Sunday, March 30, 2014
I've been wanting to make Dandelion Jelly for awhile, and I decided today was the day. I braved the drizzle and gathered my dandelions, with a little help from the neighbors' yards (do not gather them from the side of the road, and make sure they haven't been sprayed with any 'cides'). I gathered about 4 cups of flower heads, and came home to remove the green parts (they can be bitter, so you don't want them in your jelly).
Once you have 2 cups worth of 'fluff', bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil and add in the dandelions. Let boil for 10 minutes. Then, using a jelly bag or coffee filter or what have you, strain out the liquid. You should have 2 cups of dandelion juice.
Now, there are lots of recipes for Dandelion Jelly online, but I wanted one that was low in sugar. So I decided to use the "Nana's Dandelion Jelly" recipe from the Pomona Pectin cookbook.
I brought the juice back to a boil, added 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 2 1/2 tsp of calcium water. After returning to a boil, I added in a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 2 1/2 tsp of Pomona Pectin. Again, bring to a boil, stirring all the while, and then remove from heat and jar them up for canning. Process for 10 minutes. I ended up with 5 4-ounce jars.
They are a pretty golden color (some people add yellow food coloring... but why?) and taste like spring! Because this is a low-sugar recipe, it doesn't taste as much like honey as the full-sugar recipes do, but I am ok with that! It felt good to play with jars again, and I am very excited that Strawberry Season is only about 3-4 weeks away here.