Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dandelion Jelly

This is really considered a weed to most individuals in the United States but in many parts of the world people use the plant for salads and other dishes. I have seem a few recipes for fried blossoms but have not tried any yet. However the dandelion jelly is delicious. It has a mild honey type of taste which is great with toast and biscuits.

There are many recipes out there but I used a mint jelly recipe and substituted the blossoms for the mint leaves. First you have to collect the blossoms. Right now they are all over my property so it is not difficult finding them. Next I rinsed them off. I have a word of caution before I go on. Be extremely careful where you gather you dandelions. Make sure it is not a place that get sprayed with herbicides, pesticides or fertilzers or has heavy traffic on them.

After I gathered and rinse I then proceeded to cut the blossom off. You want to try to get only the yellow blossom and not green parts of the plant because it will affect the color and taste. I found taking a pair of scissors and just cutting the blossom off is the faster way. It still is a little tedious. As one of my daughters said as she walked by "That looks like something you should outsource to South America". You got to love the youth now of days.

4 cups of gathered blossoms

Measure 2 heaping cups of dandelion petals
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 oz. liquid pectin
Yellow food coloring (optional)
3 1/2 cups sugar

Place cleaned petals in a saucepan with 2 1/4 cups water. bring to a biol. Remove from heat; cover and let set for at least 10 minutes.

Wash your jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water and rise well, Dry bands and set aside, Keep jars and lids heated in sauce pan of simmering with (180 degrees F) until needed.

Take jars out of water one at at time and ladle the jelly into the jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rim and thread with a clean damp cloth. Place the lid on the jar and screw ban sown until fingertip tight. Place into canner and let process for 10 minutes. Remove and set on towel to cool.

In a sauce pan put 1 3/4 cups dandelion infusion, lemon juice, sugar and food coloring. Bring mixture to a boil. Add the pectin. Return to a rolling boil cook for one minute.Remove from heat.

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