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Redeeming the Dandelion

Aug
31

Post by community member:


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!

Find this recipe on Farm Bell Recipes for the handy print page and save it to your recipe box:
Dandelion Jelly


You can also find Kerrie at City Girl Farming.




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Posted by on August 31, 2010 | Permalink  

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Comments

15 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 8-31
    7:44
    am
    Profile photo of Dede ~ wvhomecanner

    Beautiful jelly!

  2. 8-31
    8:33
    am
    Profile photo of marymac

    Now if I could only find someone to pick me some dandelions!! A few years back, actually about 2005 I had my nephews pick me enough dandelions to make a batch of dandelion wine, and it too tastes like dandelion honey. Very good. I am wondering about turning some of that into dandelion wine jelly. What do you think? Would it work?

  3. 8-31
    8:43
    am
    Profile photo of KentuckyFarmGirl

    I’ve always wondered what it tastes like but never tried it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 8-31
    8:48
    am
    Profile photo of Ang.

    I have always wanted to try to make violet jelly. I didn’t realize you could make it with dandelions, too! I may have to try that next spring.

  5. 8-31
    8:50
    am
    Profile photo of JoLinda

    I have never tried Dandelion Jelly before but I used to make Corn Cob Jelly. You’re supposed to boil the cobs after eating the corn but I could never bring myself to do that because other people’s mouths were on them so I would just take some of the cooking water. I strained it through a coffee filter so it would be clear.

    How would you feel about mailing a jar of it to South Korea?

    • 8-31
      12:34
      pm
      Profile photo of Suzanne McMinn

      Corn cob jelly sounds fascinating! You could just do it with cobs where you cut the corn off! I might try that soon….. I’ve got corn!

  6. 8-31
    9:26
    pm
    Profile photo of JoLinda

    That would be a lot easier than me stabbing the corn to death. 🙂

  7. 8-31
    11:55
    pm
    Profile photo of CindyP

    Beautiful jelly, Kerrie! I made some this year with thyme….hardest part was the petals…it takes so many!

    @marymac — i’m sure you could use the dandelion wine! There’s a recipe I think on here for a wine jelly. http://chickensintheroad.com/farm-bell-recipes/white-zinfandel-wine-jelly/

  8. 9-2
    8:34
    am
    Profile photo of

    Kerrie, Dandelion Jelly sound good! Dandelions have a history with my family. My grandfather make Dandelion wine which I’m told was delicious. Every spring, Dad and Mom would pick Dandelions and Dad would make a dressing with bacon, eggs, and vinegar with a dash of sugar. This went over the cleaned Dandelion greens. The wilted Dandelion was served over boiled potatoes. I remember I wasn’t really keen over it but grew to love it as I got older. Now, I find the Dandelion jelly. Amazing what you can do with Dandelions.

  9. 9-2
    8:15
    pm
    Profile photo of Kerrie

    @marymac if you make the dandelion wine jelly, let me know! I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. I’ve been wanting to try dandelion wine, too…I just ran out of time!

  10. 9-2
    8:17
    pm
    Profile photo of Kerrie

    @NorthCountryGirl I love that story! I’m amazed. I’ve heard that dandelions are actually cultivated in places in Europe–not seen at all like a weed. They eat various parts of the dandelion in recipes!

  11. 9-22
    6:06
    am
    Profile photo of Anima

    Kerrie, I think you confused dandelions
    (Taraxacum officinale) with hawksbeard (Crepis).That on the pictures is not dandelion. I don’t think there is a problem though, since crepis is eaten also and is not toxic.

  12. 9-24
    11:54
    pm
    Profile photo of Kerrie

    Oooo. Yikes. Thanks for the clarification Anima…the flower I used is called a dandelion around here…however, they’re not the short fat dandelions I remember from childhood. I did look them up online and found there are tons of varieties of dandelions, so I just thought this was one of them. So glad I’m not poisoning people! 🙂

  13. 5-5
    3:32
    pm
    Profile photo of BuckeyeGirl

    I have a question… Does anyone worry if bits of green get into the mix? I’m finding that by rolling the green base of the flower in my fingers, the petals are easily released from the flower and just pops out, but I’m getting a bit of green in there too. I’m not terribly worried, but was wondering how others were dealing with it?

  14. 5-5
    7:56
    pm
    Profile photo of Kerrie

    @buckeyegirl, when I made my jelly, the directions I used said to try to keep the green out as it’s bitter, but don’t worry if some bits get in. Some got in mine, too, but it turned out okay.

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