March 19, 2010

Dandelion Preserves




365 Dandelion Flowers.

I love the poetry of this recipe to celebrate the first day of Spring.

Why not get out there tomorrow and find a sunny dandelion patch?

My friend Meg gave me a mason jar of Dandelion Jelly. Just returned from France, she was filled with great rustic food inspiration. In France, Meg spent her days making chestnut sausage with pork from her neighbor Regis' lovingly-raised pig. My mouth waters every time Meg and I talk food.

Of course P had to try making some dandelion jelly himself: he cannot resist anything foraged and preserved. I was happy because this jelly is delicious with a bright springy flavor very reminiscent of local honey. We'll have to pass some on to friends and continue sharing the beauty of Spring. After 365 days of waiting, we need to celebrate.





INGREDIENTS
  • 365 ripe yellow Dandelion flowers
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 cups sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • Pectin (Recipe revision: follow directions on your pectin box. Use approximately 8 teaspoons pectin for this recipe. You can adjust your levels according to how thick you like your preserves: more pectin=jelly while less/no pectin=syrup.)


Find a protected patch of dandelions that have not been sprayed with pesticides. Pick 365 blossoms. Wash thoroughly.  Snip off green base of each flower so that you have only petals for the jelly. Place petals in a large bowl or dutch oven.





Pour water into the pot with the dandelion petals. Add lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, let cool. Transfer dandelion petals and the liquids to a bowl, cover mixture with wax paper and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, return mixture to dutch oven. Add sugar. Bring to a vigorous boil and continue to boil for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to incorporate sugar. Remove from heat, let liquid cool to a manageable temperature. Strain out petals and discard. Add pectin, return liquid to a boil for another 5-10 minutes.

(Please note we are having some consistency (a looser set) issues with P's recipe. Please bare with us as we try to tweak the directions. Meg, my original Dandelion Jelly inspiration, shared some of her wisdom and the lovely Sarah at Toronto Tasting Notes is doing some recipe testing with her abundant dandelions. Sadly, that moment in Spring has already passed for us here in Berkeley. I will have to wait until next Spring. If any of you experienced preservers out there have suggestions, we are always open. Thanks!)

40 comments:

  1. I love the idea of using 365 flowers. Very poetic indeed!

    It's a lovely colour - such a pale yellow. We have fields of them here in spring, maybe I'll try it out in a few months.

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  2. Wow that is something I have never heard of! I really want to try it!

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  3. Making it has made me see the bright yellow dots all over my neighborhood and beyond. It helps make spring even more vibrant and delightful. Thanks for the inspiration, Meg.

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  4. Love it! Amazing idea...I'm not sure if I can imagine the flavor but it sounds like sweet spring :)

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  5. I loved the idea too - capturing the fleeting moment of early spring. The dandelion flavor is incredibly subtle, like honey with a hint to something more.

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  6. Wow, amazing that anyone would DO that! I'd lose count plus then the trimming...although I'm really intrigued - so local and sustainble. Any thoughts on doing this w/o sugar? Agave, sucanat?

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  7. I think agave would be a delicious substitute for the sugar. I'd use the pale agave for the subtle flavor. Not sure about sucanat - I've never used it.

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  8. Beautiful idea and lovely photos, I'd had dandelion ice-cream I can imagine that the jelly would be wonderful.

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  9. this sounds amazing....and yes, very poetic...
    love your photos :)
    Happy Spring!

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  10. i'm in love with this - truly, truly in love with this recipe! who knew you could make jelly out of dandelions?? not me, until now - thanks for sharing!!

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  11. I have been eating dandelion greens for years, but cooking dandelion flowers is new to me as well. I couldn't resist the seasonal charm of the recipe. Plus consuming dandelions is good for allergies. Who knew?

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  12. I can't wait to try this! Thanks for the recipe!

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  13. beautiful jelly and post!

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  14. Ok, went out to my yard and picked 365 dandelion heads. Ready to go....just one question. How many jars does this make?

    Thanks for the splendid idea!

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  15. Patti, I have already given away all of my jars of jelly so let me think... hmmm, I think we filled six or seven 1 cup jars.
    Not sure how familiar you are to jamming, but have fun playing with the pectin amount. More pectin = jelly. Less pectin = jam. Either one is delicious.
    Have fun! I'd love to hear what you think.

