Dandelions. Lots of people want to get rid of them but we don’t mind them at all. Honestly, we love how resilient they are. They can grow just about anywhere … and we’ve got a vineyard full of them.
What we like most about them is the jelly you can make out of them!!
STARTING YOUR DANDELION JELLY
Step one is to gather as many dandelions as you can. No stems, leaves, or roots, just the yellow dandelion heads.
Fill a bowl with the dandelion heads — you’re going want to move quickly now so you can keep everything fresh.
Next, using a pair of sharp scissors or knife, cut the dandelion petals off the head. Usually this can be done with one quick cut.
We don’t want any green because it will make the dandelion jelly bitter, and no one wants that!
Take two cups of the dandelion petals and cover them with four cups of boiling water. The boiling water will extract the flavor of the dandelions for the final jelly.
Let the tea cool down and then put it in the fridge for a day. As it cools down, the flavor will get deeper and richer.
IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE DANDELION JELLY
Strain the tea through a sieve being careful to capture all the liquid. Give the steeped petals a good squeeze to get all the juices out.
Now you need to know that this will not be your jelly’s finest moment. In fact, when we get to this stage we usually look at each other and wonder if this is bad idea. It tends to smell grassy and not at all like delicious dandelion jelly — but you’re getting close so don’t stop now!!
MAKING DANDELION JELLY
Pour the dandelion tea into a large pot and add two tablespoons of lemon juice and one package of powdered pectin.
The lemon really makes a difference. That little bit of citric acid balances out the sugar you’re about to add and gives you a fresh note to the jam’s flavour.
Bring it to a boil and then add four cups of sugar. (Yes, it’s that sweet!) Bring it to a boil for one to two minutes and then remove it from the heat.
Pour it into hot jars that are ready for canning (make sure you leave about 1/4 inch of space at the top of the jar) and you’re done!
YOU’VE MADE DANDELION JELLY
You just turned what most people consider to be a weed, something that grows in the cracks of sidewalks, and turned it into a delicious, deep yellow jelly. Dandelion jelly tastes great on freshly baked bread.
Your friends and family might look at your dandelion jelly a little dubiously, but once they’ve tried it, they’ll thank you!