Sunday, April 30, 2017

dandelion jelly

This year is my second year making dandelion jelly.  I found the recipe online and gave it a try and it was really good.  Every year I have acres of dandelions.  I do not spray them and there are too many to pull so I get these huge waves of yellow and now it is fun to do something with them.  The jelly is made by first steeping the petals in boiling water to make a dandelion tea.  Then the tea is mixed with lemon juice, pectin and sugar to create the jelly.

This week, before mowing, I 'harvested' about a gallon of the flower heads.  I just pulled the tops off of the plant and threw them in a container.  After that I brought them in the house and proceeded to separate the yellow petals from the green parts.  Only the yellow parts are used.  It is a bit tedious to separate them but a good project for television watching or podcast listening.  I gently pulled the yellow petals from the green base and when they were all separated I poured boiling water over them and let them stand overnight.  It is said that the green parts can be bitter so I tried to not get any green in with my petals.  If you are not growing your own dandelions you would want to choose flowers from an area that has not been sprayed.
my dandelion field AKA my front yard

The next morning I strained the tea.  The flower petals are discarded and the dark amber liquid is saved.  The tea is brought to a boil with the lemon juice and pectin and when boiling the sugar is added.  It is returned to a boil, allowed to boil for 1-2 minutes and then transferred to the jars and water bath canned.

Dandelion jelly

3 cups dandelion tea
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 box powdered pectin
4 1/2 cups sugar

Place the tea and lemon juice in a pan.  Stir in the pectin and bring to a boil.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Continue to heat until it returns to a boil and boil for 1-2 minutes.

Pour into prepared pint or half pint jars leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.  Apply the lids and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.  Begin timing when the water is boiling.

To make dandelion tea cover 4 cups of yellow petals with boiling water and allow to cool to room temperature or overnight if possible.  Strain.  I didn't have a full 4 cups of petals and used more water than three cups and I ended up with enough tea for two batches.  The flavor was good.  I did allow it to stand overnight.  It is possible that had I not left it to stand the longer period of time that it might have made for a weaker tea and less flavorful jelly.

The original recipe can be found here.  It includes a version using the liquid pectin instead of the powdered, which I have not tried.

Next I will be researching recipes for dandelion wine.

Joining Met Monday at BNOTP here.

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