meant "err". Not sure why I did that, but yeah, that was a whopping error to make. Sorry.


    Mrs. Patten created this anoung many items during WWII. She has a role in the production 1940s House. It's on Youtube.