Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dandelion Jelly: Resolved - April 28, 2010

Dandelion Jelly, Take 2

Alright, Dinner Clubbers, I think I finally have this resolved. This is my second batch of dandelion jelly. I ended up using a mash-up of three different recipes which can be found here, here, and here. The first was my inspiration, beautiful and romantic jelly made from sunny yellow weeds. The next two I consulted after my first batch failed to set (due to an unfortunate pectin mistake on my part) as a means to triangulate the proper ratio of pectin to juice. I particularly appreciated recipe number three due to it's accurate description of the time involved in cleaning and removing the unwanted green bits from the dandelion petals. This is not a ten minute task, my friends.

So, to outline my steps, after picking, washing and cleaning the dandelions, I boiled them in 8 cups of water for 10 min and let this mixture cool. I covered it and refrigerated overnight. The next morning, trying desperately not to be dissuaded by the greenish-black color of the liquid, I strained out the petals. I then measured out three cups, and three cups only (I was a bit confused by this direction at first, hence the third recipe to confirm) of this dandelion infused water and added my lemon juice and grated lemon zest, which is what you see suspended in the jelly, and a full 1.75 g package of powdered pectin. This mixture I brought to a boil, stirring to help dissolve the pectin. After I had a steady rolling boil, I added my sugar (I ended up using 5 1/2 cups of plain white sugar), and stirred to dissolve. Once this came back up to a rolling boil, I waited a minute and a half and then removed from the heat. Next I filled my jars, extremely relieved to see a lovely golden color and not something that looked like vegemite, and sealed them in a hot water bath for 5 minutes, and let cool for 24 - 36 hours.

My end product still is not set as firmly as I would have liked, but it tastes good and has significantly more structure than my first batch. I also have another 3 cups of that greenish-black dandelion water left over. I'm not sure if it will go towards another batch (third one's the charm?) of jelly, or if I will try my hand at dyeing some yarn or fabric with it. To be determined...

Thanks for sticking with me on this one guys!
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City Girl said...

I was reminded by your post that I've been wanting to give this a try and our yard is FULL of dandelions! My almost 5 year old thought it was a fabulous idea so helped with the harvest. Now I have a jar of that brownish liquid waiting in the fridge because I need to finish the jelly when he has time to help out. Cross your fingers for us!

j.j. said...

congrats on the success!

E said...

Hey Jess,
I 'm glad you had more luck. This recipe has proven to be a finicky one for us too. But who can resist the cooking with flowers! And I have found that regardless of a looser-set, the flavor is lovely. I appreciated that you shared your process with your readers.


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