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Dandelion Jelly

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Spring is here!  Though I’m bewildered by the undeniable effects of climate change this “winter”, the sunshine is kind of nice.  The dandelions have been popping out all month, so in an effort to embrace the present, I made some dandelion jelly!  As you can imagine, picking dandelions and snipping their tiny petals, is quite the labor of love.  Let me tell you, though, the flavor is honey-sweet, grassy, and taste like “spring-time sunshine” in a jar.  Spread on toasted bread and whipped chèvre, this quite possibly is the best jelly I’ve tasted.  Ever.  As with all my jellies and jams, this is a low-sugar recipe.

Dandelions are incredibly nutritious and delicious, while also being the bane of most traditional gardeners.  Perhaps this dandelion jelly will encourage a new perspective for those gardeners who wish to eradicate this important plant.  At the very least, consider this… if you pick the flowers, they won’t turn into seed heads!

Dandelion Jelly

First, only collect flowers from areas that you are certain have not been sprayed with any yucky chemicals.  I trust the dandelions that grow in my Patchy Lawn!  Pick the flowers when they are fresh and bright yellow.  I found that picking them in the morning and evening, when they were just a bit closed, made it easier to separate the petals, but only slightly.  It’s still work, but no so bad if you spread it out over a few days.  The petals freeze really well!  I picked them over three or four days, immediately snipped the petals, and filled a pint-sized canning jar in the freezer.

The green stems and leaves can be a little bitter, so it is important to separate the tiny petals from anything green.

cut dandelion petals

Hold the bud and snip off the green base.

snip dandelion petals

Collect the fluffy yellow petals, and compost or feed the greens to the chickens.  For this recipe, you will need two very generous cups of petals.

dandelion petals

A little bit of green won’t hurt, don’t kill yourself with perfection here!

I have seen several dandelion jelly recipes that call for 4-6 cups of sugar and food coloring.  Let’s respect this delicate flower by only adding what we need to!  If you use low-sugar pectin, you only need to add a small amount of sugar to allow it to set.  The color is light yellow, and sometimes greenish, but I find it lovely.

Dandelion Jelly
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Jelly
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of dandelion petals
  • 3½ cups water
  • 1½ cup organic sugar
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 4-5 tsp low-sugar pectin
Instructions
  1. Simmer the petals in the water for 10 minutes, then cover and let steep for about an hour.
  2. Strain the petals through a fine mesh sieve, pressing out all the liquid.
  3. Place a small plate in the freezer (to test jelly).
  4. Return the liquid to the pot (rinse it clean!) and add the sugar, lemon juice and pectin.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil and cook at least 1 minutes to allow the pectin to activate.
  6. Test jelly on frozen plate to check for desired "gel" consistency. Spoon a small amount on plate, it should hold when plate is tilted.
  7. Pour into sterile jars, place lids and rings on jars, and process in a water-bath canner for 10 minutes. You could also cool and store in the refrigerator.
  8. Makes about three, ½ pint jars.
 

 

Jessica
Jessica
Take a peek into my world of Eating, Gardening, Making and Mothering, authentically and with meaning. Thanks for visiting!
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