Today is posting day for Secret Recipe Club‘s Group C! Secret Recipe Club is a group of rabid food bloggers that are kept in line by some truly marvelous hosts: Camilla, Jane, Sarah, and the fabulous Group C host, Debbi. Each month the membership receives a “secret pal” and must choose something from the assigned site to make and post.
My “secret pals” for this month were Serena and Deanna (both registered dietitians) who tag team Teaspoon of Spice. There is so much information on their site that it was overwhelming at times, but I found an extremely intriguing recipe: Dandelion Jelly. I would love to take a foraging class some day and learn about all the edibles I can find in our yard. We don’t spray or use any pre-emergents so everything is fair game and weedy and wild. We always have a good crop of dandelions growing and the bees seem to love them. Before The Hubs mowed the yard last weekend, I raced out and picked a bowl full of dandelion flowers.
Not only did the foraging aspect of this recipe intrigue me, but I was taken with Serena’s description:
This Dandelion Jelly tastes EXACTLY like honey. After all, bees take nectar from dandelions to make honey – in this recipe, you just steep out nectar, add sugar, a little lemon and you’ve got Dandelion Jelly.
I concur. It does taste and look exactly like honey, only with the consistency of jelly.
Half of the original recipe
1 ½ c. very fresh dandelion blossoms, packed
2 c. filtered water
2 cups sugar
1/8 c. plus ½ T. powdered pectin for “less sugar recipes” (I used some bulk pectin that I had on hand.)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 drop yellow food coloring
Using your thumb fingernail, cut and pluck the yellow blossom out of the tiny green leaves holding it. (Your thumb will get gummy and the flower will separate into petals.) Remove as much of the green as possible because green is bitter and turns the jelly green. Serena says, “A little green won’t ruin the mix.”
In a small to medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add 3/4 cup blossoms; turn down to low and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off water and steep for about 15-20 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out and gently push on blossoms to remove some of the water. Add this dandelion-steeped water back to saucepan and bring to a boil again.
Add remaining blossoms; simmer for 10 minutes and strain out blossoms, pressing to remove water.
Measure steeping liquid to 1 1/2 cups; add sugar, pectin, lemon juice and food coloring and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil for 1 minute, then skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Pour into hot sterilized half-pint jars leaving 1/4-inch head-space and store in the refrigerator – or process according to canner manufacturer’s instructions.
- I used fresh lemon juice but Serena says to use bottled so the acidity factor will be consistent.
- I was determined not to add the food coloring, but the color was a dingy greenish-yellow color. It needed the a few drops of yellow.
- If you told people you had found a way to jelly honey, they would never know the difference.
- Serena recommends to “Use the jelly on lemon scones, crackers with goat cheese or cream cheese, warmed to glaze BBQ chicken, in salad vinaigrette or almost any way you use honey.”
I can’t wait to fool the nephews when they visit next month. I will have them guess what kind of jelly this is as they eat their breakfast toast.
Thanks, Serena and Teaspoon of Spice, for a great foraging recipe. I can see, perhaps, some dandelion wine in our future.
Thanks again to our SRC hosts Jane, Sarah, Camilla, and Debbi. They do a super fantastic job keeping us all organized, informed, and on track! Thank you, ladies! (For all my past SRC posts, click here. )
SRC Note: April is stepping down as owner of SRC and passing the reins to Sarah from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes! April, thank you so much for your leadership and I wish you all the best in your travels!