From the mountains of dandelions we have gathered in the forest (that I have raved about for the past couple of weeks), I had to do it. I tried the jelly. The jelly is a lot of work and so I had put it off until this season, but it was a fun project. The dandelion flavor comes through in the jelly and though the flavor is subtle, the jelly may be one of the best ways to taste it, especially if you use a plain white sugar that will add no flavor to the recipe itself. You could use honey but I expect your jelly will pretty much taste like honey. As it is, dandelions have a flavor that is reminiscent of honey and just simply very meadowy.
Dandelion jelly is a simple recipe in concept: You make an infusion from the dandelion petals and you add sugar and pectin. The work of it is getting the petals ready. You actually need to separate the yellow flowers petals from the rest of the flower. I sit in front of a movie and pinch each little flower right down the middle of the base lengthwise, open it up, and pull out the yellow petals. Some always remain but don’t worry about getting every last yellow piece off the dandelion. I discard this portion and use it in pickles or some other project.
When the petals are ready, simply cover them in boiling water, cover the pan with a lid, and let them sit for several hours or (better yet) overnight. After they sit, strain out the petals and retain the liquid for your jelly. Your liquid will be a lovely yellow-leaning color. Sweeten it and add the pectin as described below. If you would like to can it, that path has been forged at Simply Canning. However, you won’t likely make large batches of this particular jelly. It’s just too much work. If they are holiday gifts, this is the project for the tiny little jelly jars.
For this project, you’re going to need upwards of a 8-10 cups of dandelions. After you remove the petals, you’ll have 2-3 cups of yellow petals for this recipe.
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