You heard me. Dandelion. Jelly. No I'm not crazy and no, menopause has not taken over my brain (yet). This is a delicious jelly that tastes like honey. I kid you not! Here's something you may not know, dandelions are more nutritious than broccoli or spinach…They have a delicate flavor and can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes today…from wine to jellies to greens.
Please be smart and don't pick dandelion heads from places where pesticides may have been used. Because that would be stupid...
Yield: 5 half-pint jars
3 cups packed very fresh dandelion blossoms – from unsprayed plants! (about 4 oz)
4 cups water
4 cups sugar (don’t use less)
1 box powdered pectin for less sugar recipes
2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice (fresh lemons have varying acidity – so use bottled)
1 drop yellow food coloring if desired (without this coloring is a bit more greenish)
INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Using your thumb fingernail, cut and pluck the yellow blossom out of the tiny green leaves holding it. (Your thumb will get sticky and the flower will separate into petals.) Remove as much of the green as possible because green is bitter and turns the jelly green; I had just a tiny bit of green on almost each blossom. (See photo below.) By now, your blossoms will weigh about 2.35 oz. 2. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add half the blossoms, stir. Cover. Turn off water and steep for 20 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out and gently push on blossoms to remove some of the water. Add the same dandelion water back to saucepan and bring to a boil. Add remaining blossoms; cover. Steep 15 minutes. Strain out blossoms, pressing to remove water. 3. Measure steeping liquid to 3 cups; add sugar, pectin, lemon juice and (optional) food coloring and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil for 1 minute, then skim off foam with a wooden spoon. 4. Pour into hot sterilized half-pint jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace and store in the refrigerator – or process according to canner manufacturer’s instructions. NOTE: This recipe does not gel to thick jelly. It is the consistency of honey – which we like – as we use it just like honey. If you want it to gel to thick jelly, add an additional 1/2 cup sugar, for a total of 4 1/2 cups.
I also use Lime juice in place of lemon juice.