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.
- 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.
- 4 cups of water
- 4 cups of sugar
- 1 box of low sugar natural fruit pectin
- Yellow food coloring
- 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!
- After perfectly shredding your dandelion blooms to a bowl of dandelion petals. Measure out 4 cups of petals.
- Boil all 4 cups of water in your jelly pot.
- We are beginning the process of making your “tea”
- Once up to a boil measure ot 2 cups of petals and put directly into the boiling water, stir in.
- Let boil for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
- 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.
- Put the water back into your Jelly pot and bring back to a boil.
- Repeat the process with the next 2 cups of petals.
- put petals directly into the boiling water, stir in.
- Let boil for about 5 minutes, Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
- 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.
- Put 3 cups of water BACK into your Jelly Pot and bring to a boil.
- I personally use any extra tea to add to kombucha brewing or save for the next batch of dandelion jelly.
- 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).
- Have your candy thermometer in your liquid.
- When your thermometer gets to 250 degrees F, start your timer for 7 minutes.
- If you start foaming (and you will) add a pat of real whole butter as with any jam to deaden the foam.
- Once your time is up, remove the liquid from the heat.
- 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.
- Prepare your water bath or steam canner as directed.
- 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.
- Prepare your lids and make sure you have good fitting rings.
- While your canner is getting ready fill your jars with the jelly leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Wipe down the rims of the jars with a wet warm towel.
- Place your rings on your jars.
- Tightly screw on the rings (not like Samson tight, but nice and tight).
- Once your canner is ready, place your jars in the canner.
- Water Bath or Steam Can for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the canner and let rest for 24 hours.
- Hearing that wonderful “POP!” letting you know that the jar is sealed, should happen fairly soon after the jars leave their hot canner.
- Let your jars rest for 24 hours before storing in a cool place like your basement pantry.
I hope you enjoy this new seasonal treat and it finds a regular spot in your home pantry.
Until Next Time,
Mrs. Kay Rice