Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Organic Dandelion Jelly

A few years ago I got the canning bug something bad so I was trying all kinds of new recipes. I remembered hearing about dandelion jelly, so I scouted out a few recipes. I remember my Granny making jellies. Mainly apple jelly and grape jelly are the ones I remember most. I wouldn't think that my Granny would pass up making dandelion jelly since they are free and in most every ones yards every spring. So I talked myself into trying to make jelly. I personally welcome this time of the year when they start popping up, because all I can see is the yummy goodness that will fill my jars and the smiles it puts on my children's faces.

This is where it all begins
Find a good supply of dandelions. You will need a lot. To make it easier the big ones are the best because they yield more petals, but what ever you can find will do. We normally fill up a gallon ice cream bucket full.

I say "We" because she's lower to the ground and she's got a good strong back! This is my DD and she mainly picked all the ones I needed this time because my back has been hurting. But, no worries I had the camera documenting every move she made and sent here in the right direction every time for the best ones. Not like she couldn't see them because they are everywhere here. 
Now, this don't look like much but it really is. The bowl she was using is actually a huge flower pot. And actually she picked a few too many but you'll have that.You will want to make sure that all the dandelion heads are free and clear of bugs. Usually found are small ants, knats and sometimes snails. We found two baby snails just last night in our bowl. There was an extreme amount of pollen which is what makes the flavor so if you have allergies I would suggest find your allergy meds. 
Next step is getting all those petals off the heads. The first time I did this I made sure there was none of the green flower part. I have since learned that a little of the leafy part is fine its the milky part from the stem you want no part of, it will make the jelly very bitter. 

The easiest way is to use scissors
Cut right behind the head
Discard this part
This is what your left with

You need enough of those petals to fill a quart jar. I cut mine over the quart jar so I'm not guessing. Do not pack them in just fill to the top with the petals. This is the most time consuming part of the whole process.

1 quart of lightly packed fresh organic bright dandelion flowers
2 quarts of spring water

Additional items:
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 zest of one lemon, optional
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, optional
1 (1 3/4 ounce) package of dry pectin (Jel Ease purchased at save a lot)

1. Using stainless steel pan, boil the flowers in 2 quarts of spring water for 10 minutes, cool and strain, pressing the liquid out of the flowers gently, then restrain through a coffee filter.

2. Measure 3 cups of the liquid, add the lemon juice, zest and pectin. Optional add 1 split vanilla bean.

3. Put into a deep jelly kettle and bring to a rolling boil, then add sugar and stir to mix well. (when you bring the sugar and mixture to a rapid boil it will  look foamy. Just stir quickly during the whole process.)

4. Stir and boil hard for 1 1/2 minutes, or until mixture sheets from a wooden spoon, skim, carefully remove vanilla pod, add a few drops of yellow food coloring if the color is not bright.

5. Ladle into sterilized jelly jars. Wipe rim with a damp cloth, affix prepared lids and secure with ring.

6. Process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.

Note: You have will more liquid than 3 cups. In all the times I have made this its just been shy of 6 cups of liquid. I then add the additional water (for me its been approx. 1/4 cup if that) to make the 6 cups and you will have enough to make 2 batches of jelly.

This is the first round of straining. Squeezing the liquid from the petals.

Straining for a second time. Catches any stray petals and the pollen.
Deep golden color that resembles honey.

In order to get what you see in this picture you will need 6 cups of dandelion liquid, 2 boxes of dry pectin, 11 cups of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. DO NOT double in the pan. Make each batch separate. 
These are most of the items that I used in making the dandelion jelly. There's a few items missing like a wooden spoon and wisk. I'm sure you get the idea of what you need to have. 
Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions. This jelly is very simple to make and I hope that my  pictures help you out. My batteries went dead in the process and I missed getting some vital pictures. But, I intend to make one more batch before all the dandelions are gone for the season and I will be sure to add those pictures as soon as I can.

An additional note. If you don't have time to make your jelly right now. You can always freeze the boiled dandelion juice and thaw out in the fridge when your ready. 

Hope you enjoyed this tourtial on how to make organic dandelion jelly.

~ Farm Girl
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  1. So, what does it taste like?

  2. But is won't taste like honey if you add the vanilla, will it? It is beautiful !

    1. I've made it both ways with or without. If you add vanilla bean it will have a hint of vanilla flavored honey taste. I like it either way so I make a few batches of each and label according.

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  4. I've seen you talk about it on Facebook and never heard of it before. The tourtial was very specific. I like that!! Nice to know it tastes like honey. I'm gonna add this to my canning to do list!!!!

    1. Kim,

      Dandelion Jelly seems to be a hot topic right now. Maybe its because all the dandelions are popping up. If I weren't so busy today I would of picked the ones near my rabbit cages. I'm hoping the rain stays away. I want to pick tomorrow. I'm going to free my juice for later this summer.

  5. Loved your recipe so much that I shared your blog link on my blog :

    1. Thank you and your jelly looks awesome. I'm checking out your page. Happy Blogging and enjoy your day!!

    2. I found this through mammyoaklee's link!

    3. Welcome to my Blog Georgia! Hope you get to try Dandelion Jelly before they are all gone for the year.

      ~ Farm Girl