Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly, or as a friend of mine calls it “Yard Lion Honey” is not your typical seasonal treat. While it is referred to as a jelly, its really much more the consistency of honey or agave syrup. This is the way it really is supposed to be.  Dandelion Jelly is a seasonal treat among Amish and Mennonite and truly lives up to the “Use what you have” standard.

My favorite way to use Dandelion Jelly is in tea to replace honey.  I also use it on breads and baked goods and with buttered biscuits or in grits.  Pretty much anything you think of using honey for, you can use Dandelion Jelly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups of (packed) dandelion blooms separated from all greens.  This is the labor intensive part.
    • 1. Your blooms need to be fully opened and full of “fragrance”. The bigger the bloom the better.
    • 2.  NO SPRAYING OF ANYTHING.  Blooms must be from an all natural not bug spray, fertilizer spray, weed spray, etc.
    • 3. Blooms must be fresh and separate best within minutes after picking them.
    • 4. NO GREENS are to be left with the bloom “fluff” the greens will be bitter.

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  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 box of low sugar natural fruit pectin
  • Yellow food coloring

SUPPLIES:

  • A large pot for Jelly Making
  • 5 half-pint canning jars with rings and lids
  • Water bath canner
  • Candy thermometer
  • Fine strainer tiny, tiny, tiny holes!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. After perfectly shredding your dandelion blooms to a bowl of dandelion petals. Measure out 4 cups of petals.
  2. Boil all 4 cups of water  in your jelly pot.
    1. We are beginning the process of making your “tea”
  3. Once up to a boil measure ot 2 cups of petals and put directly into the boiling water, stir in.
  4. Let boil for about 5 minutes.  Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. With your strainer over a large bowl, pour the water and dandelion petals through the strainer.  Press the dandelion mush to get all the water out.  The water will look “dirty” it’s supposed.  The Dandelion mush can go to your chickens, compost bin or garden.
  6. Put the water back into your Jelly pot and bring back to a boil.
  7. Repeat the process with the next 2 cups of petals.
    1. put petals directly into the boiling water, stir in.
    2. Let boil for about 5 minutes, Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
    3. With your strainer over a large bowl, pour the water and dandelion petals through the strainer.  Press the dandelion mush to get all the water out.  The water will look “dirty” it’s supposed.
  8. Put 3 cups of water BACK into your Jelly Pot and bring to a boil.
    1. I personally use any extra tea to add to kombucha brewing or save for the next batch of dandelion jelly.
  9. Add in your 4 cups of sugar and the pectin and bring to a boil. (I actually use 2/3 of a cup of natural pectin which I get in bulk from an Amish store instead of using mass produced boxed pectin).
  10. Have your candy thermometer in your liquid.
  11. When your thermometer gets to 250 degrees F, start your timer for 7 minutes.
    1. If you start foaming (and you will) add a pat of real whole butter as with any jam to deaden the foam.
  12. Once your time is up, remove the liquid from the heat.
  13. Add in 2 to 3 drops of yellow food color to intensify the golden color (the more pollen in the blooms the brighter the color will be).

CANNING & PRESERVING

As with anything made in season, its nice to stock up during God’s bountiful season, so you will want to preserve for the months when dandelions no longer bloom in mass amounts.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare your water bath or steam canner as directed.
  2. This recipe makes 5 half-pints of jelly so sterilize and prepare 5 half-pints, I usually have 1 or 2 4 ounce jars “just in case” ready to go as well.
  3. Prepare your lids and make sure you have good fitting rings.
  4. While your canner is getting ready fill your jars with the jelly leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  5. Wipe down the rims of the jars with a wet warm towel.
  6. Place your rings on your jars.
  7. Tightly screw on the rings (not like Samson tight, but nice and tight).
  8. Once your canner is ready, place your jars in the canner.
  9. Water Bath or Steam Can for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from the canner and let rest for 24 hours.
  11. Hearing that wonderful “POP!” letting you know that the jar is sealed, should happen fairly soon after the jars leave their hot canner.
  12. Let your jars rest for 24 hours before storing in a cool place like your basement pantry.

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I hope you enjoy this new seasonal treat and it finds a regular spot in your home pantry.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb JamOne of my favorite jam is Strawberry Rhubarb.  It just screams summer.  A little on a hot buttered sour dough biscuit is heaven!

Here is my recipe for a very simple, basic Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of fresh rhubarb, diced.  Make sure it is blushed (it has some red/pink color)
  • 4 cups of fresh strawberries diced (remove the caps)
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1.75 ounces of low sugar pectin
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Make sure your rhubarb is diced small, add to a large pot.
  2. Cap and dice your strawberries, add to the same large pot.
  3. Add in your lemon juice and heat the mixture until the fruit becomes soft.
  4. Mix your sugar and pectin to in a bowl, then add the mixture to your fruit 1 cup at a time.  Constantly mixing until all the sugar and pectin is in the fruit.
  5. Move your heat to high, constantly stirring.
  6. You can use a candy thermometer if you like, your key temperature is 200.  But you can also just use your eyes
  7. When it reaches a rolling boil and starts to foam, add in a quick pat of real butter (DO NOT USE FAKE BUTTER, YUCKY!!!!)  The butter tones down the foam.
  8. Keep on a high rolling boil and stir constantly for approximately 3 minutes.
  9. Take off the heat.
  10. Now I do a freezer test.  I have a small glass cup and a metal spoon and I put a wee bit of jam on the spoon and stick it in the freezer to fast cool.   Once the cup is cool, your jam should be the consistency it will be when it is “set”.  I’m picky with Strawberry Rhubarb, I don’t like a hard set or even a medium set I like it to spread like warm butter.  But if you want a firmer set than what you have, put back on the heat and bring to a full boil again for another 2 min.  repeat test until you have received the firmness you like.

Preserving:

This recipe makes about 8 half-pints of jam.

  1. Have your jars sterilized and ready to go with their lids and rings ready.  (I’m assuming you’ve water bath canned before here….)
  2. Fill your jars up to about 1/2 inch from the top with hot jam.
  3. Wipe the lips of your jars with a wet cloth to make sure you don’t have anything on the tops where the lids need to seal.
  4. Place your prepared lids on the jars, and sorta tightly screw on your rings.
  5. Place in your water bath or steam canner.
  6. Once your canner comes to a full boil, start timing at 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 min, remove canner from heat.
  8. CAREFULLY!!!!!!! Remove your lid and once by one remove your jars.
  9. Place your jars on a protective covering (I use a double towel) in an area that you do not need to bother the jars for 24 hours.
  10. When you hear the “pops” they are sealed.  If you have a jar that did not seal, put it in the fridge, it will be gone quickly.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Now all there is to do is enjoy the sweet gift of summer!!!!!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice