My wife and I haven’t needed to buy jelly for a full year now as we produce our own from fruits we grow and some we buy from local growers. Our son has moved into the peanut butter and jelly sandwich season of life however and I feel that our current production level is not sufficient to support his appetite. So I decided to look elsewhere for sources of jelly and it turns out that those pesky yellow flowers that pop up in your yard despite your best efforts to cleanse them from your property are actually quite tasty…or so I’ve heard. I plan to find out for myself. There are several different uses for the various parts of the dandelion plant but the first one I’m going to focus on is making dandelion jelly.
Haven’t you always wanted to eat weeds out of your yard? Yum
This is the recipe we used from Prairieland Herbs. I’m not posting it on here because there are dozens of different recipes for Dandelion Jelly available on the Internet and this is our first attempt so we have no way of judging whether or not this recipe is better than another. I had originally thought that I would leave some of the largest flowers alone so they could go to seed and then I would gather the seeds to plant them in rows next year for easier harvesting if I indeed did like how this all turned out. But gathering the flowers only took me about 20 minutes and so I really see no point in wasting valuable garden space with them next year.
Once you have gathered the necessary amount of dandelion flowers you need to remove the yellow petals from the green base. It may be difficult to not include any of the green part but try to keep it as minimal as possible as this will add a bitter taste. This is definitely a bit of a tedious task but not nearly as bad as one website I read that said it took them four hours to do. It only took my wife about 45 minutes. Obviously you want to follow the rest of the recipe for preparing your Dandelion jelly exactly…we failed in that respect.
We had failed to notice that the particular recipe we were using called for liquid pectin and we had used powdered pectin. The end result was Dandelion syrup, it didn’t set up at all. I was quite disappointed and thought that maybe I could salvage the whole thing by using the syrup as a marinade for fish or chicken but as the hours passed the component parts of the “jelly” began to separate from one another in a nasty looking way.
From what I did taste of the jelly from licking out the pot it was processed in, I rather enjoyed it. It has a fragrance similar to honey and a bit of a lemony taste but altogether different from either of those things. On the other hand my wife did not enjoy the flavor. I think I like this enough to give it another try next year but not enough to put in the effort again this year. Although I will say that the entire process was much less time consuming than making raspberry jam.