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  16. I confess I didn't even know one could make jelly out of dandelions! What a perfect tribute to spring, too. So is it floral tasting, like how chamomile tea is? Or is the taste all together different?

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  17. I've been dreaming of dandelion jelly for the past month. We have a ways to go before we get enough to make into jelly though. It's nice to get a glimpse of the bliss in the meantime.

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  18. lovely photos! I am an avid preserves maker, but had never thought to try anything with dandelion. If I can find a good dandelion gathering spot here in downtown SF, I will most certainly be trying this!

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  19. Jelly is all made and jarred. How long should it take to set up? I am going to do a blog post about it tomorrow....

    It is still super liquidy, so I put it in the fridge to help it along.

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  20. Patti,
    I'm so glad you made the jelly!
    I asked P, and he said it can 24-36 hours to fully set.
    If you want to post tomorrow it still might be kinda loose.
    I asked Meg and she said that her French friends who inspired the recipe don't add pectin at all and make more of a dandelion syrup. It seems like it should be delicious as a syrup, jam, or jelly.
    Isn't the flavor delicate and lovely?

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  21. I have a confession....I added a capful of my orange blossom essence to tweak it a bit....smells divine.

    But good to know that it takes a bit of time. I can always post on Monday. I followed your directions to the letter.

    Thanks!

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  22. Patti, orange blossom essence is a brilliant addition. We must try that ourselves for the next batch.
    Cheers!

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  23. Hi!

    My post on the Dandelion experiment goes up tomorrow!

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  24. Patti, I am looking forward to checking it out!

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  25. How many jars does this recipe make?

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  26. 6-7 half-pint jars

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  27. My second batch turned out perfectly! (The first failed to set because I used liquid pectin instead of powdered...beginner's mistake). It's going on my toast tomorrow morning. Thanks so much for all the beautiful inspiration!

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  28. Jess, I'm so glad this batch worked out for you. It is so helpful to have recipe feedback....much appreciated!

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  29. Wonderful! I'd love to make this, but I'm on a no-sugar, no-gluten kick right now so it'd be kind of pointless. It's not stopping me from sharing this recipe on my blog, though! :) I think I'll make a batch later this summer to give out and sneak a jar for myself, heehee!

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  30. AnonymousMay 02, 2010

    Hi guys...stumbled on your site, and I love it. What a great recipe, and idea. I have been eating the greens for a while and they are incredible.. Also saw a great video in which they make fritters from the flowers, and they look great!!

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  31. hey - dash and bella's uncle ben, here. do you have any thoughts on dandelion greens? Got a weed problem that could become dinner...

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  32. Ben, nice to hear from you! Has it been almost 2 decades since Columbia?

    Got a weed problem eh? Dandelion greens can be so bitter so I really like them in soup. This recipe for cannellini beans and greens is a good vehicle to use up a lot of your weeds.

    http://yummysupper.blogspot.com/2010/01/cannellini-bean-soup-with-wilted-greens_08.html

    Or a soup with pork, soba noodle, and dandelions would be tasty.

    You might also get a kick out of this guy's site. He's a forager who eats a lot of dandelions....

    http://fat-of-the-land.blogspot.com/search/label/dandelions

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  33. I have a question. I have made Dandelion Jelly for many yrs, LOVE IT! but was wondering if there was a way to make it into a "spun/whipped" honey/jelly....?
    any help in this matter would be GREATLY appreciated and you can email me at nanapapaprice@frontier.com or even contact me on Facebook
    Thanks for any help, Heather

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  34. just wondering if there is a way to make this jelly (ive been making for yrs) into a "spun/whipped" type. How would one do that?

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  35. Hey Heather,
    Wish I could help you there... A spun/ whipped dandelion honey sounds Divine! If you do figure this out, I'd love to hear.
    I'm in bali now with no dandelions to experiment with:(
    Warm regards,
    Erin

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  36. So, how long do you recommend processing this jelly? In a boiling water bath, for ten minutes? 1/4 inch headspace? That is what most jellies are canned at so I am guessing that it's correct.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there anonymous, You sound like you know what you're doing and I would treat is just as you do your other jellies:)
      Thanks,
      E

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  37. Do you need to strain petals before boiling second time?

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  38. Nope. Leave the liquid in the pot.

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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