I admit I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for dandelions. Their childhood charm never quite released me. When I see them, I’m flooded with carefree memories of endless summers. They make me happy! So when I came across a recipe for dandelion jelly, I knew I had to try it! Although it’s a bit labor intensive to prepare the dandelion petals, it’s easy to make.
How to make Dandelion Jelly:
10-12 cups of dandelions to make 4 cups dandelion petals (just the yellow flowers)
which is used to make 3 cups of dandelion tea (if you end up short, add water to make up the difference)
4 1/2 cups of sugar
1 box of pectin
To start, I pursued the neighborhood looking for a large supply of dandelions. I found an empty field (owned by the city) about a half a mile from my house filled with the bright yellow gems! Armed with the biggest bowl in my house, I traipsed through the field and picked about 12 cups of dandelions (without stems or leaves).
I snipped the petals from the green parts of the flower with a pair of scissors.
It takes a whole lot of flowers (about 100) to make a cup of petals!
Once I had the petals, I dumped them into a big saucepan and covered them with boiling water. After steeping it overnight, I strained and discarded the petals. The liquid that remained was the dandelion ‘tea’ that I used for the jelly.
At this point in the process, I was a bit worried. My tea smelled quite a bit like freshly mowed grass before I strained it, and very much like dandelions after I strained it. Would I want to eat something weedy? Hmm…
But this far in the process I wasn’t about to stop. I poured 3 cups of the strained tea back into the saucepan and added 4 1/2 cups of sugar and one box of pectin. I brought the mixture to a boil and boiled it for 2 minutes before pouring into my prepared canning jars and processed them in a water bath for 10 minutes.
The recipe made 6 half pints beautiful golden jelly. But how did it taste? Surprisingly tasty! Very much like a light honey, with a subtle ‘earthy’ aftertaste. I shared the jelly with about a dozen adults and children and everyone liked it.
My biggest complaint is that it didn’t set up very well. If I made it again, I’d add an extra half a box of pectin.
Next time you see a field of dandelions, go pick yourself a big bowl and can some sunshine in a jar! It’s a fun project for unique gifts and conversation starters!
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You can also find Kerrie at City Girl Farming.
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