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!
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.