April and May are sweet woodruff harvesting season. This beautiful ground cover occurs naturally in the undergrowth. The sweet and fragrant scent becomes even more intense after drying. Discover our quick-to-make refreshing dessert recipe: English Jelly or Woodruff “Jelly Pudding”!
How to harvest and dry sweet woodruff?
In the undergrowth you will naturally find the sweet woodruff, where it likes cool, shady places. It can also be grown in the garden, all you need is a shady spot and rich soil that stays cool. This attractive perennial can grow between 10 and 30 cm high and has dark green leaves that develop in a star around the stem. Small white flowers appear in spring.
The bunch truss harvest takes place in April and May. We harvest the bunch trusses, we just need to avoid cutting too close so it can resume properly. The leaves and flowers are used fresh and dried in infusion, syrup or to flavor a dessert. The taste is even more intense due to the use of the dried flowers and leaves. There is nothing easier for this, after picking, let them dry for 2 days in a ventilated place before using them. The coumarins it contains give off a very fragrant, slightly vanilla scent reminiscent of the smell of hay.
The recipe for English jelly with sweet woodruff, step by step:
To make this recipe you will need: a small bunch of dried woodruff (about 15 stalks of woodruff), 6 sheets of gelatin (you can also use agar-agar), 2 tbsp sugar, 500 ml water.
We harvested fresh woodruff which we dried in a ventilated area for 2 days before using it to get a more intense woodruff flavour.
- Bring 500 ml of water to the boil in a saucepan. Then remove the pan from the heat and let the dried sweet woodruff infuse for 5-10 minutes, cover with a lid.
- Then strain the mixture and return it to the pan. Add the 6 sheets of gelatin and mix well.
- Then pour into molds, let cool and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. The jelly should become very firm.
Accompany your Woodruff English jelly with Earl Gray black tea for Tee time, for example…yummy!
As a landscape architect and geographer by training, I am passionate about the plant world and its countless curiosities. Founder of the Rexania blog and activist for gardening in harmony with nature, I am also an Alsatian gardener, ardent defender of ancient, free and reproducible varieties.