For most people dandelions are just a nuisance. For others it’s a sign that Spring has arrived. Not only do dandelions mean that everything is starting to bloom, but it means dandelion jelly. Dandelion jelly is made from the bright yellow petals of the flowers. It can be time consuming due to the process of separating the petals from the stems, but in the end it’s worth it. Most people compare the taste to a honey or marmalade. And the best part is, your whole family can get in on the fun of collecting the flowers.
Tips and Tricks!
Don’t wash your flowers before processing them.
-Gather your flowers from an area that you feel confident is free of pesticides and dog/animal waste.
-Pick your dandelions when the grass is dry.
-When separating you petals from the stems, make sure you get as much of the green stems off as possible.
-Have your ingredients pre-measured and ready to go. Once you start cooking, you only have about 45 seconds before it starts boiling. And it boils quickly and high!
-It’s always better to have too many, than not enough!
-When placing a hot liquid into a cold jar, it’s always a good plan to temper the jars as you go!
This unique jelly has the golden color of spring dandelions and a delicate honey flavor. If you don’t need it to be shelf stable, just skip processing the jars. It will keep in the fridge for about a month.
Prep Time- 1 hour
Cook Time- 15 minutes
Servings- 6 8 oz. Jars.
- 1 package powdered pectin (I use a 1.75 oz. box of Sure Jell Original, it measures out to be a scant 1/3 cup)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 5 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 drop yellow food dye optional
- 1 teaspoon orange extract optional
- Snip off stems and the base of each flower, removing as much green as you can. You need a total of 4 cups of yellow petals. If you have picked in an area free of spraying and animal traffic you can brush each flower off to remove any debris. Once you wash the blossoms they become very difficult to handle so try to avoid doing that.
- In a large pot boil the petals in 2 quarts water for 3 minutes. Cool all the way down even if it takes several hours. This give your jelly the deepest possible color. Line a colander with a paper towel or coffee filter and strain the tea.
- Measure 3 cups dandelion liquid. Add lemon juice and pectin. Bring mixture to a boil using your deepest pot. Add the sugar all at once and stir constantly, boiling at a high rolling boil for 2 ½ minutes.
- Turn off heat and skim off any gunk from surface. Using a wide funnel, pour into your processed jars.