April 18, 2016

Dandelion jelly

I wrote a few days ago about picking dandelions and starting my first ever batch of dandelion wine.  My next adventure in wild edible food is dandelion jelly.  I am making this in much the same way that we did our violet jelly last weekend.  

It starts by making an infusion from the petals.  I had a whole basket full of dandelion flower heads.  I had to remove the petals from the green parts in order to cut the bitterness.  For the wine I did this by hand but there were SO MANY flowers for jelly - kitchen scissors to the rescue.  By cutting off the base of the flower, this went a lot faster, but I did lose a good deal of flower.  Oh well, it was worth the time saved.  I ended up with a mixing bowl of petals.  

I save the base of the flowers for the chickens.  

I filled and boiled my kettle, then poured the hot water over the petals.  I covered it and let it sit a day.  

Then I strained out the petals and gave these, too, to the chickens.  No waste here!

This is what was left: my infusion.

I measured it out and added a little water so that I had an even three cups of liquid.  

I poured this in a pot and turned on the heat.  I also added to the pot 1/4 cup of lemon juice and a box of powered pectin.  Once it came to a boil, I dumped all the sugar and stirred to mix.  

I brought it back to a hard boil and then timed one minute.  

After dividing the mixture into sterilized jars, I processed them for 5 minutes.  

Here's the finished product.  I tried a little straight from the pot.  It tastes like honey!

Dandelion Jelly
5 to 6 packed cups dandelion petals (all green parts removed), washed 

3-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
5 cups sugar

Boil water and pour over flowers in a glass container.  Cover and let steep overnight (about 12 hours).  Strain out the flowers.  You should have about two cups of liquid; add water if necessary.  Put in a jelly pot, and add lemon juice and pectin.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Add all the sugar at once.  Bring it back to a hard boil and time it for one minute.  Pour into sterilized jars and process for five minutes.  

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