I know that there are those who see dandelions as a nuisance but to me they are an early promise of warm summer days, sunshine, and time spent laughing with friends. When I came across this recipe on line, I just had to give it a try. After all, who can resist an jar full of sunshine and happiness.
I modified the recipe found at A Teaspoon of Spice. I was worried that it would taste like flowers, but it doesn’t. Instead, it tastes like mild honey.
- 3 cups of fresh, young dandelion flowers. Must be harvested from an unsprayed location. This is a lot of flowers.
- 4 cups boiling water
- 4 ½ cups sugar
- 1 box of powered, low sugar pectin
- 2 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice
- Find your favorite Netflix series, podcast, or person to visit with. Carefully pull the dandelion petals from the green sepals. This is tedious work and will take some time. Get comfortable. You may find that your fingernails will end up dyed the colour of mud. The dye can last for a week or so.
Put the dandelion petals into a large heat proof container. Boil the water and pour over the dandelion petals. Cover and place in the fridge overnight to steep to make a strong dandelion tea.
- The next morning, strain the petals out of your dandelion tea. I used a reusable coffee filter. A paper coffee filter would work well too.
- Set up your canner and start boiling your jars to sterilize them.
- Measure out 4 ¼ cups of sugar into a separate bowl.
- Add the dandelion tea to a largish, heavy bottom pot. Add ¼ cup of sugar, lemon juice, and the pectin. Bring this mixture to a boil.
- Add the remaining 4 ¼ cups of sugar and bring to a full, rolling boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and skim off the foam
Ladle into clean jars and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (adjust for altitude).
Enjoy your jar of springtime sunshine. It is delicious on hot buttered toast or with peanut butter on a PB&J.