Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dandelion Jelly Recipe


I love dandelions! I love looking at them, I love their greens and I love delicious jelly made from their petals! I feel like this jelly sounds like something that would not taste good, but it does! Using dandelion petals for cooking is not a "common" thing, so it makes sense for people to be a little suspicious of it. But you need to trust me here. This jelly is amazing! There are quite a few recipes out there for making this jelly. This is the only one I have tried. The original recipe & variations are here at Simply Canning.


Although many homeowners do battle with dandelions every year, we have chosen to embrace them. They are extremely good for bees and are one of the first flowers available to them in the spring. Dandelion greens are commonly eaten and they are even sold in my local grocery store in the spring. The dandelion root is well known as edible and for its use as a tea. But the petals of this wonderful flower are overlooked. The petals can be removed and used to make jelly, wine, or sprinkled atop your salad. Surprisingly, they can be steamed, battered and fried into fritters, and even made into pickles.

Make sure you don't take them all! Leave some for the bees!
To harvest your flowers, simply cut them off using a pair of scissors. Place them in a basket as you go! Make sure you are gathering your dandelions from a place that has not had any chemicals applied to it. If you know you don't use any chemicals on your property, that's the best place to go! You only want the flower, no stem or leaves. So just remove the flower and leave the rest!

I would gather about 5-6 cups of flowers. You can always cut more if you need them. The most difficult part in this entire recipe is removing the petals. You do not want any small green bits in with the petals. This is very important because the green parts are very bitter and will ruin the lovely sweet taste of your jelly! I have found that the easiest way to remove the petals is by grabbing the base of the flower, holding back the green pieces, and plucking the petals out. I tried using scissors first, and I found it to be incredibly tedious. But try it a few ways and see what is easiest for you! Just make sure to avoid the green pieces.


You need about four cups of dandelion petals. I measured each half cup to make it easier. They do not have to be packed down, just loosely place in your measuring cup. Place all of your petals together in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Pour enough to cover and completely submerge them. Don't go too crazy and pour a lot. Less is better because the flavor will be more concentrated. You can always add more water at the end if needed. Cover the mixture and leave it to sit overnight on the counter.

When your mixture is done, it will be a nice dark color. First strain out all the large petals and squeeze the liquid out of them. Then strain the liquid through a jelly bag or a paper coffee filter a couple of times until it is clear. Next measure out how much liquid you have. You need a total of three cups. If you do not have enough, add water until you have three cups. 

If you are canning this recipe, get your water bath canner ready! Place the 3 cups of dandelion liquid into a large pan. Add 2 TBS of lemon juice and 1 box of pectin. Bring all of this to a boil. Add 4 1/2 cups of sugar and bring the mixture back to a boil. Stir the mixture constantly and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, skim off any foam using a slotted spoon, and fill canning jars leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Process for 10 minutes. This recipe made just about 6 half pints.

Flowers, petals removed, liquid being strained, final liquid, and the finished product!


Full recipe:

4 Cups Dandelion Petals
3 Cups Dandelion Liquid
4 1/2 Cups of Sugar
2 TBS of Lemon Juice
1 Box of Powdered Pectin

1. After removing dandelion petals, place in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Cover the mixture and let it sit overnight on the counter. 
2. Strain the petals out of the liquid, then strain through a jelly bag or coffee filter. 
3. Place dandelion liquid, lemon juice and one box of powdered pectin into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. 
4. Add sugar. stirring constantly, bring the mixture back to a boil and continue boiling and stirring for two minutes. Remove from heat and skim off foam. 
5. Place into jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace and process for ten minutes.  

Enjoy!

Some homemade bread,  add some butter & jam.. yum!

I just wanted to include a final word on canning safety. When done correctly, canning is very safe! But it can be a little overwhelming to get started. If you are interested in learning how to can, there are so many great resources out there. Don't get discouraged.. it's not overly difficult! I've included some canning information below in case anyone is interested!

Links:

Books:
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry & Lauren Devine 
Blue Book Guide to Preserving by Altrista Consumr Products
Better Homes & Garden You Can Can by Better Homes and Garden
The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich & Chuck Willialms
Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff & Rinne Allen









4 comments:

  1. Ooooh, I so want to try this!

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    1. You definitely should! The jelly tastes very honey like! :)

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  2. I've been waiting for this post since you mentioned it on your FB post. I just have to get some pectin, and then we are on it! Right now we have dandelion soda fermenting, and we are also going to try dandelion syrup. Perhaps we are getting a little nuts? ;) Thanks so much for this great post, it's going to help a lot.

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    1. I don't think you're nuts at all! :) Especially since I was crawling around on my hands and knees picking dandelion flowers LOL! I really want to hear how your soda & syrup are going to turn out! I can imagine that the syrup would be absolutely delicious.

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