dandelion jelly oh my

Not only is is stunningly beautiful, it is as if the sun poured it’s nectar into a glass jar for you to spread onto any thing you please.

This divine preserve looks and tastes like sunny honey.

Now I understand why the french celebrated spring with this jelly, it takes 365 days (and flowers) between batches if you pick dandelions at the height of spring time. This jelly is all things spring time. And I was gratful to stumble upon it in a book I just got from the library: We Sure Can – How Jams and Pickles are Reviving the Lure and Lore of Local Food. I can only imagine how delightful this will be on the coldest cloudy winter days.

What I like most about this recipe is that dandelions are abundant and free and wild and oh so yellow and yet always get such a bad rap! I now have 2 uses for dandelion heads: make more jelly and feed to the bunnies! Yet I will certainly seek out more ways to enjoy this free and sunny food.

This is not a simple jelly but really all jams and jellies involve  preparing and processing  time, so when your fields are flush with bright yellow heads, get picking, then cozy in with a glass of wine or tea and start picking petals!

* make sure you are not picking dandelions from the side of the road or from fields that have been sprayed!*

Pick 365 dandelion heads wash them and then snip the green stock and collect only the yellow petals in a large bowl.

Then in a heavy bottom pot combine flower petals, 3 tbsp of lemon juice and 6 cups of water. Bring to a full rolling boil for about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl cover and let sit in the fridge overnight.

The next day, return mixture to a pot, and add 6 cups of organic cane sugar then return to a boil for about 10 minutes. Strain out petals and return syrup to the pot once again and add 10 tsp powdered pectin then return to another boil  until the jelly reaches setting point. You can test this using the cold plate or spoon back method. (it took me about 30 minutes of boiling to reach a good gel)

Ladle mixture into prepared sanitized jars and cap with boiled sanitized lids. Leave 1/4″ of head space in jars, and process for 12 minutes (if doing small jars or 15 minutes if using 500 ml+ jars) in a rapidly boiling water bath (or steam caner)  allow jars to cool down slowly. Once they pop they are ready for the panty, shortbread cookies or toast! share, stock up and enjoy!

Happy spring.

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