It’s been two months since my last post, and even that was a throw back. The fact of the matter is, I haven’t been getting up to much. Work, spring cleaning, nothing worth sharing. But sometimes that’s life right? Not always an exciting adventure.
Well, on this lovely weekend in April, mother nature has been kind enough to give us record breaking, summer like, sunshine. And all I can see are those bright, yellow heads, poking up through the green grass. I’m talking about dandelions. Since my first experience making dandelion jelly last year, I’ve been waiting to see the sea of yellow return so I can give it another go. (I’m also planning dandelion wine, but that’s another story…)
When I stumbled upon the article about dandelion jelly last year I was so intrigued. The thought of using that pesky weed to make something delicious was right up my alley. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been aware of the health benefits of this plant for years, drinking the tea and eating the greens regularly, but jelly? With the flower? I was sold.
I invited my mom over for some catch up time and another set of hands to pick.
Q hung around to provide some company. He loves when he can participate in the fun.
We picked 10 cups of blossoms. Just blossoms. The green is bitter and we don’t want bitter. We don’t spray our lawn with anything so the dandelions are plentiful and organic. This is important. Eating pesticides is no good.
We washed the flowers and pulled the yellow petals off the green base. (Well mostly, a little bit of green is ok).
Then, we poured boiling water over the petals and left it to steep overnight. Steeping until the tea reaches room temperature would work as well but I had the time and wanted it nice and strong.
(side note, I did this last year without giving the glass container a chance to warm up slowly and ended up with broken glass and dandelion “tea” everywhere…. Pour slowly and save yourself a mess!)
The next morning I packed up my “tea”, and the beast, and headed to my moms.
I gathered all the supplies, then strained the dandelion “tea” through a coffee filter to remove any solids.
- water bath canner
- canning jars
- canning lids and rings
- jar lifter and canning funnel
- large pot
- large spoons
- towels and dish cloths
We used the canning pot to sterilize the jars and kept them warm while we made the jelly.
- 3 Cups dandelion “tea”
- 4 1/2 Cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 box powdered pectin
We mixed the dandelion “tea”, lemon juice and one box of pectin into a large saucepan. We brought it to a boil and added the sugar, then brought it back to a boil. A film kept forming on top. It would reform as quickly as we could skim it off. I decided instead of fighting it to just go with it. It’s not like it’s going to hurt anything.
It continued boiling 1-2 minutes then we removed it from the heat and filled the jars, leaving a 1/4″ head space. We processed the jars in the water bath for 10 minutes.
And voila! Dandelion Jelly! I use this the traditional way on toast but it is also amazing used in a thumb print cookie recipe,(I posted about those delicious delights back in November), or stirred into plain yogurt to add a little flavor and sweetness. Whatever works!
The availability of dandelions and the tastiness of the jelly made this a no brainer. It is now an annual event that I look forward to. I may have to up the batches and make more!