This Dandelion Jelly features the subtle flavour of the flower with this incredible jewel coloured jelly.
First flowers of the season
My 3-acre yard is a carpet of yellow in the spring which I have come to love. With numerous beehives across the road, I have come to appreciate the first flowers of the season.
Their season is quite short lived and after a few mows they are done for the summer. I should have done a second pick of flower heads. It has been 6 days since I did my first pick and it looks like it will be my only pick this spring. If you want to make a few batches of jelly get an early start on the flower harvest.
This recipe was suggested by Bill. After a brief visit with him last week at work I explored his suggestion of Dandelion jelly.
You may recall, I made this spectacular Grape Jelly from the grapes that I was generously given by Bill. He had a massive harvest from his 2022 garden and much jelly was made.
Harvesting the petals
Removing the petals from the dandelion heads is a time-consuming job. The goal is to only harvest the yellow parts of the blossoms. If you have ever eaten dandelion greens, you know that they are incredibly bitter. We want to avoid any green bits in our collection of petals.
I found the easiest way to collect the petals is to firmly grasp them and pull them from the flower heads. It is a good idea to do a few harvests of the flower heads. As they sit in the bowl, they begin to close up making the petal removal more tedious.
Using scissors is also an option and I probably should have tried it.
Place the harvested petals in a large mason jar. Cover the petals with 4 cups of boiling water. All to cool fully then store in the fridge. I was going to steep the petals for 24 hours. I ended up getting busy and it steeped for around 38 hours.
Strain the dandelion water from the petals. Press on the petals to remove as much water as possible.
Combine the dandelion water, lemon juice and pectin in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute. Add the butter and sugar, stirring well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Allow to come to a full rolling boil for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and set on a hot mat in the canning area. skim the surface with a spoon if needed. Ladle the jelly into hot jars. Wipe the rims and add the lids. Screw the bands on until finger tight.
Place the jars into a large canner. The level of the water must be at least an inch above the jars. Bring the canner to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes remove the jars and set them on the counter. Allow to cool undisturbed for 24 hours so the jars seal and the jelly can set.
Wipe down the jars, label and store in a dark cool place.
If you discover any jars that did not seal they can be stored in the fridge and used first.
Safe Canning Practices
As with any canning project there are certain steps we always follow.
Use clean sterilized jars and new snap lids. Once you start canning you will find yourself with a collection of different sized rings. You can purchase boxes of lids in grocery and hardware stores.
I heat freshly washed jars in the oven while I prep for the rest of the process. Set the oven to (250C) and place the jars on a baking sheet in the oven.
Place the rings and lids into a medium sized pot and cover with water. Heat on low.
It is very important to use a nice deep pot when making jelly. We need to bring the jelly to a full rolling boil. If the pot is to shallow the jelly will overflow and create a hot dangerous situation. The juice and sugar cook at a high temperature and serious burns are something to be aware of when making jelly.
The Canning Area
I like to place a large tea towel on the surface where I fill the jars. I have 3 hot mats, one for the tray of jars, another for the pot of jelly and one for the pot of lids and rings.
Have a clean damp dish rag handy. To make for easy filling of jars in any canning recipe a canning funnel makes for clean easy work and I highly recommend having one. While we are talking about handy canning tools I also recommend getting a pair of canning tongs. They are made specifically to easily move hot jars.
Canning kits are available and come with all the tools to make the job of canning easy.
Hot Water Bath
Canned products require to be processed in a hot water bath. The length of time is determined by the recipe and the elevation of where you live.
Altitude Increase Processing Time
1001 – 3000 306 – 915 5 minutes
3001 – 6000 916 – 1830 10 minutes
6001 – 8000 1831 – 2440 15 minutes
8001 – 10,000 2441 – 3050 20 minutes
The process helps safely preserve the food as well as creates a good seal on the jars.
Butter in Jelly?
It is trick I learnt when I was a teenager in the kitchen watching and learning. The addition of butter to the jelly mixture helps eliminate the boiling juice from creating a foam. It works incredibly well and I rarely need to skim my jellies.
- 4 cups of dandelion petals
- 4 cups of water
- 4 cups of sugar
- 1 box of powered pectin
- 2 tablespoons if lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Remove the petals form the dandelion heads.
- Place them in a large mason jar.
- Cover with 4 cups of boiling water.
- Cool fully and place in the fridge overnight.
- Strain the water from the petals, pressing on the petals to get all of the liquid out.
- In a large saucepan combine the dandelion water, lemon juice and pectin.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Boil for 1 minute.
- Add the butter and sugar and stir well.
- Bring to a hard boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Skim if needed.
- Ladle the dandelion syrup into hot sterilized jars.
- Wipe the rims of the jars and top with hot lids.
- Add the screw bands and tighten until finger tight.
- Place the filled jars in a hot water canner an process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars and allow to cool and set on the counter for 24 hours.
The finished jelly is mild and sweet.
Because it is small batch it the perfect jelly for small jars.