Angelica Archangelica flowering in the gardens at Puriri Lane
Commonly known as Norwegian Angelica, Garden Angelica and Wild Celery, Angelica Archangelica is cultivated for its sweetly scented stems. In its first year the plant concentrates on developing its leave and in its second year of growth its fluted stems can grow to around 2 metres in height. Also known as the root of Angels, it was widely used and is steeped in history.
The plant is also used for its medicinal benefits, but today we are concentrating on its culinary properties. Angelica Archangelica is a plant not often seen these days, but in days gone by candied Angelica was used in baking. We have though a fabulous recipe taken from Jekka’s Herb Cookbook by Jekka McVicar and one that gardening guru Lynda Hallinan made and having tasted it, I am in love with the flavour. Here is the recipe and of course we have the plants available for sale in late Spring but we only have a few so when they become available, be sure to get in quick!
Angelica Jam ‘Gin on Toast’
This is a great way to preserve Angelica, especially if you do not have the time or patience to candy the stems. As Angelica is one of the ingredients used to give gin its flavour, this jam tastes like gin on toast!
Strain. Refill the pan with fresh cold water and leave the stems to soak overnight (12 hours). Strain and throw the water away.
You may find that if you have used mature stems that they need to be peeled. If that is the case do so now. Then weigh the stems. For every 900g of Angelica stems you will need 700g of caster or granulated sugar.
Cut the cooked stems into bite-size pieces, add them to a large saucepan. Use a preserving pan which is a very worthwhile investment especially if you are often making chutneys, jams and jellies.
Add the water and the sugar. Over a very low heat, stir constantly
until the sugar is dissolved, then add the lemon juice and rind. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
Cool slightly before pouring into warm, sterilised jars, cover and seal immediately.
Angelica archangelica in our vege garden